Hosted By

Isaiah Hankel
Isaiah Hankel
Chief Executive Officer Cheeky Scientist
Why PhDs Should Be More Money Driven (& 2 Controversial Cash Goals)

Join Isaiah as he explains why it is important for PhDs to set cash goals and work towards them 

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

  • First, Isaiah discusses why PhDs need to set cash goals and commit to fulfill them
  • Next, Isaiah reveals the strategies to navigate curve ball questions and get hired. Thus, contributing to the cash goals
  • Finally, Isaiah explains 2 controversial cash goals to set as a driving force during your job search

From This Week’s Show… 

Why Is It Important For PhDs To Value Money

We will discuss something that several others avoid: we will talk about  money. As a PhD, you should be aiming to make as much money as possible for doing meaningful work and not feeling guilty about it. You should be rewarded for your value. You can’t know your value or remember your value as a PhD if you are not being paid your value.

PhDs often think that they don’t have enough industry experience, skill sets, or business acumen. Therefore, they are not entitled to more money. But you have to learn to earn it. You can earn more money and you should always try to earn more money else you will get into the industry and then be taken for a ride. I want you to have a target of money and not accept less than what  you are worth, because money can get you a lot of things, most important of them is freedom; to focus your time and effort on projects. 

There are many people out there who would say that money doesn’t matter; just do what you love. Don’t let people dissuade you. I want you to know that money is not the root of all evil, rather it allows us to make a transaction—a value for value—earlier, transactions were done in terms of weapons or forced labor. Therefore, put aside any wrong thoughts about money and open up your mind into a state of discovery.

Strategies For PhDs To Navigate Certain Curve ball Interview Questions 

One of the most popular questions is, ”Can you work with  less qualified people?” Industry employers are hiring more PhDs than ever before. They know that you are highly qualified and respect other PhDs. But they want to know if you can talk to people that have less technical skills than you without making them feel like you are condescending. You can call upon your experience as a mentor to an undergrad, volunteer, lab assistants, that learned in a different way than you. That’s the best way to answer this. People learn at different paces and in a different way. So you would change your approach in terms of training the other person with patience and communication skills. 

Another question is, ”What do you perceive as some of the disadvantages to working in industry?”  Don’t answer that the disadvantage is that it is a business or a company. They don’t want to hear that you think that business in general is a disadvantage. Neither do they want to hear from you that the company’s corporate strategy or the commercial direction is a disadvantage. Don’t answer anything that would indicate that you are going to hesitate to pivot with the company if the market is not responding to a product or a research project. This question has to be answered tactfully.

2 Controversial Cash Goals

I want you to set $10,000 a month as your first target. $10,000 a month amounts to  $120,000 a year. Base this as a driving force and take your job search very seriously, negotiate as aggressively as possible. But with a win-win approach, following all the methodologies to get into a position to attain that goal. Make a plan, a strategy to reach that goal even if it is not perfect. As a PhD in learning, you can always improvise. 

You already have the goal you have to get; $10,000 per month. This is just a start for those of you that haven’t transitioned into industry, yet the government is going to take away at least 40%. For some of you in other countries, it may be much higher. The government is going to take out taxes first before you blow the money. Then, there is social security, Medicare, federal taxes, state or province or local taxes, car insurance and others. You need to get to a point where you can save 40% of your gross income.

As a PhD, you have set goals, formulate hypotheses, design experiments and improvised to attain the goal. Setting cash goals will encourage you to work aggressively towards a secure future.

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

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