5 Empowering Books for your PhD in 2020

BY: THOMAS R COUGHLIN, PHD

For Getting an Edge and Increasing Your Effectiveness

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
By Stephen R. Covey
(Buy on Amazon)

If you don’t read this book during your PhD, you are seriously missing out. It is one of the best ways to get an understanding and perspective of what you get up to on a daily basis. This book can help you get out of the office by 5pm and into a better routine. It can help you in your relationships and impact you for the rest of your life. Overall, this book will help you focus on achieving your goals!

For Understanding What You Should Do for Your Job

What Color is Your Parachute? 2020
By Dick Bolles
(Buy on Amazon)

I’ll be the first to admit that if you kind of know yourself you don’t need to read this. It’s really great for identifying strengths and getting a sense of what you should focus on and more clearly identify a path forward. It’s got some great nuggets of advice. So if you can get a second hand copy or buy it for your lab. It’s got some great worksheets to go through and identify your key strengths So go for that! It’s not the answer, but it helps!

For Those Entering the Job Market with a PhD

Next Gen PhD –
A Guide to Career Paths in Science
By: Melanie V Sinche
(Buy on Amazon)

Next Gen PhD is a great guide through the career exploration process. Having personally obtained this book during my postdoc, I found the first chapter very helpful in identifying my strengths and aligning them with a career I wanted to pursue.

For Those Trying to Get a Job in Academics

The Professor Is In
By: Karen Kelsky
(Buy on Amazon)

The Professor Is In is a very beneficial read for those considering the professor path as well as open to non-academic careers. The book acts as a guide to assess your PhD and discusses some of the reasons for obtaining a postdoc. The major value of the book is delivering you a reasonable guide to preparing for the academic application and interview process.

For Those Wanting to Increase Productivity

Getting Things Done
By: David Allen
(Buy on Amazon)

This is a down to earth and highly practical self-help book if you feel like your stuck without making progress. One key approach that Allen explains is that “…most people are so embroiled in commitments on a day-to-day level that their ability to focus successfully on the larger horizon is seriously impaired. Consequently, a bottom-up approach is usually more effective.” The GTD method involves a 5-stage system: collecting anything that commands our attention, processing, organizing the results, reviewing the options, and taking action.


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