I wrote a post on my Thinking Futures site today about my mind shifting away from the Tertiary Education Administration Conference – letting go of a past that took up almost 30 years of my life is, as I said in the post, always a bit sad. At the end of the post I wrote:
My PhD will mean there is still a connection over the next few years at least, as managers are one of my target groups for participants. But I’ll be a researcher, not a participant. My mind has moved to a different space now.
This is notable for me because I remember that one of the comments from my confirmation session and in some other discussions in workshops and with supervisors, I was reminded that I was a researcher not a manager. That my role was to research university management not defend it. I always argued that my life as a university manager brought me to this PhD and so was deeply embedded in who I was and why I wanted to do the PhD. I understand what a researcher is, I said, and I was make sure I track my involvement in the PhD.
Only when I wrote this sentence in my other post did I realise that I now understood. Now that I’ve disconnected from my previous role of the university manager emotionally and mentally (not just physically) I can see that I will approach the PhD from now on with a different mindset. As a researcher not a manager doing a PhD. Nice. Finally.