Hosted By

Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Chief Executive Officer Cheeky Scientist
3 flavors of transferable skills

Join Isaiah as he discusses the importance of moving past initial connections to build professional relationships that lead to job referrals

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

  • First, Isaiah explains why many PhDs fail to get job referrals by not knowing how to build professional relationships
  • Next, Isaiah presents the process you should follow to turn a connection into a job referral
  • Finally, Isaiah reminds you that it’s your responsibility to invest in your professional relationships if you want to be successful

From This Week’s Show… 

How PhDs Fail To Build Professional Relationships

We have all either initiated or been a part of networking conversations that went something like this: How are you? I’m great, how are you? I’m great too …you? (Awkward silence).

Circular conversations that get stuck at the same level of professional intimacy are exactly what you want to avoid.

The goal of your online networking efforts is to build a professional relationship where the other party feels comfortable enough with you to refer you for a job at their company, or otherwise help you further your efforts to get hired.

It is a multiple-step process where every problem is followed by another problem.

Why You Should Follow A Process To Ensure A Job Referral

Having a process and understanding each step of the networking process ahead of time will help you anticipate future problems and avoid roadblocks in your online conversations.

To avoid awkwardness and transform your connections into job referrals, you need to understand the process of building professional intimacy and how to go from one level to the next.

This is why I recommend a three-stage job search referral strategy. The three stages of the strategy are (1) getting a reply, (2) adding value, and (3) informational interviewing.

Of course, before you get a reply, you have to connect with someone properly. Each networking message you send should add value in new and different ways. Once you get a response, however, you also want to carry the conversation forward into a deeper level of professional intimacy.

The Key To Turning A Networking Conversation Into A Job Referral

The key is realizing that YOU are responsible for carrying the conversation forward because you are the one who reached out to connect. If you fail to carry the conversation forward by asking questions that prompt mildly more intimate, yet professional responses in a graduated way, then your online rapport will break and you will ruin your chances of getting a referral.

Understand that the other party wants to talk about deeper issues, but slowly. They want to dive deeper into more interesting and meaningful topics, but in a natural way that doesn’t make them feel uncomfortable.

If you carry the conversation forward correctly, you can move the other person into an informational interview so naturally that they won’t even realize, or care, that it’s happening.

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