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Top tips and tricks for building a business mindset, transitioning during challenging times, surviving academia, and more!

3 Academic Advisors Who Will Ruin Your PhD Career

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

Many academic advisors have too much unregulated power. Most have little to no management experience or training, yet they're often given complete control over the fate of technicians, postdocs, and graduate students. Don’t ignore the warning signs. If an advisor shows signs of being one of the following 3 personality types, stay away.

Two Biggest Reasons Science PhDs Stay Stuck In Academia

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

If you want a non-academic job, stop thinking like an academic. PhDs stay stuck in academia, not because they are incapable of transitioning quickly and successfully into industry, but because they refuse to trade in their outdated academic mindset for a new, industry-trained mindset. Here are the two biggest reasons some PhDs never trade in their academic mindset and, as a result, never transition into industry.

Why You Need To Leave Academia

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

There is immense value in getting your PhD. A PhD is a high-level achievement and it should not just be handed out to anyone. That being said, you should not have to endure harassment or workplace bullying to get a PhD. You should not be forced to get some magical piece of data to graduate when your lab can’t even afford a working centrifuge. You should not live in fear and be pressured to stay in a system that does not have the means of compensate you fairly. You do not have to accept this. The academic career track is…

Dear PhD, You Are Not Alone. Everyone Is Uncertain In Academia.

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

Tenured positions are disappearing fast. This is a problem because tenure is the only thing graduate school is geared to prepare students for. Now that tenure positions are drying up, students and postdocs are left empty handed. If you’re a graduate student or postdoc, you are not alone. Everything that’s holding you back is also holding others back. The key is to know that your’e not the only one going through a hard time. Here are 10 things you should keep in mind as you continue down your academic career path.

7 Advantages PhDs Have Over Other Job Candidates

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

Having a PhD is a significant advantage. PhDs get paid higher than non-PhDs and are in high demand. Trained professionals who know how to create information, not just repackage it, are desperately needed. Entrepreneurship and innovation are at an all time high. These trends will continue as the economy continues to favor innovation. If you have a PhD or are on your way to having one and you’re reading this, the future is yours. The only thing that can hold you back is yourself—by choosing to be one dimensional and choosing to ignore the less objective soft skills that will…

Escape Bench Work And Finally Get Paid More Than Your Undergraduate Friends

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

Even if you want to stay in academia, you should NOT limit yourself to staying in academia. You should identify your transferable skills, develop new skill sets, and position yourself for success at or away from the bench. Whether or not you want to transition into a research, applications, sales, marketing, management, or some other position in industry, the time to start preparing is now. Here are 3 things you can do to prepare.

If You’re A PhD And Do This, You’ll Never Get A Job

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

The number of PhDs who will have a business job at or soon after graduation is below 40%. And the number of Life Sciences PhDs who will have a business job at graduation is below 20%. The truth is most PhDs will never get a job in business even though they’re doing all the right things. The problem is they’re doing the wrong things too. The key to starting a great career in business learning what not to do. Here are 5 things to avoid.

How Smart PhDs Use Their Transferable Skills To Get High-Paying Jobs

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

If you want a high-paying job, you have to come to terms with one simple fact--selling products makes money. Buying and selling is the transaction that drives all business. The closer a particular job is to that transaction, the more money the person doing that job gets paid. This is why most big companies pay their salespeople in the field more money than they pay anyone else. The great news for PhDs is they know a lot about the equipment, reagents, and technologies that companies sell. This knowledge is useful, not just in the biotechnology and biopharmaceutical industries, but in…

What To Do When Your Academic Advisor Mistreats You

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

If your academic advisor is treating you poorly, don’t just work harder and harder in the false hope that he will be nice to you or respect for it. The hard truth is that some advisors will treat you like dirt simply because they think it will make you work harder. Stop chasing the approval of an advisor who treats you unfairly. And stop being afraid of conflict. You’re not going to lose your position. The only way that you’ll lose it is by doing nothing and letting the system overpower you. Don’t let this happen. Instead, follow these 9…

How To Write A PhD Thesis And Get A Job At The Same Time

By: Dora Farkas, PhD

Many PhD students struggle with getting interviews simply because they cannot articulate through their resumes and cover letters the value that they would bring to a company. If you refuse to actively explore career opportunities in graduate school, it will be very tough to market yourself well during your job search. This is because you will not have a good understanding of what companies are looking for. Given that it takes 6-12 months to find a PhD level position (even longer if you have no professional network), the time to start exploring career paths is now. The following 10 strategies…

A PhD Job Search—What’s Normal And What’s Not

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

A job search is not a lab experiment. It’s not a thesis. You shouldn’t learn it through trial and error and it’s not something you should do alone. If you’re looking for your first industry job, the smartest thing you can do is stop guessing what to do. The answers and best practices are already there. There is a right way and a wrong way to perform a PhD job search. Some experiences are normal while others are less than normal. Here are 10 things that will help you determine which experiences are normal and which are not.