Juggling Side-Interests, Graduate School, and Your Personal Life During your PhD With Gertrude Nonterah

My experience going through graduate school was mostly of graduate students being fully funded and working exclusively on their PhD, at least until the time came to write their thesis. But this is not the reality for everyone and in all domains of research. Today, I’m bringing you a conversation with Gertrude Nonterah about her journey so far, about her side-hustles during graduate school, abouth her life balance and time management life hacks, and about how she juggles her professional, personal, and family life, today.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How to start freelancing as a writer and as a social media manager
  • The key to finding those two magic hours in your day to push your side-projects forward while juggling work and family
  • The power of having a blog for showcasing your writing/content creation abilities
  • Gee’s favorite productivity hacks/tools
  • The importance of highlighting your hard skills and your soft skills, during your graduate studies
  • How humility and just getting your foot in the door can help launch a fulfilling career journey

Do you enjoy Papa PhD? Leave me a comment here – one short sentence is enough! And be sure to include your Twitter handle – that way, I can thank you personally!

Gertrude Nonterah

Dr. Gertrude (Gee) Nonterah is a biomedical scientist, college instructor, science communicator and author.

Gee is the Host of The Create and Prosper Podcast where she interviews experts and shares tips on how to make money as a writer and author. Gee also started The Bold Biomed, a YouTube channel that provides tips on the PhD life, career and productivity for students in the biomedical sciences. When she is not doing any of these things, Gee enjoys a good spy movie.

Thank you, Gertrude!

If you enjoyed this interview with Gertrude, let her know by clicking the link below and leaving her a message on Twitter:

Click here to thank Gee Nonterah on Twitter!

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Gertrude’s pearls of wisdom:

“Family and work is usually not the only two facets of life. You have so much more, you know? I would say – find two hours in your day or if all you have is an hour, find an hour of your day, and during that time, focus. I always used to tell people that every business that you can think about – the coffee shop in your local city or your local town has working hours, right? They usually have working hours posted. So set working hours for yourself. It’s hard – personally I don’t think I’m the most disciplined person, but I learned to work for 1 hour sprints and to focus on my work, so I shut off all social media, I’m not checking YouTube or anything. I just focused on my work, because I knew what I wanted. So, knowing what you want and setting aside time to do it is so critical.”

“Like David said, there’s a hidden job market. There’s an estimated 70% of jobs in the hidden job market. That means that they actually go to people’s referrals, rather than getting posted publicly. So you don’t want to just rely on publicly posted jobs. You can also access jobs that are never, ever posted by knowing people. You don’t have to be everybody’s best friend, but nowing the people is really helpful.”

“I think the biggest question for a lot of people, even at the undergraduate level, is “I’m getting this biology degree, I’m getting this PhD, but, really, I don’t want to work in a lab, or I don’t want to teach. I want something that pays well. Because, you know, notoriously, academia doesn’t pay well. It’s so funny that that’s the path that everybody thinks they need to pursue, yet it doesn’t pay so well… But, you know, if you have a calling for it, then that’s fine.”

This episode’s resources:

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