Reader Opinion: The PhD lament and antidote

by phdscam

To do what I love
To do it for the rest of my life
To work hard
To endure
To discover
To publish a lot of papers in Nature & Science
To win competitive fellowships
To create meaningful impact
To work in top companies
To become a director of R&D
To change the world
To rub shoulders with Nobel laureates and other talents
To learn from experts in my field
To be smart and intelligent
To earn the respect of the society

All these “promises” were programmed into my mind all my life
By my parents
By the teachers
By the professors
By the school
By the society


Failed me
Hurt me
Frustrated me
Handicapped me
Exploited me
Made me powerless
Made me utterly worthless
Made me a loser

For someone’s selfish needs!

I change my life’s beliefs
In the fourth decade of my life
And you should too
Here it is

Instead of showing off my PhD
Instead of doing what I am passionate about
Instead of doing what I love
Become a person of value
In the commercial job market
To the employer
Pretend not to be a loser

Have to start again
Sorry! There’s no way around this
Because developing skills valued in the market is more important than:
Three letters behind my name
Countless postdocs
A laundry list of publications

Let me repeat:
Skills valued in the market triumph PhD, postdoc, and publications
Drill this into your memory
You will become SUCCESSFUL!