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I handed in my PhD thesis for examination. From reading the examination instructions it appears that if I get my degree, it could be between 6 weeks to a year. It all depends upon the comments I get back from the examiners.

My plan during that time was continue work on my research, get more results and publish more papers. Also, help out other PhD students in their research.

Considering the time-frame is so variable, is there anything else I should be doing or planning? The only advice I was given, was don't take a holiday.

BTW: I am quietly confident that the examination results I will get back will be positive.

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    Do you have a job waiting for you when you graduate? – Paul Mar 14 '13 at 1:56
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    That is not a great idea, as getting a new position can take some time. – Paul Hiemstra Mar 14 '13 at 6:55
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    I do not specifically mean actually getting a new job, but investing some time in scouting around for possible institutes to work, what are popular grant providers, spend time growing your network into the direction where you want to go. You could be lucky, and find an advertised job just after finishing your PhD, but it doesn't hurt to prepare. – Paul Hiemstra Mar 14 '13 at 12:06
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    Don't you have some sort of oral exam/defense/viva to prepare for? Apart from that, I definitely recommend working on getting a job already. I think it's perfectly normal to start applying already before completing your PhD. I actually started my first job before I submitted, but most postdocs probably do require you to have the PhD already by the time you start. – Tara B Mar 14 '13 at 12:40
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    What does your advisor suggest? – JeffE Feb 5 '14 at 0:20
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From reading the examination instructions it appears that if I get my degree, it could be between 6 weeks to a year.

Have you talked with your advisor about the time frame you should expect? University policies often allow for a wide range of possible schedules, to account for differing circumstances. The advisor generally has a clear idea of which part of the range a student is likely to end up in (although of course there are no guarantees).

When you reach the point of graduating, there should be little uncertainty left about the quality or value of your work, because your advisor should have been offering feedback and guidance along the way. If your advisor is genuinely unable to predict whether it will be closer to 1.5 or 12 months more, then it is a worrisome sign (suggesting inexperience or negligence on the advisor's part, or that they suspect something may be wrong with your dissertation).

Considering the time-frame is so variable, is there anything else I should be doing or planning?

I agree with the comments above about job applications. In the cases I am familiar with (mathematics in the U.S.), academic job applications are due around December, which is typically about six months before graduation occurs. This includes both faculty and postdoc applications. Practices may differ in other fields or countries, but it's almost always a good idea to begin looking substantially before you actually graduate.

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