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I will never know the future and perhaps not completing will open up doors that wouldn't exist had I completed...and anyway because of the lack of success in getting job interviews my career counselor has suggested that I leave the phd off my resume for the jobs that are outside of academia (which are the bulk of the positions I have been applying for and don't require the phd as a qualification).I don't feel the need for the work to make a difference is required to get it done and think trying to convince someone it is interesting is wasting my time and theirs.
I am not depressed, although disappointed at my decisions (or lack thereof).
I like the suggestion to talk about my work with an interested person but do not think that my work is interesting in anyway, and have no pretense that the work is contributing to make the world a better place.
Given my current degree is so poorly valued by the market (or maybe it is myself) I have set a deadline of 400 job applications and if I haven't gotten an offer by that time I am going to reinvent myself (such as a job in customer service, which will have the benefit of paying more than my graduate stipend). It went well but they cancelled the position (the grant fell through).
My tails of the job market is winding away from the original question of this post and I need to return to that.
I should add, I have already written 3 chapters and am about half through the fourth.
Dissertation About Motivation
I only need to finish the fourth, revise the 3 earlier and then write an intro and a conclusion.
I know I need to finish, but the only motivation I have is to and that isn't helping me with the daily drudgery.
To Wolfgangs comment: part of me fully agrees with you (that I should finish because of the unknown channels that may open if I complete the phd) but part of me feels the same logic applies if I quit.
I think your suggestions were solid, practical and generally useful.
I have been thinking about your advice for the month since I first posted this, and I unfortunately have to admit these strategies haven't helped me find any motivation to make much progress on my dissertation.