5 Empowering Books for your PhD in 2020

BY: THOMAS R COUGHLIN, PHD

Increasing Your Effectiveness

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

The 7 Habits is not only a book to read during your PhD or postdoc, but is great at any point of life. This book is a must read and receives the highest recommendation because the 7 habits are valuable for many aspects of life including, relationships, work, career, family, and other interests. The book will help you focus on achieving your goals. After you read it, it will be a great reference and tool for empowerment.

Understanding Yourself and A Better Career

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

This is an all encompassing book for PhD career searching. If you are undecided about your career pursuits or want to help identify your strengths and career goals more easily, this book is very good. The decision matrix tool used throughout the process of building your “flower” is one that can come in handy in any decision making capacity. Recommend for building confidence!

PhD Career

Next Gen PhD –
A Guide to Career Paths in Science
By: Melanie V Sinche
(check price 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.

Transferring into Academics

The Professor Is In
By: Karen Kelsky
(check price 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 Increasing Productivity

Getting Things Done
By: David Allen
(check price 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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