In earlier posts I’ve reflected on my decision to go back to University whilst working fulltime. It’s all part of an aspirational goal of completing a PhD. It’s feeling much more aspirational than real at the moment!
When I was discussing this with various people last year, it was all part of embracing the spirit of Herminia Ibarra’s fantastic book, Working Identities. It seemed straight forward – working 4 days a week with Uni on Mondays – it would be all OK. Like so many things the idea and the reality bare no resemblance.
Work is full on as Professional Services face one of the most challenging, if not the most challenging period in my professional career. Pressure on delivery, commoditisation of services, and an ever downward pressure on fees. That would all be difficult enough without an economic environment in which business is quite appropriately watching every penny.
The university workload is also substantial. Mondays at university involves a full day of contact including a dreaded workshop on statistics, a subject that I struggled at when I undertook my degree in the mid70s. Having not looked at stats since, it’s not a surprise that I am having to learn it all again. Academic writing is also new to me. Whilst I have written all my life this is a new form of writing. To be fair though, I am enjoying the research and writing aspect, it’s just that there is so much to do – 6000 words before 30 June ignoring the exam!
The upshot of all this is that I have no time. It’s a good thing I have a grown up family and an understanding wife who is very supportive of my current endeavors. It also helps the I am an early riser, as it enables me to ride 4 mornings a week and study on the others. It’s also good that I don’t seem to need masses of sleep as I need the evenings to either catch up on work or study.
Our social life has changed. Nights out during the week are by exception. I usually have one evening work function a week so there isn’t t time for much else until the weekend. On the weekend it’s also about fitting study time in, making time for coffee with my wife, going to the Adelaide Central Market and maybe trying to fit the football in.
Whoever said that I should be slowing down must have been kidding!