Hosted By

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

Join Isaiah as he explains why perfectionism is a double-edged sword, and how to keep your high standards from sabotaging your job search

Here’s a quick rundown on this week’s episode:

  • First, Isaiah identifies a few clues that you might be letting your high standards sabotage your job search
  • Next, he explains how to start reevaluating what success looks like in your PhD job search
  • Finally, Isaiah shares strategies PhDs can turn to to make their high standards work for them instead of slow them down

From This Week’s Show…

Are Your High Standards Synonymous With Low Job Search Productivity?

Ever wonder why some people say “you’re such a perfectionist” like it’s a bad thing? 

You have a PhD and you have very high standards for yourself. 

But could your perfectionist habits be sabotaging your job search? 

It’s easy to think that the benefits outweigh the pitfalls of perfectionism, but today I’m going to ask you to consider if any of these scenarios describe you. 

Can time management be a struggle for you because you often don’t think your work is “good enough” to ever be done? 

Do you ever feel like other people are frustrated by your expectations of them – do they complain that you “expect everything to be perfect”? 

When you spot mistakes, do you see them as a sign of inadequacy – especially in yourself? 

If any of this sounds familiar, your high standards could be the reason your job search is stalling out. 

You might be very, very focused on the “right” next step, and as a result, you aren’t taking any steps at all. 

Before long, all these self-made setbacks can start to feel insurmountable. 

But they aren’t.

Here Are 3 Ways To Temper Your High Standards For Optimal Job Search Productivity

First, lower the stakes. 

As a perfectionist, you’re invested in the end goal. But the journey is equally valuable. That’s why it’s really helpful to create small goals. 

This might feel like a step backward from your big ambitions, but it’s the right move. 

Trust that you are going to gain something valuable and useful from any job, not just a select few. 

Second, set boundaries. 

You need parameters to work within or you are going to spin your wheels on the same task for far too long. 

Setting Boundaries And Small Goals Are Key To Managing Your Perfectionist Tendencies

Give yourself an hour at most, for instance, to make all the changes on your cover letter before you send it out. Allow yourself no more than three passes before your resume is good enough to send out. 

Your goal for the day should be to move ahead, by any means necessary. 

Those who stand still are doomed to fail. 

Third and finally, take risks…slowly. 

Focus on incremental steps you can take to move forward. 

Your first challenge might be connecting with a stranger on LinkedIn. 

Your next might be scheduling an informational interview with them. 

Do this with every aspect of your job search and check back on your progress at key intervals. 

You will very likely be blown away by how these little changes have paid exponential dividends. 

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

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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