Hosted By

Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Chief Executive Officer Cheeky Scientist

Join us as we talk about…

In this week’s episode…

  • You’ll learn that how valuable your PhD really is in the job market
  • Next you’ll learn 9 advantages having a PhD has given you
  • Finally, you’ll learn that by effectively marketing your PhD you can open doors to many opportunities.

“Why isn’t your PhD on your resume?” I asked. “That’s crazy!” “Oh, well my friend told me that I should leave off my PhD and list my Masters degree to get hired faster.” “Let me get this straight, I responded, you worked how long and how hard to get your PhD, only to hide it from employers?”

“Did you know that multiple reports including those by MassBio show that PhDs get hired more and paid more than those with Masters degrees?” I’ve had this conversation so many times. If your job search requires you to hide your PhD, you have bigger problems than an employer being biased against you because of your degree. Sure, you may have been called overqualified at some point, but that’s just one of 3-4 reasons employers can give you legally for not hiring you.

Why would an employer not want someone better than they thought they could get? The real problem you’re likely facing in your job search is your imposter syndrome and you’ve forgotten how valuable you and your PhD really are. So let me remind you here with 9 advantages your PhD has given you.

First, as a PhD, you know how to prioritize problems. Anyone can find problems, but can they find the right problem …problems that will have a lasting impact if solved. PhDs have years of training in finding the right problems to solve.

Second, you know how to find answers. Meaningful problems require extreme effort and coordination to solve. They also require consistency and persistence. PhDs thrive in these areas.

Third, you don’t fear failure, you learn from it. Many PhDs were at the top of their undergraduate class. Then they went to grad school and faced an unending line of failed experiments, negative data and nearly impossible research projects (all part of the process of innovation). This exposure to failure makes PhDs very resilient.

Fourth, as a PhD, you are comfortable with uncertainty. Discovery requires uncertainty. You have to live in a space of uncertainty for years to be able to discover at the highest level. PhDs are able to live and work in this space.

Fifth, as a PhD, you learn on your own. Most people need to be pushed, prodded and spoon-fed to learn. PhDs don’t. They are internally driven to learn and to know.

Sixth, as a PhD, you learn very quickly. PhDs have learned how to learn. Their speed of comprehension is unparalleled. A PhD = Doctor of Philosophy. And Philosophy = knowledge and the ascertainment of knowledge. This makes PhDs like you quite literally Doctors of Learning.

Seventh, PhDs don’t just regurgitate information, they create it. Anyone can write a book report summarizing information that has already been discovered. Many people can go on to master a field. But very, very few can create new information that adds to a field after rigorous review. PhDs can and do this; it’s a requirement to get a PhD.

Eighth, PhDs evaluate and challenge information appropriately. PhDs are trained in evaluating information and know how to dig to find real answers. This is a lost art with much of the world being misinformed and unable to differentiate fact from fiction.

Ninth, PhDs adapt quickly to new data. PhDs understand the adage “adapt or die”. They know they can’t hide from data. It must be confronted and then responded to. This growth mindset gives PhDs an immense advantage in today’s job market.

By effectively marketing these PhD-specific qualities, you can open doors to a plethora of opportunities in a job market that is starving for hard working candidates who can produce high quality results.

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