Invisible Work

An audience doesn’t see the preparation and planning that goes into a talk. They might appreciate that work because of the effect it creates in the talk, but they don’t see it. They might not fully understand just how much work has been invested or even know some of the steps that have lead to the successful talk.

Reflecting on the invisible work of a PhD and a thesis is a useful activity for viva preparation. Even though you wrote your thesis, by the time you see the final collection of chapters – and given just how much time has been spent – you can forget what efforts you’ve put in.

You can forget the personal development. The setbacks and successes. The dedication you’ve invested.

To build your confidence for the viva and review what you did, reflect on the invisible work. Remind yourself of all you’ve done to produce your impressive thesis.


(sometimes this even extends to blog writing, when you can write a post and only realise when you come to share it that you have written on the topic with the same title two years earlier!)