Questions of becoming or ‘being’ a student – or what happened to my self-efficacy?

I have been working in my job for quite a long time now. I feel confident In my ability to perform  well and manage any task at least to an acceptable standard. I think I am a reasonable people manager and that my team feels they can trust me and that I have their best interest at heart. Overall I think I am proficient in the behaviours and practices required in my profession.

However that does not apply to my role as a student. I feel very unsure of what is expected of me and what are acceptable things to say and do. It is like entering a new country where you need to observe the natives to find out how they interact and communicate. The Teams meeting the other day in which one of the other PhD students presented her research is a good example of this lack of knowledge. The first thing everyone did after the presentation was to thank the presenter and make a positive comment. Only after this, they proceeded to ask their question or add an observation. I felt slightly embarrassed for my lack of adherence to that practice as I spoke before everyone else and asked my question straight away without first following the custom. 

Being a slow reader – it takes my quite a while to read books and articles. This is not going to make studying any easier as reading and writing is the one thing I will do most. Note taking is also something I have never mastered, how to condense content so that it still retains its original meaning but is not so short that it stops making sense.

I finished Women’s Career Development Throughout the Lifespan : An International Exploration, edited by Jenny Bimrose, et al., Taylor & Francis Group, 2015. and found it is really good and enlightening. It gave me a lot to think about. Especially Chapter 7 that outlines the methodology and methods used, was great. I found the description of the data analysis very useful and it is something that will help me when I get to my data collection phase. I am beginning to think that a grounded theory approach is the most appropriate for the research I want to do. I am aware that there is a lot of research on women and career planning; a lot of this looks at women in professional careers such as IT, law, engineering, accounting, medicine, architecture, management but I want to look at women who work in grocery retail, so a population that  earns wages between £7 – £9 per hour. I would expect that their experience of work is very different to the experience of a professional who earns well above the living wage.

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