Transition Report On-Demand

Hosted By

Isaiah Hankel
Isaiah Hankel
Chief Executive Officer Cheeky Scientist

The premier podcast by industry PhDs. With thousands of monthly listeners, the Cheeky Scientist Radio podcast is dedicated to helping PhDs transition into their first or next industry position. Every episode provides leading edge insights on how PhDs can avoid career failure and job search rejections, and instead attract hiring managers and recruiters to get hired into top industry jobs. Recent shows cover industry resumes, LinkedIn profiles, creating a job search strategy, identifying surging career tracks and avoiding dead end career tracks, successfully preparing for and passing phone screens, video interviews and site visits, and much more. This show features top industry PhDs in 50+ different industry positions. Subscribe now and listen.

Episodes

Why You Should Skip The Postdoc, TA, Adjunct, etc.

Friday July 1, 2022

Join Isaiah as he explores why you should leave academia right after you finish your PhD instead of wasting your time going down the postdoc route Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah discusses why academia fools PhDs into thinking that they need more academic experience to be successfulNext, Isaiah explains why it’s in your best interest to start planning your transition nowFinally, Isaiah list the reasons why you should look for an industry position as soon as possible From This Week’s Show…  The Postdoc Route Is A Dead End Academia tells you that you need more academic experience to be successful in industry, whether that be through a postdoc, extended TA position, adjunct post, and so on. Not only is this a huge misnomer, but it’s a giant disservice to your career. Many PhDs stay in academia after graduating thinking “Once I get this experience, then (and only then) will I be qualified for an industry position” – this mindset often results in PhDs spending years chasing one low paying overworked academic position after another just to get that “one more piece of experience”. In a recent survey, nearly half of the postdocs polled reported being…

How To Turn A Networking Conversation Into A Referral

Friday June 24, 2022

Join Isaiah as he reviews the levels of professional intimacy and the question you should ask to turn a networking conversation into a referral Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah presents the first level of professional intimacy, topical intimacyNext, Isaiah presents the second and third levels of professional intimacy, challenge and how-to intimacyFinally, Isaiah presents the fourth and final level of professional intimacy, advice intimacy From This Week’s Show…  Topical Intimacy To turn a networking conversation into a referral, you have to gently guide the conversation to deeper and deeper levels of professional intimacy. This is the only way to get someone you barely know to spend any effort on you whatsoever, let alone trust you enough to recommend you to their company. The first level of professional intimacy when talking about networking and informational interviews is termed “Topical Intimacy.” The best question to ask a networking contact to get them to this level of intimacy after they reply to your initial connection request is: “What are you currently working on that you’re excited about?” People enjoy talking about positive, topical experiences, especially when they’re related to their favorite thing in the world: them and their…

The 3 Stages Of Getting A Job Referral

Wednesday June 22, 2022

Join Isaiah as he discusses the importance of moving past initial connections to build professional relationships that lead to job referrals Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah explains why many PhDs fail to get job referrals by not knowing how to build professional relationships Next, Isaiah presents the process you should follow to turn a connection into a job referralFinally, Isaiah reminds you that it’s your responsibility to invest in your professional relationships if you want to be successful From This Week’s Show…  How PhDs Fail To Build Professional Relationships We have all either initiated or been a part of networking conversations that went something like this: How are you? I’m great, how are you? I’m great too …you? (Awkward silence). Circular conversations that get stuck at the same level of professional intimacy are exactly what you want to avoid. The goal of your online networking efforts is to build a professional relationship where the other party feels comfortable enough with you to refer you for a job at their company, or otherwise help you further your efforts to get hired. It is a multiple-step process where every problem is followed by another problem. Why You…

Employees Are Incentivized To Refer You

Tuesday June 21, 2022

Join Isaiah as he discusses why you will never get a job referral by networking the old fashioned way and what you should do instead Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah explains that getting referrals is easier than you think, but you need to put in the effort to build strong professional relationshipsNext, Isaiah discloses what effective networking looks likeFinally, Isaiah gives some pointers on how to ensure a job referral From This Week’s Show…  Why You Will Never Get A Referral Networking The Old Fashioned Way It’s easier than you might imagine to be referred for a position if you have networked confidently and appropriately because industry employees are often incentivized to refer you, with the average employee referral bonus being between $2,000 – 3,000 dollars. Still, these employees will not go out of their way to help you. You have to make it easy for them. And you can’t just stop at meeting them. You have to build a professional relationship. This is something I learned the hard way. I wasted the first three years of my graduate school career networking the old fashioned way. I would go to internal seminars with the same…

The Danger Of Dabbling In Your Job Search

Tuesday June 21, 2022

Join Isaiah as he talks about the dangers of dabbling in your job search and what you should instead if you want to stop being invisible Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah explains why you should never dabble in your job searchNext, Isaiah lists the tools PhDs have at their disposal to reach out to potential employersFinally, Isaiah discusses how academia isolates PhDs and why you should break your isolation and work hard to build an industry network From This Week’s Show…  Why You Should Never Dabble In Your job Search Many hiring managers and recruiters will never come back to a job candidate’s LinkedIn profile once they have decided that you lack industry credibility. Worse, many top employers have a mandatory six- to twelve-month waiting period before they will reconsider you for a position at their company once they have reviewed your resume and rejected your candidacy for a position. Your industry job search is not a trial-and-error affair. This is not academia. If you are performing a poor and sloppy job search, you are burning bridges, and it is time for you to stop. The Tools You Can Use To Reach An Employer You…

How To Give An Industry Interview Presentation

Monday June 20, 2022

Join Isaiah as he explains how to prepare and industry presentation, the questions you should ask, and the mistakes you should avoid Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah presents the common briefs for industry presentations across positionsNext, Isaiah discusses the questions you should ask when assigned an industry presentation Finally, Isaiah introduces the main mistakes that PhDs make when preparing an industry presentation From This Week’s Show…  What Are The Common Briefs For An Industry Presentation When it comes to creating effective industry presentations, you must consider what your audience wants to see. In this case, your audience is the company. Most often, the hiring manager you’re in contact with will give you a short “brief” to help you prepare for the presentation. The most common brief is simply: “Talk about yourself, your interests, and your work in ten minutes.” Other common industry interview briefs include: “Discuss your work on XYZ and how it relates to our business model” or “Review a paper/clinical trial report and summarize the findings the way you would for one of our clients/partners.” Occasionally, depending on the role, you may be specifically asked to give an hour-long presentation about your graduate…

Creating A Job Search Strategy

Friday June 17, 2022

Join Isaiah as he discusses the importance of having a job search strategy and what steps you can take to create yours Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah explains why you need a job search strategy if you want to land a satisfying industry jobNext, Isaiah talks about the importance of documenting your progress as part of your job search strategyFinally, Isaiah explains how networking fits into a well-executed job search strategy and why you can’t ignore this component From This Week’s Show…  Why PhDs Need A Job Search Strategy As Part Of Their Transition Plan An industry job search, executed in the correct sequence, starts with understanding your career options and creating a job search strategy for those options. In order to create an effective strategy, you must consider the sequence of your strategy. You cannot just haphazardly execute different job search-related activities at different times. Your approach must be organized. The Importance Of Documenting Your Progress You need to record your progress. At the very least you should   have   a   spreadsheet   with   5   columns:   Companies   of   Interest,   Job Postings or Informational Interview Notes, Company…

Questions Employers Want Job Candidates To Ask During Interviews

Wednesday June 15, 2022

Join Isaiah as he examines the types of questions you should ask during interviews to establish if the position is a good fit and show your potential as an industry candidate Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah explains why it’s so important to not only ask questions during interviews but to plan your questions ahead of timeNext, Isaiah reveals the types of questions you should include and avoid during job interviewsFinally, Isaiah presents the 8 topics that you should cover when asking interview questions From This Week’s Show…  Why You Should Always Ask Quality Questions During Job Interviews The quality of your candidacy for a position in industry is most clearly reflected in the quality of the questions you ask those interviewing you. You must seize the opportunity in every interview to turn the tables on the interviewer. You must become the interviewer yourself by asking questions that engage the other person and showcase your professionalism, business acumen, and overall understanding of the role, the company, and industry itself. Asking questions shows you’ve thought about and are committed to the position at hand. Asking questions also allows you to find out whether the position and company…

How To Find Target Companies

Monday June 13, 2022

Join Isaiah as he reveals the right strategy to find target companies that are a good match and are ready to hire you right now Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah describes the wrong strategy that many PhDs use when looking to potential target companiesNext, Isaiah discloses how you should change that strategy to find companies that are a better fitFinally, Isaiah explains why you should not only consider but also favor small and midsize companies in your job search From This Week’s Show…  PhDs Use The Wrong Strategy To Search For Target Companies If you’re like me when I started my first industry job search, the extent of your online research for companies that would hire you was typing “top jobs” into a search window and pressing enter. Maybe you went one step further and typed “top jobs UK” or “top companies UK.” Or maybe you just typed in “job openings.” Whatever the specific case, this is a very poor job search strategy and a very poor research strategy in general. You can’t find unique opportunities specific to your situation by relying on short-tail keywords. Short-tail keywords are not specific; therefore, they’re likely to pull…

Is Your Resume Persuasive?

Wednesday June 8, 2022

Join Isaiah as he discusses the importance of the industry resume and how you can set yourself up for success from the beginning of your application Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah does a quick review of the hiring funnelNext, Isaiah reveals how you can leverage the information you add to your resume to increase your chances of wowing employers down the lineFinally, Isaiah explains why the resume will never die and why you should always apply to any position with a targeted and convincing resume From This Week’s Show…  A Glance At The Hiring Funnel There are layers and layers of barriers between your resume and a hiring manager, recruiter, or any gatekeeper. Large companies can receive up to two thousand resumes per open position with the average sitting at 250 applications per open position. Only three or four of those candidates will be interviewed face-to-face, by video or in person. That’s a 98.4% drop-off rate. Importantly, your resume will follow you through the entire hiring process. It will be one of the first things an employer sees about you and the very last thing they pass around the hiring committee table after your site…

Cover Letter 101

Monday June 6, 2022

Join Isaiah as he discusses the importance of a cover letter and gives guidelines to write a cover letter that will convince employers to hire you Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah explains how a cover letter can make your job application strongerNext, Isaiah reviews the information you should include in your cover letterFinally, Isaiah presents the two main formats you can use for your cover letter From This Week’s Show…  Why Is A Cover Letter Important Including a cover letter in your job application will make you stand out from other job candidates. It’s also a great way to prepare your rationale for why you want the job in the first place and why you are the best candidate for the job. The most important thing to bear in mind when sending a cover letter is that you should address it to an actual person. You want to avoid using vague, general salutations like “To Whom It May Concern” because such introductions indicate laziness, disinterest, and disrespect. If you can’t even put forth the effort to find out who will be reading the cover letter, how will you ever convince them to hire you? Today,…

Don’t Play Hard To Get In Your Job Search

Wednesday June 1, 2022

Join Isaiah as he discusses why timidity and uncertainty can destroy your career, especially during job interviews Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah explains how timidity can set your back in your job searchNext, Isaiah explores why showing certainty instead of timidity is especially important at the interview stageFinally, Isaiah discloses how you come across to employers when you show uncertainty at a job interview From This Week’s Show…  Why Timidity Can Destroy Your Career Timidity destroys careers. This isn’t just a cute saying. It’s reality. How timidly are you communicating your skills and results on your resume? How timidly are you reaching out to connections on LinkedIn? How timidly are you communicating your competency to employers during interviews? Your timidity is likely a way of protecting yourself. By not going all in on your job search, you think it will hurt less if you get rejected. You think you’ll protect yourself from tough questions about your skills and expertise. So, you pull back, or you posture. Job Interviews Are The Worse Place To Be Timid Why would you work so hard to finally talk to an employer only to pretend like you don’t really want…

The Law Of Relaxed Productivity

Monday May 30, 2022

Join Isaiah as he explains the law of relaxed productivity and gives the steps you should follow to implement it in your job search Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah presents the law of relaxed productivity and its two main components: efficiency and effectivenessNext, Isaiah gives an example that illustrates the importance of balancing efficiency and effectiveness to increase productivity Finally, Isaiah discusses how to combine effectiveness and efficacy to achive maximum productivity, thus getting the best of the law of relaxed productivity From This Week’s Show…  What Is The Law Of Relaxed Productivity Your job search doesn’t need to be stressful. Even if you need a job yesterday, you can still get hired by executing a relaxed, yet productive job search. The key is learning the law of relaxed productivity. The law of relaxed productivity states: The more effective your process is, the more productive you will be. The more efficient your process is, the more relaxed you will be. The key to being productive and relaxed at the same time is to be as effective and efficient as possible at the same time. Anyone can be either effective or efficient; few can do both…

Take The Mystery Out Of The Job Search

Friday May 27, 2022

Join Isaiah as he explains why being a mysterious candidate will hurt your job search and how you should present yourself instead Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah tells the story of a PhD who transitioned by redefining her professional brandNext, Isaiah reveals why being a mysterious candidate will only hurt your chances of getting an industry position Finally, Isaiah explores what employers think of PhD candidate who fail to define a professional brand From This Week’s Show…  How Natalie Redefined Her Profesional Brand And Transitioned Into Industry After 17 Years In Academia I remember when I started working with Nathalie, a PhD and good friend who is now a Director at a major pharmaceutical company. She was in academia for over 17 years after getting her PhD, thirteen of which she spent as a professor. When Nathalie and I first talked, she was convinced she had spent too much time in academia to ever get into industry. She wondered how anyone would see her as more than an academic professor. But not only could we adjust her LinkedIn profile to showcase her as a credible industry professional using the language of industry but we could…

3 Traits Of Unproductive People

Wednesday May 25, 2022

Join Isaiah as he reveals the three traits of unproductive people and how that affects their job search Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah discusses the first bad trait of unproductive people: indecisivenessNext, Isaiah discusses the second bad trait of unproductive people: not keeping a consistent scheduleNext, Isaiah discusses the first bad trait of unproductive people: not knowing how to prioritize From This Week’s Show…  Unproductive People Are Indecisive There are three key traits that unproductive people have in common (other than not getting hired). First, unproductive people make up their minds slowly and change their minds often. Due to this inability to decide quickly and firmly, they end up being far less successful in life than decisive people. Unproductive People Can’t Keep A Consiste Schedule Unproductive people don’t keep a consistent schedule. The problem with never keeping a schedule or never sticking with a routine is that each time you vary from the routine, you have to make a decision on what to do next. These decisions reduce your mental energy stores. Remember, you only have so much willpower each day. You have a set number of willpower units you can use. Once your willpower…

What Would Others Write About You

Wednesday May 25, 2022

Join Isaiah as he discusses why understanding how you come across to others will help you establish your professional brand and connect with employers Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah reveals how you can better understand your profesional brand by discerning what others think about youNext, Isaiah explains how you can use your understanding of your professional brand to ensure you connect with the right employersFinally, Isaiah illustrates why this is important from the employer’s point of view From This Week’s Show…  How Being Self-Aware Will Help You Develop Your Professional Brand Imagine giving everyone you know plus a handful of strangers post-it notes and asking them to write down three things they can always count on you for, as well as three things they can never count on you for. What are the people who know you best going to write down? What are the people who barely know you going to write down? The sum pattern of their answers is a strong indication of your professional brand—or how you will come off to employers prior to being hired and certainly after being hired. You could take the above exercise a step further—and I recommend…

Don’t Use A To-do List For Your Job Search

Monday May 23, 2022

Join Isaiah as he reveals why making to-do lists will decrease your productivity and what you should do if you want to keep your job search on track Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah tells the story of what used to happen to him when he relied on to-do lists to increase productivityNext, Isaiah reveals the scientific reasons of why to-do lists limit successFinally, Isaiah presents a strategy you can use to increase your productivity and keep your job search on track From This Week’s Show…  What Happens When You Rely On A To-do List In graduate school, I loved creating lists. I would write and rewrite lists of journal articles to read, experiments to do, people to network with, and workout routines to complete at night.  Every time I created a new list, I felt really productive, like I had just created something concrete, something that moved me one step closer to accomplishing my goals.  Of course, I never read any of the articles on the list; I only did the experiments I was told to do, and, once I showed up to the gym, did the same workout routine I had been doing for…

Use Your Negative Bias To Get Hired

Friday May 20, 2022

Join Isaiah as he discusses what a negative bias is and how you can use it to your advantage in your job search Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah explains that the brain has a negative bias and how that works in our everyday liveNext, Isaiah points out that you can use your negative bias to your advantage, but that won’t work if you just complain about the situations in your lifeFinally, Isaiah states that the best way to leverage your negative bias is by taking action From This Week’s Show…  How Your Negative Bias Works Your brain has a negative bias—it has a preference for negative information over positive information. This can help you in your job search.  Studies show that negative information is quickly routed through your amygdala and into your long-term memory banks while positive information has to be held in your awareness for more than 12 seconds to be stored in your long-term memory banks.  This is why you will remember the one negative comment your boss said to you during your performance review forever but will instantly forget the fifteen positive comments he made before and after. This is also why…

How To Communicate Your Skills To Employers

Wednesday May 18, 2022

Join Isaiah as he explains why your technical skills are worthless in industry and why you need to start communicating your transferable skills right now Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah states why your technical skills won’t get you hired in industry and why you should focus on your transferable skills insteadNext, Isaiah reveals why PhDs overlook their transferable skills when creating their professional profiles, which makes them lose professional opportunitiesFinally, Isaiah discusses why you need to let go of your technical skills if your want to advance your career and get an industry job From This Week’s Show…  Your Technical Skills Won’t Get You Hired The idea that you will be hired because of your technical or specialty skills is a lie. That’s one of the last things employers truly care about. Sure, if you put buzz words on your resume that match the words in the job posting, you might get a callback, but those skills are not going to get you a job offer. There’s an immense amount of data showing that the number one reason employers hire PhDs is because of their transferable skills. Your transferable skills are the softer skills that…

Your Most Valuable Asset

Monday May 16, 2022

Join Isaiah as he discloses what your most valuable asset is and how you can protect it to ensure success in your job search Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah explains why mental energy is your most valuable assetNext, Isaiah discusses why it is so difficult to protect your mental energyFinally, Isaiah gives some advice to make the most out of your mental energy From This Week’s Show…  Mental Energy Is Your Most Valuable Asset Fatigue can ruin your career. Whether it’s burnout, exhaustion, stress, apathy or up and down energy levels, nothing has ruined more careers than mental fatigue. This is because nothing can save you from your fatigued mind. Not time—hours don’t matter when your brain is incapable of making good decisions. Not money—dollars won’t buy you clarity or stamina. Not relationships—how can you make others happy when you can’t do it for yourself?  If you’ve ever sat in front of the TV to watch something you’ve seen before because you’re tired, you know that time is not your most valuable resource. If you’ve ever bought anything beyond food, water, shelter, or your other basic needs, you know money is not your most valuable resource.  If you’ve…

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