Special Interest

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

Why A Postdoctoral Researcher Position Pays Less Than A Librarian Salary

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

Postdocs are not valuable in academia. It’s simple economics. The supply of postdocs in academia far exceeds the demand for them. This makes postdocs essentially worthless in academia. The data don’t lie. Postdocs make less than librarians, mail carriers, and garbage collectors. This means that if you’re an academic postdoc, professionally you are worth less than librarians, mail carriers, and garbage collectors. The end. This can't be denied. The good news is that in industry you are worth much more. The only way to escape a dead end postdoc is to develop an intelligent job search strategy. But before you…

How To Stop Academia From Turning You Into A Weak Minded PhD

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

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…

9 Ways To Manage And Overcome Academic Stress And Transition Into Industry

By: Catherine Sorbara, PhD

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…

An Insider's Guide On How To Write A Thesis When You're Short On Time

By: Dora Farkas, PhD

I thought about quitting graduate school in the beginning of my 6th year. I was almost certain that there was no way that I could graduate that year, or ever for that matter. I started several dead-end projects, and most of my data was inconsistent and did not support any of my hypotheses. I felt stuck and trapped in my own life. The irony was that I actually created this life for myself because I thought that getting a PhD degree was the road to a better life and a career that I would be passionate about. I finally summoned…

7 Ways PhD Students And Academics Can Deal With Stress, Anxiety And Depression

By: Catherine Sorbara, PhD

If you get depressed or anxious as a graduate student or postdoc, don't be ashamed. Getting a PhD and working at the bench is very hard. It requires a high-level of intelligence backed by even more tenacity. If you don’t keep your mindset in check, these things can spin out of control. Remember to take care of yourself and your mind by opening up about your problems, challenging limiting beliefs, celebrating your wins, and going your own way. Do this and you’ll be in a much better place mentally and emotionally. Your career will be in a much better place…

5 Reasons To Ditch Academia Forever This Summer

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

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…

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.