Hosted By

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

Join Isaiah as he discusses why you should establish your desired professional lifestyle if you want to have a fulfilling career

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

  • First, Isaiah explains why many PhDs end up stuck in a career they don’t fully enjoy because they focus on job titles instead of professional lifestyle
  • Next, Isaiah uses academia as an example to illustrate why chasing job titles is a losing strategy
  • Finally, Isaiah presents a list of questions you should answer to establish your desired professional lifestyle so you can get hired into a fulfilling career

From This Week’s Show… 

The Wrong Strategy Most PhDs Follow To Establish Their Desired Career

Do you know which career is right for you? Most PhDs never set professional goals even though university studies show that just writing down your goals increases your odds of attaining them by 33.54 percent. Instead, most PhDs work on whatever is put in front of them. They fall into whatever position academia gives them permission to hold.

The few PhDs who start searching for a job outside of academia and do the research necessary to start understanding the industry landscape, sectors, and job titles often get lured into chasing a title that sounds impressive but will never lead them to the professional lifestyle they truly want.

Who cares if Medical Science Liaison is trending if you don’t want to travel and hate giving presentations? Sure, the title of Management Consultant demands respect and recognition, but does that matter if you hate Microsoft Excel and your personal situation would never allow you to work eighteen hours a day, five days a week, onsite in a different city every week, fifty-two weeks a year?

Academia As An Example Of Why Chasing Job Titles Can Only Lead To Failure

Perhaps you thought becoming a PhD and being called “doctor” was going to automatically result in a tenured, untouchable position that came with respect, rewarding work, and all the resources needed to excel. How did that work out for you?

How is that working out for your advisor or for most lifetime academics? What if you could go back and shadow your advisor or any professor or principal investigator (PI)? Would you have planned your career differently?

Would you have created a better target for yourself? Actually, let’s back up. Do you even know what’s important to you in life? Do you know what you’re chasing and why? If not, you’re in trouble.

Questions You Should Ask To Establish Your Ideal Professional Lifestyle

Let’s make things more practical. Start by asking yourself, which activities do you want to spend your work day doing? Which will make you feel the happiest? I’m not talking about overly simplistic, hedonistic happiness. I’m talking about deeper, more complex fulfillment—the lasting happiness that comes with meaningful achievement.

What daily professional actions will lead you to the most meaningful achievement? What characteristics of your career would lead to those actions? Let’s find out with some simple questions you’ve likely never asked yourself.

Do you want to work with a large team or a small team? Or perhaps no team? Do you want to work with numbers? If so, are you interested in large data sets or smaller data sets? Do you prefer to collect and analyze quantitative data or qualitative data?

Do you want a position where you have to read and write a lot? If so, you will want to consider writing-intensive positions. Do you want to work at the company’s headquarters or at one of their smaller, remote, satellite locations? Or do you want to work full-time in the field (or at a home office)? Are you willing to travel and, if so, how frequently?

When it comes to a company’s operations, where on the spectrum of innovation and commercialization do you want to be? Without asking yourself these tougher questions first, you’ll never be able to set a target career path for your job search.

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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