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Your PhD Is Not Enough – 7 Articles To Increase Your Business Acumen And Get Hired In Industry

Written by Jeanette McConnell, Ph.D.

When I finished my PhD, I was very anxious and scared about getting a job.

I felt unprepared for the “real” world.

For about 20 years, I had been calling myself a student — and, that was about to end.

I was excited to leave academia and get a job, but I was unprepared.

All of my skills revolved around academia and I was sure that no one would want to hire me because of that.

I had no business skills.

I went to a few interviews and everyone was talking about things that I had no idea about.

Sales, marketing, clients, customers, leads — it was overwhelming.

They don’t teach these things in graduate school.

When I landed my first job, the business concept of learning only intensified.

I was constantly playing catch-up.

I really wish that I had taken the time to learn more about how businesses work before I started working in industry.

It would have been a much smoother transition if I had a little bit of MBA knowledge.

Why Having Business Know-How Makes PhDs Highly Desirable Employees

Why Having Business Know-How Makes PhDs Highly Desirable Employees. Cheekyscientist.com

Your technical skills as a PhD might get you in the door for an interview or a phone screen, but it’s not enough to get you hired.

To be the one candidate who gets hired, you must have a solid understanding of business.

According to a survey by LinkedIn, business intelligence was on the top 20 list of in-demand skills.

When companies have a pool of talented job candidates, having a solid understanding of business can make you the top candidate.
Consultancy UK reported that 41% of Chief Human Resources Officers cited business acumen as the most lacking skill when sourcing new talent.

And, according to BTS, 65% of business leaders said that a lack of business acumen strongly inhibits the execution of company strategies.

Bottom line, businesses need employees who are business savvy.

If you develop strong commercial and business acumen, you can be a great asset to a company.

Your PhD makes you a highly desirable candidate.

And, a solid business understanding will put you right to the top of the list.

Cheeky Scientist Top 7 Business Acumen Articles

Cheeky Scientist Top 7 Business Acumen ArticlesWe’ve said it before, your PhD alone is not enough.

A company wants to hire an employee who will make the company more successful.

That might seem obvious.

But, how do you show a potential employer that you will add value to the company?

Not by flaunting your degree.

But rather, by demonstrating your understanding of the industry and their business goals.

They want someone with a keen business acumen who has a good understanding of the technical side of things, but can also make strategic business decisions.

You can be that candidate.

All you have to do is invest in yourself and increase your business acumen.

Here are the top 7 Cheeky Scientist articles to help PhDs become a top job candidate by expanding your business acumen...

Stop Getting Rejected For PhD Jobs By Learning These 7 Business Concepts
You don’t learn about business concepts during your PhD.
 
It’s just not a thing that PhD programs value.
 
 
But, you need to have a keen business sense to thrive in industry
 
So, it’s up to you to make the effort and seek out the information you need.
 
The concepts here are a great place for you to start learning more about business.
 
Here are 7 business concepts that, once you fully understand them, can completely transform your job search...
My Career Took Off When I Finally Ditched My Limited Academic Mindset
As a PhD, you have probably spent a huge portion of your adult life in academia.
 
And, this experience has influenced the way you think — negatively.
 
You have to actively shed your academic mindset because it will hold you back as you try to succeed in industry.
 
Getting rid of your academic mindset and starting to think like an industry professional is an essential part of your transition into industry.
 
Here are 7 ways you can shed your academic mindset and adopt a business mindset to set yourself up for success in industry...
Employers Stopped Seeing Me As “Just An Academic” When I Started Attending Earnings Calls
You’re ready to leave academia behind.
 
You’ve realized that in industry, you can truly be valued as a PhD.
 
But, how do you make yourself a desirable job candidate?
 
How do you make yourself stand out as the best job candidate?
 
By demonstrating your knowledge of industry and proving that you are more than “just an academic.”
 
Here are 5 reasons why you should attend earnings calls as a way to boost your business acumen and get hired...
5 Things I Wish I Knew About Stock Options Before I Signed My Employment Contract
As a PhD, you can dissect a 12-page paper filled with academic jargon.
 
You can summarize this paper for someone who has no technical background.
 
You’re intelligent.
 
But, reading through your employment contract probably feels like reading in a foreign language.
 
It’s a whole new technical language that most PhDs have not been introduced to — it’s confusing.
 
So, you must take the time to learn the basics of business and financial jargon.
 
This includes learning about stock options.
 
Here are 5 (basic) things I wish someone had told me about stock options before I took my first industry position...
Learn These 5 Basic MBA Concepts To Get Hired In Industry.
Working in industry is very different from working in academia.
 
The structure, the culture, the people, the goals, etc. are all different in industry.
 
If you don’t understand these concepts, you will come across as unprepared and naive.
 
You will be a candidate that no one wants to hire.
 
But, you can change that.
 
You can demonstrate that you are the best job candidate by understanding a few key MBA concepts.
 
Here are 5 MBA concepts for PhDs looking to boost their job search and land a management position in industry...
PhD Jobs: How To Transition From Academia Into Business
The truth is that even if you work in a company’s R&D Department, at the bench, your goal is going to be to create new products that sell, or to produce data that backs up the products your company sells.
 
The end.
 
This might seem obvious, but a lot of academics fail to understand that every business is driven by the bottom line — or, by profit.
 
No profit, no company.
 
Knowing and accepting this fact is the first step to successfully transitioning from academia into business.
 
Here are 15 more tips on how PhDs can successfully transition from academia into business...
strong business acumen skills | Cheeky Scientist | non academic phd in business
Business acumen doesn’t mean the ability to say smart-sounding business words like, “costs of goods sold” or “rolling forecast.”
 
It refers to a deep understanding of current industry trends.
 
The more you understand the trends in your industry, the better you can handle business situations.
 
Industries are highly innovative and evolve at a rapid pace.
 
To be successful, you need to be aware of these trends and the implications each trend has on a specific project.
 
You must get in a habit of researching new trends and staying up-to-date on the latest news across the biotech and biopharma sectors.
 
The time to start developing and leveraging your expertise in industry is now.
 
Here are 3 top industry trends to help you develop your business and commercial acumen skills for transitioning into the non-academic career of your choice…

Your PhD & business-acumen makes you a highly desirable candidate. CheekyScientist.com As a PhD, you already have the high-level thinking and technical skills companies want — you just need to increase your knowledge of the business world and learn the concepts that drive businesses.

No matter what role you are targeting in industry, every position in an organization will require business knowledge.

The better you understand key business concepts, the more desirable you become to companies.

You cannot think like an academic and rest on the accomplishments of your PhD if you want to succeed in industry. It just won’t work.

Instead, you must adopt a business mindset and take the time to learn key business concepts.

To learn more about how to write a killer resume and other essential tips on how to land your dream job in industry, including instant access to our exclusive training videos, case studies, industry insider documents, transition plan, and private online network, get on the waitlist for the Cheeky Scientist Association.

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Jeanette McConnell, PhD

Jeanette McConnell, PhD

Jeanette is a chemistry PhD turned science communication enthusiast. During her PhD she realized that her favorite part about research wasn’t actually doing research, but rather talking and writing about it. So, she has channeled her passion for discovery into teaching and writing about science. When she isn’t talking someone’s ear off about her latest scientific obsession, you’ll find her on the soccer field or reading a good sci-fi novel.
Jeanette McConnell, PhD