I started this blog, Life After My Ph.D., in mid-December, 2021.
It’s now July 1st, 2022. So, I’ve been blogging for a little over 6 months now.
Sharing my recent career and life journey has been SO fun and rewarding.
I’ve loved my experience so far!
How It All Started
When I started my blog, I was going through a lot of changes, career-wise.
Not having landed a non-ac/industry job straight out of grad school was really weighing on me.
I always thought that I’d defend my Ph.D. and then immediately leave for an awesome industry job. That just wasn’t how things played out, and I had stayed on as a postdoc while I looked for a job.
My work in the lab was really unfulfilling, and I woke up filled with dread every day.
I needed an outlet and a way to process everything, so I started this blog.
This isn’t the first blog I’ve had. I had a very similar blog in college, and I’ve always loved writing, so the decision to start a blog actually wasn’t something super “out of left field” for me.
Sharing what I knew well, which was my own grad school experience and my journey to get an industry job, came easily.
I launched my Twitter account on the same day that I launched my blog, and simply started interacting with the academic and non-ac community.
Eventually, I landed my medical writing job, and began sharing my personal, mental, internal journey as I exited academia for the “real world”.
The rest is history!
How’s The Growth Of The Blog Been?
This is a screenshot from my Stats page of my blog, showing views and visitors by month. The bar highlighted in red/pink represents my stats for June.
The number of views and visitors on my blog have been steadily increasing!
Do I Make Money From This?
Did I start this blog wanting to become some big blogger influencer that makes a ton of money off of being a content creator or coach? Absolutely not.
I don’t make money from any of this.
I haven’t put AdSense on my blog, worried about SEO, converted readers to subscribers, sold a service, or anything like that.
My goal has always been to simply connect with others going through something similar. And hopefully in the process, help them, and myself, feel less alone.
Getting a job isn’t a walk in the park for most people. Leaving academia isn’t something a lot of people plan on doing, either, even if it was my plan all along. So I naturally found a pretty extensive audience and I’ve had fun sharing my experience purely for the sake of helping others.
I still don’t plan on charging my readers for my insights!
Just know that even though this is my main hobby, and I try to be regular with blog posts, I might have other “life” things pop up, and a full-time job!
But hey, I guess then you know my content is always super honest and shared because I want to.
What’s Up With The Anonymity?
I chose to be anonymous for a few reasons.
Firstly, I wanted to speak my mind as openly as possible, especially as I processed a lot of toxicity related to my previous workplace.
I also didn’t want to be using my real name and picture while I was applying for jobs. There isn’t anything innately wrong or risky about that. But if I was going to be sharing some pretty honest thoughts and my personal journey transitioning from one workplace to another, I thought being anonymous would be good for the overall goal of honesty and transparency I had for my blog.
Another thing is, I’ve always used social media anonymously.
I don’t have an Instagram anymore, but when I did, I totally hid my identity. I never posted pictures of myself, people I knew, or shared my location. It was more like a photo diary.
Same goes for Reddit. And now, my blog and Twitter!
Unfortunately, another big reason is safety. I just feel more secure doing this sort of public communication with a layer of anonymity.
Plus, I think it helps people have fewer biases and see me for my content.
Do I want to reveal my identity at some point? Honestly, not really. There’s just a layer of “what if” that I never have to worry about when I’m anonymous.
Do I think I’ll get more followers and readers if I share photos of myself regularly? Most likely.
But clearly from how I’ve used social media in the past, that sort of validation has never interested me. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it, but it’s just not for me.
My Favorite Things About Blogging
Looking back at the past 6 months, I can think of 3 top highlights.
1. Emails from readers!
I receive a handful of emails from my blog readers and Twitter followers every week.
I legitimately check my firstname.lastname@example.org email way more frequently than my personal email address!
It has been an absolute joy and honor to connect with all sorts of cool academics and students from across the globe. It’s been humbling and interesting to discuss what readers are up to and are concerned about.
My goal is to always provide as much helpful information as I can.
2. Connecting with folks on Twitter.
I didn’t have any plans for my Twitter account when I started it in December 2021. I just wanted a place to share my blog posts and connect with like-minded people.
Admittedly, it was also to do a bit of “market research” to see what people would like to read about!
I ended up encountering a very awesome community there. I wish I had a Twitter account during grad school! There are way more open-minded academics on Twitter than I encountered in grad school.
I might have had an easier time during grad school if I had that outlet and had known people were going through similar struggles.
It’s been really fun to share my insights and see that people appreciate what I share.
3. Being a resource for all.
I get readers from all over the world! Although I try to make it clear I’m only ever talking from my own experience, it’s been so rewarding to hear from folks around the world that something I shared was helpful or useful.
Plus, I’ve been getting a lot more traffic from Google Search recently, so clearly there are people looking up this sort of stuff daily.
I’m really happy that this hobby is turning out to be useful for so many people.
I want to keep up my blogging efforts. I still have a few drafts in the pipeline.
Something I want to get into are infographics. Blog posts are useful because they can be stuffed with information and tips, but infographics are just more visually appealing! I’ve been playing around with Canva recently. It’s very, very fun.
I want to make one about things to consider before choosing to get a Ph.D., and also many more about the industry job search. I’m thinking of turning my blog posts into infographics!
I also want to share a bit more about my life now as a medical writer.
Looking back at when I was a grad student, I remember how “life after the Ph.D.” felt so hard to imagine. Like, I was so overwhelmed with doing everything to finish the Ph.D. that I genuinely couldn’t imagine what it could be like.
I mean, that’s what my blog’s called, so I think I can lean into that a bit more!
Especially as the months pass, and the job search becomes more and more of a distant memory, I’ll need to think of content that’s still interesting and useful for you, but also relevant for me, too!
I’ve had a great time blogging and connecting with you so far, and I’m not going anywhere.
If you’re interested in starting a blog, or have any questions for me, feel free to use the Contact page on my blog to send me an email.
Thank you so much for your support and readership!