I submitted my PhD thesis a couple of months ago and am in the weird place between submission and waiting for the viva. The last 4 years have been hard, and I can no longer face the idea of staying in academia, research, and i'm even fatigued of my subject area (psychology). I've taken up a temp placement in a completely different area since i have no idea what I want anymore but need money and industry experience. It feels very weird to be doing something unrelated psychology, i'm having to learn a new subject area from scratch. I'm still feeling the burnout of the past 4 years and am still coming to terms with the fact i've completely lost all motivation for the goals I pursued the PhD for in the first place, and feeling like there was little point in giving all of that energy towards something I no longer want. I'm tired, confused, sad, struggling to come to terms with figuring out a new path and am dreading preparing for the viva etc as I am so done with it all (but of course i've come too far to give up now). I'm also struggling with knowing my worth within an industry setting because all of the high pay grades they say you can expect post-PhD only make sense to me if I was going into a post that i'm specifically qualified for (e.g., post doc research). I couldn't feel confident applying for a high-paying role which isn't what the PhD trained me for. I've spent 7-8 years studying psychology and learning how to be a researcher, I'm now put off going for any further long-term training because what if I end up deciding its not for me again?
How do people cope with that feeling of 'what now?' after deciding to leave everything you've been working towards? I've heard/read that most people who leave academia/research end up much happier in the long run, but how to cope with the here and now burn out, lack of motivation and the sense of losing one's identity (at least in terms of what you felt you thought you were 'meant' to do), as well as a sense of feeling like there is little reward at the end of the struggle. I guess i'm just feeling a bit lost and wondering what other people's experiences are. Thanks.