Academia is broken. The time to transition out of it is now.
The academic career track is now a dead end career track. Hiding from truth will not protect you from this future. The only way to protect yourself is to take steps to change your situation right now. If you don’t take action, you will be one of the tens of thousands of poor, unhappy postdocs who are piling up all over the world. But the biggest reasons to transition out of academia are not in the numbers, they’re in the day-to-day lifestyle that PhDs have to endure. Ignoring these facts will not make them go away. Here are the 5 biggest reasons to leave academia now.
Why are you a good scientist?
Are you an ethical scientist? What could you bring to other companies? Imagine getting these questions in rapid fire succession at the very beginning on an industry interview. How would you answer them? By challenging yourself to think about how you would respond to these and other tough interview questions, you will put yourself ahead of the majority of PhD job candidates who are just winging it and hoping for the best. Here are 6 tough interview questions you should know.
By focusing on how to network in today’s economy and academic environment, you can put yourself ahead of the competition and get the industry position of your choice. The key is being strategic in your job search, following up properly, and surrounding yourself with the right people. Developing your interpersonal skills will be vital to your success and will become much more important than your technical skills. Follow these 8 critical networking tips for advancing your career as a PhD.
Learning to follow up properly is the most important thing PhDs can do to get an industry job faster. Instead of showing up to networking events without a plan, start creating specific goals for each event and following up with the people you meet afterwards. Instead of leaving an interview and waiting weeks to hear back, start sending thank you emails the very same day and personal letters the next day. Here are other follow up strategies you should be using.
PhD students often let themselves get obsessed with making one or two people happy. They fight for the approval of a select few who will never treat them as equals instead of working to build relationships with positive people who will like them just the way they are. They allow negative people not only to stay in their lives, but to influence their decisions. This is a mistake for two essential reasons. First, positive people will not come into your life until the negative ones are gone. Second, you cannot do positive and meaningful work with negative people dragging you down.