I am a PhD student in engineering in an university in Canada. I am close to completion of my thesis but I am not very proud of my work. I have couple of publications from my work, all in decent journals. I feel that I have not utilized the opportunities available to me and wasted time in personal activities that did nothing to my CV.
Owing to my inadequate performance during PhD. I am constantly regretting my decision of pursuing higher studies. I was never a star student. My undergrad was from a very low ranking school where I had received very average grades. However, I somehow got into the top graduate school where too I struggled in getting average grades. My research there was very unimpressive and not a single professor urged me to pursue PhD. My master's advisor even expressed shock when I had asked for his recommendation for applying to PhD school.
However, luck struck again, and I got into a reputed PhD program. My advisor has had a lot of patience with me. She is a hands off kind of person, but she has never complained about my performance till date. Now as I am completing my thesis, I am confused about my future career trajectory.
I feel like I do not belong to academia or research industry as I don't possess the necessary skills (sound technical skills, exceptional analytical skills and focus). I feel like a failure who is in a wrong profession. I really don't know what to do now.
My only reason for pursuing PhD in my current field of study was that I loved the process of researching. I loved finding reason behind why a physical phenomenon occurs. But, I now feel that just love for research is not an adequate reason for doing PhD or master's degree.
In short; I have realized that I am not not suitable for academia or research industry as I don't possess the necessary skills for pursuing research. I should have taken the engineering job after my undergrad as I was never built for a life in research.