Hosted By

Isaiah Hankel
Isaiah Hankel
Chief Executive Officer Cheeky Scientist

Join us as we talk about…

In this week’s episode…

  • You’ll learn what the most important transferrable skill you have is
  • Next you’ll learn 5 skills that PhDs have to offer
  • Finally, you’ll learn that PhDs represent a reservoir of untapped potential for any employer looking to innovate

“What’s the most important transferable skill I have as a PhD, Isaiah?” I had a PhD ask me this last week while I was helping them understand what they were doing wrong in their mindset. Most of what they were doing wrong was simply a perspective issue. They were still trying to impress other academics with their resume, LinkedIn profile and overall in the way they communicated their skills. “You do realize the first person to read your resume is a bot and the second person is a hiring manager, likely with an associates or bachelors degree and likely without your niche skills.” “Okay” they said.” “Okay, this means that you need to ask yourself what these gatekeepers care about most.

The answer is transferable skills, but which ones. Employers want to hire the safest candidates first, those that will stay for 2 years or more. This is why being a cross-functional collaborator and someone who works well independently is so important.

But right behind that is being innovative. As in, being able to find problems, choose the right problem to solve and then solve it in the right way. You’re not leaning hard enough into this skill and you’re not communicating it simply enough, I told them. Innovation is the heartbeat of growth and sustainability in industry. It’s the skill that enables companies to outpace competitors, adapt to changing markets, and address customer needs creatively. Innovative employees can think outside the box, developing new products, improving processes, and finding more efficient ways to achieve objectives. PhDs are the torchbearers of innovation for several reasons.

First, PhDs are at the pinnacle of specialized research training. PhD holders have spent years refining their ability to explore uncharted territories, ask critical questions, and develop new methodologies—translating into exceptional problem-solving capabilities.

Second, PhDs are trained to critically analyze existing knowledge and assumptions, identifying gaps that could lead to groundbreaking discoveries. Employers value this analytical mindset that challenges the status quo and spurs innovative solutions.

Third, PhDs know how to persevere. The PhD journey is one of persistence—frequently facing and overcoming failure. This resilience is a cornerstone of innovation, as it often requires numerous attempts and iterations to achieve success.

Fourth, PhDs have interdisciplinary exposure. Many PhD programs encourage cross-disciplinary research, which fosters the ability to combine different fields of study to create novel approaches and solutions, a trait that is particularly valuable in complex problem-solving scenarios.

Fifth, PhDs are able to communicate complex ideas. Innovators must not only conceive novel ideas but also communicate them effectively to diverse audiences. PhDs are adept at presenting their research in compelling ways, which is essential for persuading stakeholders to embrace new concepts.

In the end, innovation is the catalyst for advancement in any field. Employers are on a perpetual hunt for talents who can usher in this new era of innovative thinking and application. PhDs are poised to meet this demand, armed with a unique set of skills forged through years of rigorous research, critical analysis, and creative problem-solving. Their ability to innovate is not just an academic exercise but a real-world asset that can propel businesses into future successes.

For employers looking to navigate the complexities of the modern market and emerge as leaders, PhDs represent a reservoir of untapped potential, capable of driving the innovation that will shape tomorrow’s world.

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