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Is Cheeky Scientist A Scam? Who Shouldn’t Join The Association

Is Cheeky Scientist a scam?  

Has anyone here had any experience with the Cheeky Scientist Association?

Is Cheeky Scientist worth it? 

What’s the deal with Cheeky Scientist?

Is Cheeky Scientist legit?

PhDs are trained to be critical

In academia and in life, every decision they’re faced with is made with extreme prejudice.

Examining facts, collecting resources, and determining what is a trustworthy source of information is one of their biggest strengths. 

PhDs have superior critical thinking skills, so it makes sense for them to carefully consider any investment – even if it’s an investment in themselves.

And in almost every instance, a PhD’s ability to think critically is one of the things that makes them so valuable in industry.

If you’re a PhD, a healthy amount of skepticism is important, too. 

That’s why you landed here, on this page. Looking for answers to your questions about what steps to take next in your career.

Wondering if Cheeky Scientist can help, or if this is just another fly-by-night service here to prey on you in your darkest hour. 

You wouldn’t be the first. We’ve worked with thousands of PhDs in transition over the past decade.  Most of them have had the same questions and concerns as you do. 

You’re in good company.

And you should be asking these questions.

So if you’re trying to decide if Cheeky Scientist will be worth it or not, you’ve come to the right place.

And – spoiler alert – Cheeky Scientist might not be right for you.

A close-up, cropped shot of two hands examining and writing on a page.

Cheeky Scientist Isn’t For Everyone

For every 100 men and women that Cheeky Scientist has supported in their transition from academia to industry, there are 2 or 3 that are on a crusade.

In their minds, it’s a noble crusade.

They’re sure that they’re going to save vulnerable, gullible PhDs from paying for what should be free.

These valiant warriors, like many of our members, are unemployed. They have some time to spare.

They could be using that time to look for work, but instead, they’re sticking their neck out for…

…dumber PhDs?

PhDs that aren’t capable of making their own decisions?

The problem with these folks and their evangelizing is that, while it may be well-intentioned, there is no villain to unmask.

No scheme to unravel.

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

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

And Cheeky Scientist is just as leery of these PhDs as they are of us. It’s really not in anyone’s interest to partner up with someone or something you don’t trust.

Those PhDs won’t be happy – they won’t enjoy the value of their investment.

Cheeky Scientist 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.

These are the same type of people who are hindering our Associates’ job searches. The last thing they want is to be exposed to even more negativity. 

5 Types Of PhDs That Shouldn’t Join Cheeky Scientist

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

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

Cheeky Scientist will be absolutely worth it…

…unless you’re one of these PhDs.

1. The Kind of PhD That Still Thinks Academia Might Work Out For Them

Academia is exploitative and infamously toxic.

With few exceptions, your university doesn’t care about helping you advance your career. 

There are fewer and fewer professors in residency every year.

Those who aren’t being laid off are leaving, burnt out from the ever-increasing demands of teaching and the pressure to win grants.

The lack of support professors receive is difficult enough to manage, but the bureaucracy and politics in academia are often the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

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.

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 pursuing a career in academia has always been your end goal and you’re committed to sticking it out – no matter how bad things get – Cheeky Scientist will not 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.

A woman, her chin resting on her closed fist, smiles over the top of her open laptop screen.

2. You’re A PhD That Enjoys Critiquing A Job Search Much More Than Executing One

Remember how I said that PhDs are lauded for their critical thinking skills? And about how valuable those are in industry?

It’s true.

But have you ever heard the expression “too much of a good thing?”

Overthinking – or analysis paralysis – can be a real struggle for many PhDs.

Are your ears burning? If you’re a PhD who would describe your relationship with analysis paralysis as a battle, that’s okay. Recognizing that your inaction is causing a problem in your life is the first step to correcting it.

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

These PhDs are always talking about problems, but they 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 you learn about and the suggestions you receive, you’ll never progress in your industry job search.

Escaping this kind of toxicity is exactly what drives PhDs to work with us.

Case in point: it’s easy to hide behind Anonymous user reviews, but without a name and a face, how can you substantiate anyone’s views?

Reviews can be bought and sold, but Cheeky Scientist Association members are real people.

You can find them on LinkedIn and Facebook, and you can reach out to them with your candid questions.

These are members willing to put their name, their likeness, their reputation, and the reputation of their employer on the line to back our methodologies.

3. You Believe Your PhD Guarantees You A Job In Industry

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

No doubt about it.

However, having a PhD does not guarantee you a specific job.

Or any job, for that matter.

I understand that job security is a big reason many PhDs earn their degree to begin with.

But academia failed to prepare you for the realities of job seeking.

Employers are almost definitely not going to headhunt you.

They have many, many more important things to do than search through the fresh crop of PhDs that graduate every year looking for you.

If you’re a PhD who feels that your degree should guarantee you a job, Cheeky Scientist isn’t worth it for you.

To transition into an industry role, you need to be willing to approach employers instead of expecting them to come to you. 

Nothing you’ll learn in the Cheeky Scientist Association can help you if you’re not on board with that.

4. You Think That You’re Above The Job Search Process

I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a PhD who will actually say, “I’m above the job search process.”

But you would never know it based on the way that some act.

It’s not that these PhDs aren’t doing anything to find a job. Instead, they’re using inappropriate and outdated strategies and complain that they aren’t seeing any results.

These are the PhDs who are still sending out academic CVs instead of industry resumes.

They’re PhDs who neglect their LinkedIn profile.

PhDs who refuse to network, research potential employers, or prepare for interviews.  

If you’re reading this article and you just now realized that this sounds a lot like what you’re doing, I have good news for you.

It’s not too late.

Cheeky Scientists can help you improve your job search strategy.

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 Waiting On Someone To Come Hand You A Job

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 academic environment.

Others still are trying to navigate their way around a visa that’s about to expire.

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

How could you not?

Unfortunately, desperation gets the best of some PhDs.

These PhDs have become so miserable and panicked that they don’t want – or can’t afford – to invest in anything that doesn’t promise they’ll get a job quickly.

They want to expend minimal effort and get maximum results.

They’re looking for a solution that doesn’t exist.

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

Cheeky Scientist Provides Fellowship, Training & Resources For Life

It takes the average job-seeker 12 to 24 months, from start to finish, to do everything it takes to land a job.


Because in academia we prioritize learning over career development and job search tactics.

So when you start your job search, the odds are high that you’re starting with no strategy, no network, no experience creating a resume, and no real idea what exact job title you’d like to apply to.

There is a fee to join the Cheeky Scientist Association. Many PhDs that claim they’re ready to transition hear this and balk.

That’s okay.

Cheeky Scientist is still here to support you. We are constantly adding free resources to our website.

We have dozens and dozens of videos that preview many of the topics you’ll learn about in-depth if you ever decide to join.

And if the day comes that you do pay the one-time fee to join, Cheeky Scientist is here to support you for life.

We will be there if you need help negotiating your salary and benefits once you’ve landed a job…

… or if you need help updating your LinkedIn because you’re interested in changing jobs.

…and here if you need to revamp your resume and start looking for another job that’s a better fit.

The sense of fellowship and support that Cheeky Scientist provides for its members is a huge point of pride for our organization.

Being a PhD can be isolating and lonely. It’s hard not to let the negativity you’ve been steeped in all through academia change you.

But the inclusivity, camaraderie, and positive feedback that Associates from Cheeky Scientist can offer is a great place to start.

Two hands clasp as if on a first meeting or to celebrate a new parternship.

Concluding Remarks

PhDs are naturally cautious. Some might even say that they have an advanced B.S. radar. That I can applaud.

There will always be a 2 or 3% margin of all the thousands of PhDs that make a Transition Call to us that won’t be convinced we can help. And that’s okay.

We wish them the absolute best. We know they’re tired of being preyed on, used, and undervalued. 

But the data speaks for itself. For every 1 person who decries the Cheeky Scientist Association as a scam, there are 100 more that found its resources life-changing. People whose names you can look up and people that you can talk to. Real people with real success stories that are genuinely celebrated by Team Cheeky. People who are willing to stake their reputation on our ability to help you too.

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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Dr. Isaiah Hankel is the Founder and CEO of Cheeky Scientist. His articles, podcasts and trainings are consumed annually by millions of PhDs and other professionals in hundreds of different countries. He has helped PhDs transition into top companies like Amazon, Google, Apple, Intel, Dow Chemical, BASF, Merck, Genentech, Home Depot, Nestle, Hilton, SpaceX, Tesla, Syngenta, the CDC, UN and Ford Foundation.

Dr. Hankel has published 3X bestselling books and his latest book, The Power of a PhD, debuted on the Barnes & Noble bestseller list. His methods for getting PhDs hired have been featured in the Harvard Business Review, Nature, Forbes, The Guardian, Fast Company, Entrepreneur Magazine and Success Magazine.

Isaiah Hankel, PhD

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