Foresight turns into hindsight two years after finishing my PhD and reflecting on what I've learned in Corporate R&D.
"I was not very self-motivated. I had trouble focusing for extended periods of time. I had mediocre organizational skills. I rarely prioritized things properly. I often took shortcuts at the expense of quality of work. I hemorrhaged time toward “writing” that was horribly inefficient resulting in little free time to be social. I knew if I moved on to a post-doc and professor or independent researcher position, this attitude would carry over and put my long-term career in jeopardy."
“Write 300 pages about everything you’ve done in the last five years. You have three months. See you then.”
No one specifically said these words to me, but they might as well have. Writing a PhD thesis is not just technically difficult but a true test of one’s inner motivation, focus, fortitude and perseverance. It felt like this massive amorphous and ambiguous blob which I needed to shape into a body of work, but any time I pushed one section into place the rest would start spilling out and need immediate attenti