Problems & Opportunities

A problem is an opportunity in workclothes.

I love this phrase. It’s not always possible to remember the wisdom in it: it can be hard to find a solution when you’re stressed, or tired, or overwhelmed. Still, problems can be a great way to develop and to find value, and both reflection and forethought can be useful to stimulate ideas and problem-solving.

In your PhD, what did you learn because of the problems you faced?

When you had challenges, what solutions did you find?

In your prep, if you have only a little time, what could you focus on for the best outcome?

In your viva, if you were challenged, how could you rise to show your talent?

A problem is an opportunity in workclothes.

It’s not always possible to remember this, particularly if you find problems in your research. To begin with don’t sweep them away. Uncomfortable as it may be, sit with your problems, think about them. And then find the value that’s there.

What opportunities have your problems brought to you?

And what opportunities might you then find in the viva?

Perhaps an opportunity to show your talent. An opportunity to show what you learned. An opportunity to show why your research has value.