By Mikaela Byrne PhD
During your PhD, you dedicate so much time and energy to completing it that you often forget to think about what life will be like once it’s all done and dusted. Having done my viva in April I was very lucky to already have a job lined up with Colm and Sean in ReagentGenie as a sales and marketing executive.
I always knew that the life of academic wasn’t for me. As much I loved science, I longed for a more dynamic and communication-orientated job bringing new challenges other than simply getting an assay to work.
Life after Academia
In the past 4 months, I’ve learnt so much that I have never regretted my decision to leave academia! Don’t get me wrong, every day is a new challenge and sometimes I doubt myself and wonder if I’m doing a good job. However, deep down I know that my new career is what I’m meant to be doing and I will do a really good job. As Steve Jobs said “the only way to do great work is love what you do”.
Although I work extremely hard during the week, I enjoy seeing my work published on the website or hearing about another satisfied customer – it’s the type of job satisfaction that I love and never fully realised during my PhD. I genuinely look forward to heading into work every day – even with a 2-hour commute!
Post PhD Freedom
One of the best things about life after your PhD is that your weekends are your own. I no longer feel guilty about not spending every living, breathing moment thinking about my thesis or deciding what experiments to set up or how to optimise them.
My best advice to anyone coming to the end of a PhD and starting to think about life post-PhD is: don’t doubt yourself! Sometimes you might feel that you have nothing to offer especially in a non-academic role but given the right environment you will realise the breath of transferable skills you have earned down the long road to a PhD.
So, don’t be afraid of pursuing your goals JUST DO IT. I took the risk and it has paid off for me so why wouldn’t it for you? Leave your comfort zone and you don’t look back.