Wednesday, 13 July 2011

It's that graduation/job-hunting/masters-applying time of the year again

The sun is shining (at least, it is in Swansea). Graduation ceremonies are beginning. This is the cue for lots of forced/shocked/concerned/drunk smiles in small and large group photos of people you'll never see or hear from again. That's if my experience is anything to go by.

Recently, I stumbled upon my BA and PhD graduation photos. Of my 30 or so peers at my BA graduation in 1993, I've only kept in touch with just one. And by 'kept in touch' I mean, 'have her email address' and 'we catch up at conferences from time to time'. All of the others didn't even make it to being Facebook friends, mainly because FB wasn't invented way back in 1993. At my PhD graduation in 1996 it was easier to keep in touch with everyone because, well, I was the only one from my faculty at that particular ceremony. Either that or everyone was mysteriously doing laundry that day ...

In any event, it got me thinking: what must it be like nowadays to be leaving the safe surrounds of academe and to be embarking on a new career? Perhaps a new career in research? What words of advice might I humbly proffer someone considering a career in behavioural research?

Well, here's a link (PDF) to some great pearls of wisdom from Prof. Steve Hayes, co-founder of RFT and ACT, on "13 rules of success for graduate students".

And here's a link to the wonderful blog of Prof. Dorothy Bishop, developmental neuropsychologist at Oxford, in which she summarises how to survive in psychological research.

At a time when the world is producing more PhDs than ever before ("The PhD Factory"), we all need as much help and advice as we can get...