Hosted By

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

Join Isaiah as he talks about the importance of reactivating your network as you plan your transition

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

  • First, Isaiah discusses the importance of reactivating your network once you decide to transition into industry
  • Next, Isaiah explains how levels of separation work and the opportunities you will gain access to by reaching out to people you already know
  • Finally, Isaiah gives you tips you can follow to reactivate your network

From This Week’s Show… 

Why Is It So Important To Reactivate Your Network

Reactivating your current network can instantly decrease the degrees of separation between you and professionals in your target companies. Your connection efforts on LinkedIn or otherwise should start by pursuing your own contacts because the people you already know, even if they aren’t in fields of interest to you, can lead you to people who are working at your companies of interest.

This includes family, friends, teaching assistants, professors and former employers. In particular, as a PhD, you should work to identify alumni from your current and previous universities to contact as they often take a special interest in “giving back” to fellow alumni (you).

It’s been said that there are only 6 degrees of separation, at most, between you and anyone else in the world. In other words, you are only 6 introductions away from connecting to any decision maker in industry.

The Opportunities You Will Access By Reaching Out To People You Already Know

You are likely only 2-3 degrees of separation away from numerous industry gatekeepers and decision makers. You might only be one degree away. This is because, whether you know it or not, you are already in the industry you want to get into – at least in part – because you already have, or are about to have a PhD.

You are already trained at a very high level in your field, which gives you credibility in related fields. As such, by networking correctly on LinkedIn with other PhDs in industry roles, you can cross off many of the aforementioned 6 degrees of separation and quickly gain exposure to decision makers.

Imagine you have a friend from undergrad who is connected to someone that works as a Senior Scientist at your company of interest, and this Senior Scientist is connected to several Product Managers at the same company. As a result, when you reconnect with your friend from undergrad, you’re reconnecting secondarily to these Product Managers because they are already your second degree connections.

How To Reengage Your Network

After spending years working long hours either alone or in a small research group during your PhD, you may feel that you have lost contact with everyone you used to know and have no way of reactivating your network. This is simply not true. You have “relationship equity” with everyone you have ever met or spent time with, especially in person.

You can easily build on the equity left by reaching out with the right networking script once you open your mind to the connections you already have. Consider connections you’ve already made through the following sources:

  • Current Jobs
  • Previous Jobs
  • Undergrad University Alumni
  • Graduate University Alumni
  • Postdoc University Alumni
  • Other Institutional Alumni
  • Family
  • School (High School, College, Graduate School)
  • Volunteer Organizations
  • Sports Teams
  • Band, Orchestra, or Choir
  • Clubs
  • Places Of Worship
  • Interest Groups

Use these fourteen sources as a starting point to build an initial networking contact list. Who knows – there might already be a gatekeeper, decision-maker or contact in your current network who is working at one of your companies of interest.

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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