Hosted By

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

Join Isaiah as he reveals the best insights about the PhD job search strategy based on this year’s roundtables 

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

  • First, Isaiah discusses the hiring trend for PhDs 
  • Next, he enlists the hurdles faced during the PhD job search
  • Finally, Isaiah explains the strategies to implement in order to overcome PhD career hurdles 

From This Week’s Show… 

Hiring Trends In The Pandemic

Friction creates growth. All the challenges, disruption, and chaos that you faced, made you a stronger person. You have had to learn to rely on parts of yourself that you never knew before. You have had to think more creatively than you’ve had to think before.

We are doing a roundup of some of the best insights of this year. We will focus on a few topical things, looking at which companies are merging, looking at some current industry trends, and emerging market trends to emphasize the importance of developing that business acumen.

As PhDs, you have this incredible intellect, unmatched skill sets. You are meant to do a lot. Don’t let academia make you think that you have nothing to offer the world because that is not true. You need to see that as an obligation and do whatever you can to get into a space, either in a non-profit or a for-profit company, a large company, small company, private company, or a public company.

What shocked me this year in particular is the hiring of a large number of PhDs. Despite every odd happening this year, more PhDs were hired in the last quarter than we have ever seen: while hiring in most sectors went down.

Unemployment rates have started to tick back up again. They are still incredibly high, but for PhDs, hiring has increased. It is because of those skills that you have, the world is marketing your value. The world needs those skills in the rampant pandemic. Hence, the R&D, clinical trials; not just in the infectious disease space, but all around is increasing. People are seeing in their daily lives how valuable data, correct models of data, research tools, and information from experiments is on a quotidian basis.

Hurdles In The PhD Job Search 

Globally, the importance of research and data has been acknowledged. As a PhD, it is your duty to add value to the world. Even though this year might seem like a tough time  for you, there are strategies to turn it around. However, it is more important to identify the shortcomings. 

And I’m going to go through this special cheeky stack, articles that I have been reviewing, that will help you understand what you can do, what, you know, looking back, what could you have done? And even if you missed an opportunity, what you can do now, despite the pandemic woes. 

It is expected that we will see a lot of changes from the pandemic in 2021. It is pivotal that even in chaos we would identify how to grow and stay focused on our goal. Don’t get distracted, even though there is always something going on to pull you away from your professional growth; from advancing. You have to be very sharp and vigilant to make sure that you are investing your time, skills, and energy in things that are going to have a larger impact. As a PhD, you have to look at things at a higher level. You got to stay focused.

Set up a meeting with your boss/ supervisor / PI to discuss your career. I remember being so afraid of my supervisor because I thought that I will be perceived as a failure once I talked about transitioning to industry positions. 

PhD Job Search Strategies To Overcome Career Hurdles 

Volunteer for stretch assignments. If you want to get promoted, ask to do more, to help out in a different area of the business. If you get hired into the R&D department, ask for helping out in terms of coordinating or managing a project, adding some organization or an increased level of organization to what you’re doing, volunteering. 

Jumping on earnings calls with companies, get innovative, and pitch new ideas will show your value as a PhD, or really any professional in any career. The idea is that you bring your highest level of value and your ability to execute on those ideas. Don’t pitch a problem, anyone can do that. Rather, focus on the solution or better a plan. 

Grow your network starting from where you are at. Reinvest in your relationship-building, go beyond your comfort zone, your immediate neighbors. This is the golden rule in every aspect of career.

Constantly update yourself, attend networking events, connect with people, update buzz keywords in your resume,  LinkedIn and other candidate portfolios, add new courses, and new skill sets. Set the stage for success.

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

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