Hosted By

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

Join Isaiah as he considers the harsh effects of academia on PhD psyches and explains more constructive habits they can replace them with

In this week’s episode…

  • First, Isaiah identifies some of the most destructive traits that academia can ingrain in PhDs
  • Next, he explores five of the most detrimental ones that effect PhDs transitioning from academia to industry
  • Finally, Isaiah shares some more constructive, positive habits that PhDs can explore to replace those bad habits

Academia Influences A PhDs Coping Strategies, Attitude, And Emotional Health

Academic life is often celebrated as noble and fulfilling, but there’s a darker side to academia. 

Depression, isolation, stress, and uncertainty plague PhDs. 

Authority, time management, work/life balance, and motivation are common setbacks. 

Sadly, many PhDs suffer long-term from the toxic effects of years spent in academia. 

But to succeed in industry, you must stop seeing yourself and your future through an academic lens. 

There Are 5 Keys To Trading Toxic Academic Habits For More Constructive Ones

First, stop feeling like there’s never enough. 

Not enough funding, not enough time, not enough skills. 

The stress of always dealing with resources in short supply breeds what’s called a scarcity mindset. 

Scarcity mindset can push you into making poor decisions based on the fear of sinking even lower – decisions like taking a low-paying postdoc or adjunct position because you haven’t had any luck with your job search yet. 

This sense of scarcity will disappear once you break away from the exploitative cycle you’re trapped in. 

Stop looking at all the barriers, and instead, focus your attention on the one hundred million plus companies that could be hiring you. 

And yes, that’s an actual number of companies, located in the U.S., that are hiring PhDs like you. 

Success In Academia Is Measured Differently Than It Is In Industry

Second, start thinking about success as more than your publications. 

In academia, we’re taught to create goals centered around publications. 

But publishing doesn’t mean much in industry. 

In industry, you’ll be working with a team of people who are all focused on a shared goal – one that helps solve a larger problem. 

To succeed here, you need to shake the “what’s in it for me?” mindset. 

Instead, focus on the big picture. 

Ask yourself, how can I work cross-functionally in this organization to help achieve its 5-year corporate strategy? 

It’s Collaboration, Not Competition, That PhDs Should Focus On In Industry

Third, stop believing that your colleagues are your enemy. 

In academia, everyone is your competition – at least everyone is a trained reviewer ready to pick apart your logic at a moment’s notice.

 Feeling good about yourself? 

Finally made some progress? 

Not so fast – what about this typo? 

What about this flimsy language? 

Well, it’s really not that impressive. 

This kind of environment breeds distrust. 

If you carry on with this idea, you’ll only hamper your own growth. 

In industry, a healthy sense of competition can be motivating. 

But employees who don’t work well in a team or across departments are a burden on the company. 

Start viewing your coworkers as an asset, not as competition – and not as people whose work you should criticize instantly. 

Shift your focus on lifting others up, not on pushing them down.

** 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.

Book a Transition Call
Get Free Job Search Content Weekly