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What to do with your PhD?

We spend a lot of time talking about getting a PhD but what happens once you have it? While academia is the next natural step for many, it isn't the only route. So what else can you do with your PhD?

Start a business or side-hustle

Sometimes it's not the actual PhD but more the experience of it. Explore how you could start a business or side-hustle based on what you have learned on the discpline or just personally. This is how WorkSmarter* happened!

One of the key things many of our coaching clients describe is the freedom and autonomy of the PhD, so it is not surprising entrepreneurship is the most likely route after academia for PhDs. Freelancing is a great way to start - you'd be surprised that with very niche or limited experience your thoughts, ideas and insights can still be very valuable to help supercharge a business.


Want to round out your experience? Spending a few or many years in industry can be career boosting, especially when you bring it back into the classroom. Students want to learn about the real world as well as the discipline and it certainly enriches learning in many ways. If teaching is a no for you, then industry can help you take your career towards new opportunities and push your knowledge further than you ever imagined. Just because you are not following the standard route doesn't mean that you are not doing the right thing.

Multi-interest/portfolio careers

If you have dived into academia as a returning student, engaged with academia as a part-time, mature postgrad or come with a wealth of experience from your professional career, then post-PhD is an opportunity to revisit or craft your personal brand. It may be that you want to explore adding more variety to your working week, so it's helpful to fit all of your interests under one roof and with clear messaging to external stakeholders. Our personal branding sessions can help you craft the thread that links all of your interests together so it makes it clear to audiences you most want to connect with.

Craft a career as unique as you are...

WorkSmarter* can support with building your personal brand through our courses or through coaching to help you navigate your next steps with ease. Find out more at:

Dr Sam

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