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If You’re This Kind Of PhD, Cheeky Scientist Isn’t Worth It

Cheeky Scientist isn’t worth it for you! Yes, you read the title of this article right.

You’re probably wondering why Cheeky Scientist would publish such an article on its own website.

Why would any company ever advocate for anyone to avoid its products?

It seems like a poor business strategy. Am I right?

And is it true that Cheeky Scientist isn’t worth it for some PhDs?

For me, Cheeky Scientist was definitely worth it. I’m not sure I would have escaped academia and found the career I currently enjoy without it.

I’ve recommended Cheeky Scientist to many fellow PhDs. PhDs regardless of subject area, employment gaps, visa needs, target industry position, knowledge of their industry options, and more can and do benefit from the Association and taking its recommended action steps. 

But I don’t recommend it to everyone.

The reality is that Cheeky Scientist’s programs (just like any other product), aren’t for everyone.

There are some PhDs that won’t benefit from Cheeky’s industry job search training.

It’s really not in anyone’s interest to recruit these PhDs to join Cheeky’s programs.

These PhDs won’t be happy; they won’t enjoy the value of their investment.

Cheeky Scientists won’t be happy; the company will have to deal with a dissatisfied customer.

Other Associates won’t be happy; a job search is challenging enough without adding negative people to the mix. In fact, some Associates come to Cheeky Scientist’s private groups in part for help with managing the negative people (and/or negative academics) in their lives that are hindering their job search. The last thing these Associates want is to be exposed to even more negativity. 

Are you one of these PhDs for whom Cheeky Scientist isn’t worth it for anyone involved?   

PhDs Think Critically About Every Decision

Every PhD asks themselves whether joining the Cheeky Scientist Association will be worth it for them. Many go one step farther and direct this question to Team Cheeky!

This situation really isn’t that surprising.

PhDs are trained to be critical. 

They carefully evaluate every decision they make in their research. Everything from what sources to cite to what tools to use to who to suggest as a reviewer for a submitted manuscript is evaluated with scrutiny. 

In fact, PhDs’ ability to think critically is one of the things that makes them so valuable in industry.

According to Indeed, critical thinking adds value to the workplace in 5 ways; these ways include bolstering the knowledge economy and improving decision making.

Critical thinking is also an essential component of top employers’ most valued transferable skills.

And per Forbes, critical thinking has become increasingly important in the workplace, important enough that forecasters expect business leaders to include critical thinking training as part of their Learning and Development (L&D) programs for their employees in the future.

If you’re a PhD, you should absolutely practice and take advantage of your critical thinking skills.

And if you’re looking for support for applying those skills to decide whether or not Cheeky Scientist will be worth it for you, you’ve come to the right place.

5 Types Of PhDs That Shouldn’t Join Cheeky Scientist

I’ll be honest, I took my time deciding whether or not to become an Associate.

I had my reasons why I thought Cheeky Scientist might not be worth it for me. 

Ultimately however, I decided to join.

I now realize that the reasons I had for not joining were invalid.

It’s obvious in hindsight. But at the time, the idea that Cheeky Scientist might not work for me seemed completely reasonable. And there was no article that explained the types of PhDs who should avoid Cheeky Scientist that I could use to determine if I had any of the deal-breakers that would prevent me from benefiting from the Association. 

If you’re in the midst of your own decision about Cheeky Scientist, please let me make it a little bit easier for you.

Cheeky Scientist will be absolutely worth it…

Unless you’re one of these PhDs…

1. You Are Dead Set On Staying In Academia No Matter How Bad Things Get

Study after study has painted a highly unflattering picture of the work environment in academia.

A 2017 study in Research Policy found that one in two PhD students experiences psychological distress and one in three is at risk of a common psychiatric disorder; this prevalence of mental health concerns is higher than the highly educated general population.

And mental health concerns aren’t just for trainees anymore. 

According to a recent Nature article, over two-thirds of faculty in the US indicated that they felt very stressed, and 43% of those on the tenure track have confessed that they have seriously considered leaving academia.

Things have been bad in academia, and they are clearly getting worse.

Meanwhile, PhDs can still find rewarding careers where they can do meaningful work in industry.

There are so many reasons why PhDs should transition into industry and get out of academia.

But there is one reason that PhDs should stay in academia: It’s their dream.

If academia is your dream and you’re committed to sticking it out no matter how bad things get, Cheeky Scientist won’t be worth it for you.

Cheeky Scientist focuses on training PhDs for industry jobs; you won’t find much support in the Association for your academic career goals.

2. You Would Rather Critique A Job Search Than Execute A Job Search

Above, I discussed how PhDs are trained to be critical and why PhDs’ critical thinking skills are valuable in industry.

That said, being too critical is a real possibility.

Analysis-paralysis can be a real struggle for many PhDs.

It’s okay if you’re a PhD who would describe your relationship with analysis-paralysis as a battle. It means that you recognize that a lack of action is a problem and you’re fighting to do something about it.

But unfortunately, there are some PhDs who are comfortable endlessly voicing their critiques.

These PhDs are always talking about problems but never actually do anything about them.

Nothing is spared their negativity, not even things they’ve never bothered to try.

If this is you, then Cheeky Scientist won’t be worth it for you.

To benefit from Cheeky Scientist, you have to take action. You have to be willing to try new approaches in your job search even if you don’t agree with them. If all you do is complain about the methods and suggestions you receive, you’ll never progress in your industry job search.

3. You Feel Your PhD Should Guarantee You A Job In Industry

I never felt that my PhD would guarantee me a job in industry.

My imposter syndrome was so bad, I honestly thought that I wouldn’t be able to land a job at all.

Outside of academia, people would tell me that with my PhD, I could get any job I wanted.

I didn’t believe them.

But there was truth to what they said.

PhDs are incredibly valuable in industry, and a PhD can provide an advantage over other job candidates in the hiring process.

However, no job is guaranteed just because you have a PhD (even though there are some PhDs that feel this way). 

You still have to commit. You still have to do the work. You still have to explain your value. 

PhDs who think their degree should guarantee them a job don’t do these things. 

They act as though employers will go out of their way to find them and offer them a job.

This expectation isn’t realistic.

Employers have better things to do. They’re not going to drop everything else so they can hire you.

If you’re a PhD who feels that your degree should guarantee you a job, then Cheeky Scientist isn’t worth it for you. To transition into industry with anyone’s job search methodology, you need to be willing to approach employers instead of expecting them to come to you. 

cheeky scientist

4. You Think You Are Above The Job Search Process

I’m not sure many PhDs actually think to themselves, “I’m above the job search process.”

But some act like it.

They send out academic CVs instead of industry resumes and expect to get a response. They neglect their LinkedIn profile. They refuse to network, research potential employers, or prepare for interviews.  

If you’re reading this article and you just now realized that the above actions are potentially a problem, I have good news for you.

It’s not too late.

Cheeky Scientists can help you improve your job search strategy. You don’t have to be perfect when you join (I wasn’t), and you don’t have to become perfect in your job search right away (I didn’t). You just have to take steps. With the Association’s support, you’ll make the necessary changes to land your dream industry role.

However, if you still think you can take shortcuts in your job search without compromising potential job offers, then Cheeky Scientist isn’t worth it for you.

5. You’re Looking For The Magical Job Search Fairy To Instantly Deliver A Job For You.

Many PhDs are facing incredibly challenging situations.

Some are about to graduate or their postdoc contract is about to end, but they don’t have a job lined up.

Others are already unemployed.

Some are trapped in a toxic negative academic environment.

If you’re in one of these situations, it’s understandable to feel desperate.

But unfortunately, desperation gets the best of some PhDs.

These PhDs have become so miserable and weak-minded that they don’t want anything that doesn’t promise they’ll get a job quickly with minimal effort on their part. 

In other words, they’re looking for a magical job search fairy (it doesn’t exist).

If you’re looking for such a solution, then the Cheeky Scientist Association isn’t for you.

The Association can help you transition into a top job in industry, but only if you take on the work necessary to execute a PhD-level industry job search.

Concluding Remarks

Clearly, the Association isn’t worth it for everyone. If you meet one of the criteria outlined in this article, it’s probably not worth it for you. However, it has been worth it for thousands of PhDs. If you’re still unsure about joining, you may want to consider the words of Associates who have come before you. Hearing from PhDs you relate to may help you make a decision; it will certainly provide inspiration for your industry job search.

If you’re ready to start your transition into industry, you can apply to book a free Transition Call with our founder Isaiah Hankel, PhD or one of our Transition Specialists. Apply to book a Transition Call here.

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Passion drives everything I do! Being a scientist by training (molecular endocrinology), I tend to analyze (sometimes over-analyze) situations. The learning that comes from this analysis is what my life thrives on. My Ph.D. and postdoctoral work has taught me to streamline my ideas and channel them to ignite the flame of success. My current role in the biotech industry allows me to characterize generic drugs such a monoclonal antibodies before sending theses drugs for clinical trials. Additionally, recently I secured the opportunity to become a branding ambassador of the same company. This is allowing me to use my creative side of things to achieve success beyond the scientific world.

Abha Chalpe, PhD

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