Hosted By

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

Join Isaiah as he explores a common networking issue PhDs face, and then breaks down how to troubleshoot it.

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

  • First, Isaiah takes a look at why networking slumps are common among PhDs
  • Next, he explains why 99 out of 100 networking problems can be traced back to having this kind of connection
  • Finally, Isaiah shares the best way to untangle your networking web and start seeing results from your professional network

From This Week’s Show…

Networking Can Feel Like A Full-Time Job, And Having Nothing To Show For Your Efforts Can Be Hard

Does the time and energy you spend on networking seem pointless? 

You’re connecting with people in your field, even turning your basic connections into meaningful professional relationships, but still, there you sit – jobless and hopeless? 

If so, you’re in a networking slump. 

Networking slumps are common among PhDs. 

To figure out why your network isn’t paying off, start with a basic diagnostic. 

Take a high-level look at your network structure. What shape do you see?

Do you see an array of nodes closely linked by a redundant web of interconnecting lines – one that resembles a ball of yarn? 

If so, what you have is a tight-knit group of friends and colleagues, not the kind of broad and diverse network that you need to get hired. 

And while this group may be a great support system, it won’t help you in your job search.

Diversity Is Key To The Success Of Your Network

Just as an investor strives for a diverse portfolio to increase their odds of success in the market, you too should aim for diversity in your network. 

In networking, diversity means that you should have loose to tight connections with local and distal contacts.

They should work in a variety of fields, and they should have a variety of job titles with a variety of seniority.

This kind of diversity will increase your odds of getting hired. 

The problem is that many PhDs mistakenly create very insular networks. 

This is due to two principles of human behavior: self-similarity and proximity. 

These principles state that people tend to populate their networks with like-minded people or people they already know. 

Consider this – you’re standing in a room with all your connections. Now say someone at the front of the room announces an opening for your dream job. However, to get the job, you must make it to the front of the room first. 

Consider all of the people in this room – are they going to help you get there or are they going to race you to the front? 

After all, for many, it may be their dream job too. 

If your network is full of like-minded people with the same career goals, their priority isn’t only helping you – it’s to get their dream job too. 

A Wide Networking Net Catches More Opportunity Than A Tight One

Moving forward, try to make your network look like a web built by a novice spider, not a ball of yarn.

Your web should not be dense. Instead, it should be wide-spanning and efficient, allowing you to connect points A and B easily.

In other words, your network should be broad, diverse and direct.

This way, if you want to get the word out – about your skills, your expertise, or your career goals – all you have to do is tap into your network, and/or expand your network. 

You may think that connecting with those in vastly different sectors or locations is a waste of time.

But when you’re connecting with someone, you’re not just connecting with them – you’re also connecting to their web of connections. 

Create a wide-spanning web of seemingly unrelated connections – you never know who else it will connect you with.

** 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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