We are our own inner architects. As a PhD, it is not hard to understand an equilateral triangle base is the least requirement for a stable frame, and the broader that triangle is, the higher the building could be. Skill, Interest and Value are the three sides of triangle, which are necessary for us to build careers in industry.
1. Are the skills you have really useful?
No doubt, PhDs have in-depth knowledge in a specific field, but in industry, in the real world, it is the skills you acquire that are really useful, not the knowledge. By the way, a PhD is not a proof of how many protein names you know, it is a passport that enables you to go search the unknown. Yes, as a PhD, we alone are trained to overcome all kinds of challenges. Therefore, we usually lack people skills. What kinds of skills are the most demanding in the industry? Communication, teamwork, and problem solving. How can we build those people skills? Can we learn these skills from our schools or books? It is a challenge for everybody to think about. Do we feel so special that everybody else has to treat us differently? Do we feel it is wasting our time to listen to others talk about weather, traffic, kids, and family? Do we dislike somebody for having a different behavior with us? How do we deal with those diversities? How can we change ourselves?
2. Build your interests into your resume
We are PhDs, but first we are human beings. We have interests, likes or dislikes, just like everybody else does. Someone once told me: “Love what you do, not do what you love.” Is that right? I don’t think so. Usually HR people look at a resume and say: oh, you can do research, OK, go to R&D, but what if you don’t like to do R&D? Do you force yourself to like it? The outcome will be obvious: you will not be productive and therefore you will not stay at the job. We have to consider our own interests when we search for a job. Usually, the job is not just a job, it will become a part of your life. If you enjoy it, you will have a great deal of energy and creativity, leading to your future success. Have you considered building your interests into your resume yet?
3. Find your value and match it with your job
Value is the last process and one of the key points to decide our fate of getting a job. Have you wondered sometimes after a job interview, if the person who got the job seemed as good as you? Have you considered why interviewers ask questions that are totally not related to the job and your resume? They are checking your values. Namely, a “fit” issue. If your values are totally different from their values, you will not fit in that environment or that group. What kind of values do you have? Recognition? Money? Trust?… It is related to the question: Do you know yourself? Values are not obtained by training, they are obtained by birth. It can only be discovered in you, not be created by you. When you know your own values, and know the company’s values are the same, you are on your way to a successful job search.
What kind of inner architecture would you like to have for yourself?