Hosted By

Isaiah Hankel
Isaiah Hankel
Chief Executive Officer Cheeky Scientist
8 hours

Join Isaiah as he explains why the 8 hours that people work next to PhDs is important and how can PhDs put their best qualities forward 

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

  • First, Isaiah discusses why it is important for PhDs to have a pleasing personality
  • Next, Isaiah reveals how can PhDs put their best qualities forward
  • Finally, Isaiah explains why your professional brand will follow you throughout the entire job search process 

From This Week’s Show… 

Why Is It Important For PhDs To Have Pleasing Personality

If the number one reason employers aren’t hiring you right now is invisibility, or obscurity. Then ignorance of likability, personality and your own professional brand is the second reason. Likability doesn’t mean winning a popularity contest. Not meaning trying to be nicer, funnier, or more agreeable. The truth is that some people hate all of those qualities, while others value them. Employers want to know if others can work around you for 8 hours. Are you likeable?

The problem with likability – everybody likes something different. This also changes depending on their mood. It doesn’t mean you have to change your personality. Rather it means that you have to put the best qualities of your personality forward.

How Can You Put Your Best Qualities Forward

PhDs can put their best qualities forward through proper communication, both verbal and nonverbal. But which qualities should you put forward in the first place? That’s for you to decide. And once you decide, either actively or passively, these qualities will make up your professional brand. If you give a handful of strangers a post-it note and ask them to write down three things they can always count on you for. As well as three things they can never count on you for. What are the people that know you best going to write down? What are the people who barely know you write down? The whole pattern of their answers is a strong indication of your professional brand. Or how you will come off to employers prior to being hired and certainly after being hired. You could take the above exercise a step further. Ask different questions to tease out exactly how people see you. What three traits describe me best? What did you first think of me when you first met? How has this changed over time? What made it change? 

The key is to understand your current professional brand. How do you come across to others holistically? Once you find this. All you have to do is find an employer who is aligned with your professional brand. Or adjust your professional brand to align with an employer whose brand you value. You will likely end up doing some combination of the two.

Your Professional Brand Will Follow You Throughout The Entire Job Search Process Not Only For The 8 Hours

Your professional brand will follow you throughout the entire job search process. Although employers want to know if you are likeable enough to work with for the 8 hours starting from your interview. How will they know that? Communicate it on your résumé. Tell as a story in your LinkedIn profile’s Summary section. Showcase by your pacing and tonality on a phone screen. Indicate by your nonverbal cues during video interviews and visits. Show them that you are the best candidate to work with for 8 hours and more.

As a PhD we didn’t spend much thinking about how we were perceived by others behaviorally. At least not in academia. Only obsessed with how logical our arguments were. Does your professional brand say you care more about competency than likability? Or the other way around? Does it say that you are technically superior in a niche field? But underdeveloped in core transferable skills like time management, project management and chain of communication? Or it says that you are management material and should be put in a Senior, Principal or executive-level position? Does it say you need 5 to 8 years of entry-level training first? 

Most importantly, do you know who you are? Or, are you willing to be anything to everyone as long as you get hired? Like an amoeba morphing your personality and goals into whatever others want them to be at the time? Either you’ll decide your professional brand for yourself or someone else will decide it for you. You don’t have to wait until you reach the highest levels of success in business to make this decision. You can make it now.

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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