It has taken me a decade to complete this work. After spending months writing my Ph.D. thesis, I was in no mood back then to write a single line about this story, but my partner, Jodie, persuaded me to do so…and I am ever thankful for her foresight.
Indeed, when I was challenged with the idea of writing about trying to find work in the last miles of my Ph.D., the thought of staring at a computer screen to write a book on my “job-hunting experiences” was not the most alluring task: even though I had a lot on my chest that needed to come out.
Yet, in the end, I took my partner’s advice and started writing, and writing some more. It turned out that I found solace and, dare I say, some sort of enlightenment, in jotting down the struggles that got me where I am today. Although this story is full of hurdles and may sound negative at times, it is not intended to be a sour tale, nor is it a reflection of what all postgraduate pathways are like. On the contrary, the challenges that I had to overcome allowed me to gain a much better understanding and perspective of my key drivers and, in hindsight, to appreciate the journey, rather than focusing solely on the result. More importantly perhaps, my partner’s insight that other people (mainly freshly-squeezed postgraduate students) would benefit from reading the tales and the hard-won lessons learned by my sinuous path resonated in me.
Thus, I certainly hope that the following lines will also resonate in you.