This post by Dr Anaise Irvine first appeared on Thesislink in July 2015.
It’s easy to get bogged down in the stress of a big research project. So today, Thesislink brings you a page of positivity. Today, I remind myself (and you) why we do what we do. Time for some sunshine.
My job is to think!
So many people are bored in their jobs. I go to work, and I learn things. I think about stuff. I get to follow interesting leads and test out ideas. Sure, there might be grunt work sometimes, but on the whole, being an intellectual investigator is pretty darn stimulating.
I am the creator of knowledge!
No-one else can do exactly what I do. No-one knows exactly what I know. My brain is such an awesomely powerful and creative engine that I have been invested with the responsibility of generating new knowledge. Using nothing more than some existing written work and maybe a few bits of equipment, I gift new information and understandings to humanity. My name will be on a thesis in libraries and databases. In gold freakin’ lettering.
I’m likely to earn a mint!
No matter where in the world I go once I graduate, I’ll have great earning potential. In NZ, the salary impact of a research degree is quite significant. Victoria University of Wellington surveys their graduates every year and recently reported these encouraging figures on average graduate salaries:
Source: Victoria University of Wellington Graduate Destinations Report:
Graduates 1 July 2011 – 30 June 2012
I’m making a difference for future generations!
It’s very well established that parental education positively impacts upon the educational achievement (and behaviour, and health) of children. In fact, my whole family can be proud of my achievements. And as a higher degree earner, my education benefits so many more people than just my own family.
When I teach, I occasionally get to witness the opening of minds – the “aha” moment when a student understands something. For every moment I witness, there are a hundred other awakenings that are invisible or that burn slowly, but that make a student brighter, more informed, and more sensitive to the world around them. They bring the benefits of their education to their families, and so the positive impact ripples out to thousands of people.
When I apply my research experience in my career, I promote evidence-based action. I know how to perform my job in a way that is careful, accurate, effective, and ethical. I’m primed to succeed.
In everyday life, my research background makes me an interesting and thoughtful conversationalist. I bring a high level of discourse wherever I go.
My investment in my brain helps my progeny, my students, and my community. Win win win.