This week was quite a productive one, but not in the way that I had initially intended it to be. On Monday I attended my university’s ‘Submitting Your Thesis’ and ‘Life After Your Thesis’ seminars. This full day workshop got us all thinking about our final stages of candidature and what we were planning to do once we had submitted. Did we want to continue on into academia and research and teaching, take our research into industry or government, or something completely removed from our thesis field? I have always felt that I wanted to find a way to combine teaching, research and creative practice. There are many downsides to not focusing on just one, for instance taking a full-time academic position rarely leaves time for your own creative practice (as evident by many of the lecturers in my faculty). It is often hard to convince others that your own creative work can be research output. This is the struggle that many creative practice academics face on a daily basis within the broader university setting.
So whilst I do not know specifically what I want to do (career-wise) after I have submitted, I know that I don’t want to just join the rest of the herd into academia and forget why I undertook my research in the first place – to discover news ways of thinking about screenwriting, audiences and the future of media. Many of the things I have learned I now want to explore for myself and obviously I would love to take the screenplay I have written for the doctorate and try and get it produced. There are also other projects in the pipeline that have had to take a back seat to the thesis that I would love to produce. But I also want to travel, maybe work overseas, start a family at some stage and hey, it might even be nice to hang out with my family and friends.
So I have completed a career plan, which we began in the workshop. I wrote up my plan, set goals, researched important networking and publishing information, and now I have a strong sense of where I need to position myself to gain the best possible advantage of making the career that I want, a reality. This has helped tremendously, but now I have to get back into writing the thesis, which is this weekend’s focus. I still have much to write up and as you can see from the title, less and less time to complete it. 159 days… we will see!