Hosted By

Isaiah Hankel
Isaiah Hankel
Chief Executive Officer Cheeky Scientist
Staying in Academia is harmful

Join Isaiah as he discusses the emotionally draining aspects of the job search for PhDs and how to overcome them.

Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode…

  • First, Isaiah sheds light on how the PhD job search can be emotionally overwhelming
  • Next, he points out the issues that lead to such scenarios
  • Finally, Isaiah lists the solutions to overcoming these emotionally taxing hindrances to successfully get hired in industry

From This Week’s Show…

I am going to walk you through the 11, most emotionally draining parts of your job search that you need to overcome in advance for getting hired quickly. You can save a lot of your time by understanding what can drain your energy during your job search and how your brain can come up with excuses to divert you from your goal.

It is really painful. It is a different kind of pain but is good for you. You have a series of emotional cold showers that you need to go through in order to get hired.

Do not let your brain trick you with the excuses that diverts you from working towards your resume, cover letter, or networking, things that can help you in getting hired.

The new programs that the Cheeky Scientist Association has developed for helping PhDs to get hired quickly are the Business Development Federation, the Clinical Research Coalition, and the Humanities PhD League.

The 11 Emotional Job Search Hurdles 

The first step in overcoming imposter syndrome is to identify and acknowledge it. You have some subconscious concerns about the decisions pertaining to your career that you have made. You doubt your ability to get hired  or take correct career decisions. 

These concerns are wrapped in layers of defensiveness, perhaps in a little bit of arrogance that even after having your PhD, you have to try so hard to get hired. 

That painful, sinking, doubting and de energizing feeling that clouds PhDs when it is time to work on your resume or to reach out to somebody to network is just stemming from the fact that you have never worked in industry. 

I remember being in graduate school when I realized that I am not going to be a professor. My only option is a postdoc or to end up unemployed or figure out how to get into industry. I had no idea —it was a black box for me— I kept doubting my ability to decide right about my career. 

PhDs hurt their hiring chances and favor when they start posturing, becoming critical of others’ works and defensive of their own work.  Slowly, this progresses into PhDs being critical of other people.

Your PhD is valuable, but it does not compensate for performance or the social norms of industry. Your PhD is a great starting point, very valuable, but it is not enough to get you a job. 

It is straining to not know where to start or be able to decipher the industry hierarchies or comprehend the industry job titles. You cannot do it if you do not know it. 

The LinkedIn profile is more challenging as they keep adding sections to it. The  professional summary section requires you to write long accomplishments in the .first person narrative tone. You want to make sure you are doing intensive keyword research because LinkedIn is relying on its algorithm. All these steps are quite exhausting but indispensable to land the right job.

Overcoming The Emotional Impediments To Get Hired Quickly

As a PhD, you are a doctor of philosophy, and have the ability to ascertain knowledge. You can learn, approach the job search with the mindset of a student; a discovery mindset. Afterall you came to your PhD without any lab experience and survived as you learned on the go.

For a PhD to overcome these hurdles and be successful in landing an industry job, right information and help is needed. 

Work on your resume with the same dedication that you offered your thesis writing. Set aside four hours early in the morning when your mental energy is peaking to do this. 

Rewriting your LinkedIn profile to include all the relevant keywords that a LinkedIn recruiter might use to search candidates is crucial. 

Remember that your network is actually your net worth. Reaching out to industry professionals can be extremely stressful. You do not even know what to say. Although your brain is looking for reference points, it can’t find any, so it becomes drained like your phone battery. 

You can overcome this hurdle by looking at scripts that have been used before in the cheeky scientist association. These networking scripts can be slightly tweaked and then sent out to the industry contacts. You do not have to reinvent the wheel.

Most importantly, remember your value as a PhD and start thinking and acting like a successful industry professional.

** for the full podcast, check out the audio player above.

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