An open letter to my students VII: becoming a therapist- the first few years
After taking a PRN job with a local hospital I had to stop by the HR office to sign some paperwork and get my orientation dates. As I sat in the HR rep’s office signing my life away I decided to ask, “hey, so I’m getting my PhD in about a month. What’s the bump for having a PhD?” “Bump?” “Yeah. Like pay increase.” “You mean like money? There’s no bump.” “No bump?”
Me questioning the meaning of life“Well, you know, we can’t bill on a degree.” A little bit of me died that day. Of course not, I thought because, you know, cash rules everything around me.
I’ve had several students ask me, “should I go on and get a PhD?” When I ask “why do you want one?” I never get a straight answer. My impression is they like the idea of having a PhD, as though it’s some sort of life power up. I think what they are really looking for is a boost for their self esteem. I’m sure if I knew them better that would make perfect sense given their background. However there are cheaper and less painful ways to boost your self esteem, like eating ice cream or doing elicit drugs.