Why PhDs Are Powerhouses Of Productivity (& How It Can Get Your Hired)
“Nothing makes sense today in the job market”, a PhD expressed to me recently.
“No one is responding to my resumes. I don’t understand why they would ask for a scientist at the company and then not even want to talk to me”, they said.
They went on: “I’ve even had some friends refer to me, but still didn’t get an interview. I feel like I made a mistake getting my PhD.”
It’s hard hearing this from PhDs who invested so much in their education and in advancing research for humanity.
Still, I hear it a lot.
My response is always the same in that a PhD is a very valuable degree and it’s in demand now more than ever before.
But, I’m also careful to explain that just because something is valuable doesn’t mean that others automatically recognize it’s value.
You have to explain the value of your PhD. This includes not only the niche skills and knowledge you have, but other factors too.
In today’s competitive job market, PhDs stand out not just for their specialized knowledge, but also for their exceptional work ethic and productivity.
PhDs Are In Demand In Industry Today
The problems businesses face in today’s economy are more complex and interconnected than ever before.
PhDs are trained to tackle these multifaceted issues with critical thinking and deep analysis, making them invaluable assets in any industry.
A report by MIT Management from their Sloan business school discusses how the data revolution has transformed the job market. PhDs, with their extensive experience in data analysis, statistical methods, and scientific research, are perfectly equipped to navigate and lead in this data-driven landscape.
Companies constantly seek innovation to stay competitive. PhDs are at the forefront of research and development, bringing fresh perspectives and cutting-edge knowledge to drive innovation in various sectors.
PhDs also possess a unique blend of skills that transcend disciplines. From project management to communication, their expertise isn’t just about deep technical knowledge; it’s also about the ability to connect and collaborate across diverse fields.
From Silicon Valley to Salt Lake City and beyond, the explosion of biotech and tech industries has created a plethora of opportunities for PhDs. These sectors value the specialized knowledge and research skills that PhDs bring to the table.
In a globalized economy, the ability to understand and navigate different cultural and intellectual landscapes is crucial. PhDs, often with international experience and education, are well-suited to this global outlook.
Your PhD isn’t just a degree; it’s a testament to your ability to think deeply, solve complex problems, and drive innovation.
On top of this, PhDs are highly productive. They are powerhouses for work ethic and work volume, all while maintaining the quality of their work.
5 Reasons Why PhDs Are Powerhouses Of Productivity
One of the fastest ways to get hired today is to communicate this productivity advantage.
When PhDs lean into communicating how productive they are, how strong their work ethic is, how quickly they can learn on the job, how they’ll never stop in the face of failure, and how passionate they are about the cause of a company, they get hired.
In today’s competitive job market, PhDs stand out not just for their specialized knowledge, but also for their exceptional work ethic and productivity. Here are 5 ways to communicate this:
1. Rigorous Training In Research And Analysis
As a PhD, you should always make sure you’re showcasing your rigor in research to employers. This means talking about your ability to deep dive into complex problems to truly understand why they are problems in the first place. You can understand the scope and cause of problems, where others stop at just realizing there is a problem.
PhD programs require students to delve into complex problems, often requiring years and years of dedicated research. This intense focus cultivates an ability to work deeply on challenging tasks without losing momentum or focus.
2. Analysis And Problem-Solving.
Your niche and intricate training as a PhD has honed your analytical skills, enabling you to dissect problems efficiently as well as devise effective solutions quickly. This is an important distinction. Not only are you good at researching problems, but you also excel at synthesizing solutions.
3. High Functioning Organization Skills.
As a PhD, you have the ability to juggle multiple responsibilities. PhDs often balance research, experiments, documentation, meetings, writing papers and grants, teaching, and their own studies. This juggling act fosters exceptional time management and organizational skills.
Many PhDs carry out dozens of projects at once, working 10-12 hour days, if not more, while also taking care of their personal lives. This is abnormal in today’s world where most people take a Monday or Friday off every week for a personal day or a sick day because they’re unorganized and out of balance. As a PhD, you should be flexing your high functioning organizational skills that allow you to continue to produce with far fewer pauses than others.
4. Deadline-Driven Work Ethic.
The nature of PhD programs, with their strict deadlines for publications, conferences, and thesis submission, instills a disciplined work ethic.
Most people do not deal with any strict deadlines. Seriously. Don’t just assume that your daily experience is the same as other non-PhDs. It’s not. PhDs learn to work effectively under pressure and manage their time to meet stringent deadlines.
5. Resilience And Perseverance.
You can’t be highly productive doing worthwhile work unless you can take the punches. Discovery and production requires continuous adaptation.
As a PhD, you have a high level of adaptability to challenges. The path to earning a PhD is filled with obstacles, from securing funding to conducting original research. This experience teaches PhDs to be resilient and adaptable, qualities that translate to high productivity in the workplace.
On top of this, completing a PhD takes years of sustained effort, demonstrating a level of perseverance and commitment that is rare. This long-term focus enables PhDs to tackle large volumes of work with a consistent and persistent approach.
In sum, employers looking for candidates who can deliver high-quality work quickly and consistently would do well to consider the powerhouse of productivity that PhDs represent. If you have a PhD, you have many advantages over other job candidates. One of the biggest advantages you have is the ability to leverage your skill furiously, at a fast pace and with a high volume of work, without losing quality. Your work product is credible and enormous. Make sure you’re representing this to employers.
ABOUT ISAIAH HANKEL, PHD
CEO, CHEEKY SCIENTIST & SUCCESS MENTOR TO PHDS
Dr. Isaiah Hankel is the Founder and CEO of Cheeky Scientist. His articles, podcasts and trainings are consumed annually by millions of PhDs and other professionals in hundreds of different countries. He has helped PhDs transition into top companies like Amazon, Google, Apple, Intel, Dow Chemical, BASF, Merck, Genentech, Home Depot, Nestle, Hilton, SpaceX, Tesla, Syngenta, the CDC, UN and Ford Foundation.
Dr. Hankel has published 3X bestselling books and his latest book, The Power of a PhD, debuted on the Barnes & Noble bestseller list. His methods for getting PhDs hired have been featured in the Harvard Business Review, Nature, Forbes, The Guardian, Fast Company, Entrepreneur Magazine and Success Magazine.More Written by Isaiah Hankel, PhD