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Too many PhDs and PhD students become mentally weak in academia.

These highly intelligent individuals get caught in the vicious circle of accepting less than they’re worth and feeling entitled to something better. Academia can either be a launching pad for your personal and professional growth, or a breeding ground for negativity, isolation, and despair. Ultimately, it’s your call. You must decide what you will tolerate in academia and what you will not tolerate. What will your boundaries be? What will you accept for yourself? What are you doing to improve your situation? How you answer these questions will determine whether or not you become mentally weak in academia. Here are 5 keys to staying mentally tough and using academia as a launching pad for your professional success.

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Things may be depressing in academia, but you don’t have to be depressed.

Academia is no longer able to provide PhDs with jobs, funding, or even support. But there are many things you can do to avoid academic stress. You can make a decision to stop giving everything to a system that has nothing to offer you in return. You can decide to leave this broken system and transition into a non-academic career. This decision alone can make you feel better. At the same time, you can work to develop a kind of immune system against the doom and gloom in academia. The only way to develop this immune system is to set up some new positive habits for yourself. Here are 9 habits that will help you overcome academic stress.

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The majority of PhD students and postdocs do not consider nonprofit work an option for them.

They believe that doing nonprofit work means you don’t make any money. As if doing meaningful work and being paid well for it is impossible. Or, they believe that nonprofit work is not significant. As if the phrase “nonprofit” means not-good-enough or not-important or less-than. The truth is the nonprofit sector is very powerful and full of great job opportunities. If you’re a PhD who wants to have a bigger impact on the world, consider pursuing a career in the nonprofit industry. Nonprofits are in need of talented PhDs with advanced knowledge and skills who can think critically, devise new ideas, and apply their expertise to solve big problems. Many of these nonprofit organizations value research and see such work as necessary to advance their mission. Here are 4 tips for getting a nonprofit job in industry.

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The recruiting process is an important part of transitioning into industry and should not be ignored.

Doing your homework on the company and position you’re interested in is not enough to secure a non-academic job. You also need to do your homework on the recruiting agency that will best fit your needs. You need to build relationships with these agencies and, more importantly, with individual recruiters. The key is that most recruiters are NOT going to seek you out. You must seek them out. You must send emails, cold call, and follow up over and over until you’ve built a strong relationship. Only then will you become known in the recruiting world and start having job offers sent to you personally. Here are 5 tips for successfully building relationships with biotech and biopharmaceutical recruiters.

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