Why do you go through all of this effort to earn the advanced degree? Each day in the back of your mind a quiet voice says “Give up”, “Take the day off” or “Just rest a while”. Seductive and quiet voices in the back of your head urge you to put all this freaking work off and just have fun. That part of your mind will point out everyone in a three square block area who seems to be having more fun than you.
Our website seeks to provide a shield against some of that negativity. One way to do that is to keep in your mind the rewards for completing your doctoral degree. It starts the day you graduate when you put on your gown and doctoral stole. It gets better when the 7 or 8 of you are guided to your own waiting area. Later you are guided to the front of the seating area right in front of the stage. Each university does it differently but they do this graduation process well.
Please take part in the graduation ceremony since it changes the way that you think about yourself. You will feel special and the process locks in changes to your consciousness. It changes your self-perception and starts to wean you from the “I am a student” mentality and prepares you for the world. There are strong reasons for why we have certain rituals. This step is important to drive into your mind the fact that you have passed a huge milestone in your life. You become different by taking part in the graduation process. Various successful docs talked to me about visualizing this milestone in their future and focusing on it over and over when they were hit with doubt and wanted to quit. They would see themselves walking down the aisle with the diploma and they would do this over and over and pull it into existence.
Once you have your new title/degree people begin to treat you differently. Even folks who worked with you before will over time listen more closely when you speak. The change is even more dramatic in the new areas of your life. You arrive as Dr. Smith and folks tend to listen to you and to respect your input. Now you are only an expert in your own field so remember to not share your opinion in every area. Listen and ask a lot of questions and good ideas will come from the group. If you open up the input from everyone in the meeting all sorts of ideas and solutions come out. Soon people will talk about the fact that the meetings/projects that you are involved with always seem so productive. Your training will allow you to listen and make sensible suggestions.
Your degree is a start to where you want to be in life. It will open doors and get you invited to key meetings. Co-workers and managers will seek your input. Most people will honor your title and at some level realize that this person (you) has worked very hard to reach a goal most other folks never attain. Stay humble and be polite to others and you will impress many other people. In turn most people will shower you with respect and opportunity. Your ability can shine through in a quiet and polite manner when you do a lot of listening and asking questions. This will draw others to you and can make your professional life a lot of fun.
A few folks told me stories about new docs that were so full of their own ability that they treated others badly and had to be the center of all attention. That can have bad consequences and reduce any honor being shown to you. You can actually drive project members, co-workers and managers away from you. The best advice I can give you comes from the Bible in Proverbs where it says something about even a fool looks wise when he speaks very little.
I want to make sure that you get this concept down. I was sort of one of those all attention centered on me types of new docs for a while. (Yes painful memories) It did not last long but I would rather my readers miss out on that part of post-graduation.
You have learned solutions to many problems and you have been trained in how to find answers. Working cooperatively with others and involving them in finding solutions will make you a respected expert and result in many folks honoring you for your expertise and skill. So much good is in the future for each of you. I wish you could see the honor, excitement, and challenge that is in your future. Finish your degree and move into this new realm of life.
Mind your goals,
National Doctoral Students Association