Accountability Key

Get Access To One-On-One Consulting, Weekly Conference Calls & A Selective WhatsApp Group That Will Hold You Accountable To Getting Hired

Introducing The Accountability Key

Get The Accountability, Structure, & Personalized Guidance You Need To Overcome Your Unique Challenges

Here’s What You Get Access To When You Become An Accountability Key Member…

The Accountability Key Provides Support for PhDs Facing Special Challenges, Including…

  • PhDs who’ve hit a sticking point. You’ve tried to follow the Cheeky Scientist methodology, but you’re not getting the traction you’d like.
  • PhDs with a rare academic background. While other PhDs were majoring in life sciences or engineering, you chose a specialized, less-popular focus for your research. You feel that this creates additional hurdles for you in your job search that other Cheeky Scientist Associates may not face.
  • PhDs who need a US VISA. You’re finding that it’s tough to secure opportunities because of your VISA situation. To land a position, you’re realizing you need an extra dose of confidence, creativity, and discipline.
  • PhDs located in a remote geographic area. You don’t reside in Silicon Valley or Cambridge-Boston. Instead, you work in a less-populated area that isn’t a technology hub. As a result, effective networking and/or landing a job in your region seems complex or even impossible.
  • PhDs facing a make it or break it situation. You’re about to enter your first phone screening, site visit, or pivotal interview. You realize that the outcome of this event can either accelerate your transition or lengthen your stay in academia.
  • PhDs who are scarred from their time in academia. Your academic environment fostered discouragement, perfectionism, cynicism, and/or imposter syndrome. Gaining back your confidence has been a struggle, and your transition has suffered because of it.
  • PhDs who are in a time crunch. You’re attempting to faithfully work your way through the CSA materials. But thanks to your postdoc research or graduation schedule, you’re having to rush  your Cheeky Scientist homework.
  • PhDs who’ve experienced a crushing disappointment. You thought you were one step away from starting your dream job. But that final interview fell through…or that job offer never materialized.

Here's What Previous Accountability Key Members Are Saying...

“I got hired into my dream position as an MSL in Pathology at Bristol-Myers Squibb thanks in part to the Accountability Key Program. The personalized training on phone screens, virtual interviews, and interview presentations was invaluable. To be held accountable to answering tough behavioral interview questions in the right way and to practice mock interviews over and over again really helped me solidify my approach and gave me confidence when interacting with high-level employers in Pharma. The support of the other Accountability Key members and the intimate and structured communication format of the program really forced me to take my job search to the next level.”

“The Accountability Key is game-changing. Every PhD has a different background and different experiences; this program helped me to perfect the way I present my experience to stand out and be noticed by companies. The fast feedback I received from my consultant kept me in focus. A big highlight is the personalized guidance. I was in the program when the pandemic started, and the strategies changed accordingly. The program gave me essential information; I learned 5-months ago about how the job market will change that has turned out to be completely right. These insights have continued to help me in my career today - almost half a year later! That's a significant advantage. If you are serious about getting hired and want to accelerate your progress, the Accountability Key is for you.”

The Accountability Key Provides Increased Access To Our Team

The Accountability Key gives you intimate, one-on-one access to Isaiah and our consulting team

Every week, you’ll turn in your Accountability Key workbooks. Then, Isaiah and the consultants will walk through your workbook answers in real time during our weekly conference calls.

You’ll also get access to an advanced, one-of-a-kind WhatsApp accountability group. With our WhatsApp Accountability Group, you’ll have another channel for accessing our team and asking us questions.

Thanks to the Accountability Key system, you’ll get personalized feedback and data that hold you accountable to your job search and ensure you overcome your unique sticking points.

An article in the Entrepreneur explains…  

“The American Society of Training and Development found that people are 65 percent likely to meet a goal after committing to another person. Their chances of success increase to 95 percent when they build in ongoing meetings with their partners to check in on their progress.”

Currently, the Association gives you the knowledge needed to transition…as well as a support network thanks to our private group.

It’s helpful to browse the materials in your CSA dashboard and interact with other Cheekies online.

But that isn’t the same thing as accountability.

The CSA membership doesn’t include a formalized structure to hold you accountable to the Cheeky Scientist’s job search strategy. You can work through all the materials…or you can stop in the middle of Module 1.

This autonomy might work fine for some PhDs…but it may be less than ideal for others.

In fact, research indicates that having a close network to hold you accountable increases your chances of turning your objectives into reality.

Here are some details on how the program is designed to help you take ownership of your job search.

An Overview Of The Layers Of Support You’ll Receive With The Accountability Key

Weekly Live Video Conference Calls With Isaiah Hankel, PhD & Our Team Of Consultants

  • Discover Data That Informs Your Job Search Efforts. The Accountability Key gives you an opportunity to be on a live conference call with Isaiah Hankel…every week. These calls aren’t pre-recorded sessions or webinars. Instead, you’ll have the opportunity to listen to Isaiah cover relevant topics in real-time.
  • Stay accountable. Enjoy a structure for implementing key transition activities. Your conference calls will include instruction—as well as homework you need to complete.
  • Get a behind the scenes look at Team Cheeky KPIs. As a transitioning PhD, you probably wish you had a deeper understanding of the job market. The Accountability Key will give you access to this information to bolster your job search efforts. Team Cheeky closely monitors data on the job market and we will share this data with you on the conference calls. We might discuss new job titles that recently surfaced worldwide, a relevant merger/acquisition, and any other relevant trends in the job market.
  • Generate fresh ideas for your transition. If your job search is unusually challenging, you might need help thinking outside of the box. Take advantage of our conference calls to find creative ways to move forward. During the calls, you may learn about a job search strategies that is a great fit for your situation, job opportunities that just opened up, or even an innovation that might create new opportunities for someone with your skills.

Personalized One-On-One Consulting & Accountability Documents

  • Establish your specific goals and the next steps you want to take in your transition and identify the obstacles you are facing during your job search by filling out the intake form. This will help you come up with a personalized road map that you will follow during the upcoming weeks.
  • The form will also provide our team of consultants with detailed information about your specific situation and how we can help you overcome your unique roadblocks to get your job search back on track.
  • With this information, we will have a better idea of where to focus our attention during the weekly conference calls.

Personalized Weekly “Next Session” Workbooks

  • Use the Next Training Session workbook to record the measurable actions you want to accomplish each week and the accomplishment you achieved the week before. This will help track your progress. More importantly, it will help you establish achievable, short-term goals that will add up to your long-term goals before you know it. These are the keys to being accountable.
  • During the weekly conference calls with Isaiah, you will review the Next Training Session workbooks and discuss which next steps are more likely to get tangible results.
  • The information recorded in your workbook will allow our team to provide you personalized advice and make the right decisions.

Access To Our International WhatsApp Accountability Group

  • Communicate with our team using a highly popular app. Just like your CSA membership, the Accountability Key gives you access to a private group. You can communicate with our consultants and other Accountability Key members via WhatsApp.
  • Receive one check-in each weekday. Our CSA private group is very active, and our team posts multiple times each day. However, in our WhatsApp group, Accountability Key members are given the one piece of career advice they need to focus on at each check-in.
  • Enjoy a same-day answer guarantee. When you send us a question on WhatsApp, we will reply to your comments on the same day.
  • Interact with a smaller group. Right now, the Association consists of over 10,000 members. While that means more PhDs are getting access to the CSA, it also means the private group is constantly growing. The Accountability Key offers you a much more intimate group to with which to interact.

If Your Challenges Seem Bigger Than Your Current Job Search Knowledge & Confidence, Consider That…

There’s No Cookie-Cutter PhD Experience

Maybe you know several PhDs who started their first industry job only a few weeks after joining CSA.

Maybe your fellow CSA colleagues didn’t experience the challenge of needing an employer-sponsored VISA before they could begin their new positions.

Or perhaps the experiences of PhDs who’ve landed jobs in biotech, pharma, and other STEM-focused organizations don’t mirror your situation. Your doctorate is in education or history—and you know that your career path is going to look different.

The fact is, there isn’t a cookie-cutter formula for landing your first industry job

Are there certain common experiences among PhDs? Yes.

Is there only one trajectory for getting an organization to recognize your value and hire you? No.

To get over the finish line, you may benefit from fresh insights, fresh motivation, and fresh confidence. You may want extra help as you seek to find creative solutions. And that’s okay.

A Purchase Won’t Solve Your Challenges

When you joined the Cheeky Scientist Association, you chose to say “no” to the status quo of academia and “yes” to a better career. You started taking steps toward getting a paycheck that reflects your value and joining a work environment that leverages your skills.

But let’s face it.

The training in our Association materials will only take you so far.  

Your dashboard isn’t going to spring back from a disappointing interview, pursue a position that’s “outside” your academic background, or successfully navigate other challenges. You will.

It’s your job to put yourself in the best possible position to overcome your obstacles. That means being diligent about working through your training materials. It means rolling up your sleeves to follow up with contacts. It means employing your networking scripts.

No one can do the hard work for you.

What can help is having extra support to stay on track with following the Cheeky Scientist methodology.

It’s Critical to Focus on Your Top Priorities

For some PhDs, being diligent isn’t the biggest challenge.

They know that following the CSA methodology is integral to success. Because of this, they might feel the pressure to carefully comb through each resource and rewatch every single video.

But that can be a struggle when you’re working against a ticking clock. 

You might have experienced unemployment so long that your window of time to make a transition is shrinking. Or you may be engrossed in hours of research, trying to keep your PI happy.

While it’s important to work through your CSA course, it’s also important to be laser-focused on the most important activities for transitioning.

It’s completely understandable if you need help executing your most important activities—as well as additional access to our team to ensure you’re walking in the right direction.

Three Reason To Join The Accountability Key

Because Your Transition Is a Learning Experience

During your time in academia, perhaps you hit a sticking point in your PhD program. Suddenly, there was a big obstacle in conducting research or in writing your dissertation…and you simply didn’t see a way around your challenges.

At this point—if you had a supportive academic environment—you might have asked for additional help from a fellow PhD, your PI, or your academic advisor.

Your transition is a learning experience, too. When you hit a sticking point, it’s only natural to seek extra help.

Think of your CSA membership as your coursework. It provides the knowledge you need to transition. Think of the CSA private group as a learning environment where you can get colleagues to weigh in on your challenges.

However, when you encounter an unusual dilemma in the learning process, you might need increased support.

That’s the point of the Accountability Key.

Leverage your membership to stay accountable. Take advantage of your access to restore your confidence…or get that creative breakthrough you need for addressing a complex challenge.

Because You Don’t Want to Waste Your CSA Membership

You made a big commitment and a big investment by joining the CSA.

But if you fail to find time to through the Association materials…

Or when you don’t hold yourself accountable to being active in the private gorup…

You’re effectively wasting your CSA membership.

Be honest with yourself.

Have you truly made an effort to understand the CSA methodology with your training resources?

Are you ensuring that your CSA membership is more than just an online learning program? Do you understand the CSA job search strategy because you’re actually following it yourself?

If your CSA membership is figuratively collecting dust, it’s time to face the facts. It’s time to put accountability in place so you don’t waste your membership.

Because You Need More Personalized Support

You might feel lost in the sea of resources that the Association provided for you and don’t know where or how to start going through the materials and setting up your specific job search strategy.

You might want to discuss your options in a smaller group that can focus on your particular struggles.

With the Accountability Key, you get a bundle of benefits, including weekly insights and regular check-ins, all within an intimate environment.

“Thanks to the Accountability Key Program I got a position at Wells Fargo that allowed me to do the data scientist work I always wanted to do. I highly recommend this program. The intensive, personalized calls forced me to increase the quality of every aspect of my job search. Starting from my LinkedIn profile and resume to my networking and job referral efforts, Isaiah provided me with encouragement to make that next step in getting the job that I wanted. The push to perform well on phone screens in virtual interviews and presenting in front of a live audience, really help me to master the art of impressing your interviewers. If you’re having trouble spending enough time on your job search and doing the things that you need to do, this accountability program might just be the right program to get hired for you.”

“I got hired into my dream job right out of my PhD because of the Accountability Key program. Before the Accountability Key, I kept putting off my job search tasks for work on my dissertation and when I did actually get to my job search, I got overwhelmed with everything there was to do. The program was exactly what I needed. The Accountability Key was highly structured and the personalized consulting calls made me elevate my job search and do the work that needed to be done to start getting interviews and job offers. Through the program, I was pushed to make my resume and my LinkedIn profile better than I ever thought it could be. I was pushed to organize all of my job search activities and constantly update my networking contacts, something I had constantly put off doing thinking I didn’t need to, but it was precisely what I needed to do. The program also made me reach out to new networking contacts and get back in touch with contacts that I hadn’t kept up with, which used to be the first thing I put off doing. The program also gave me the opportunity to practice for interviews, which was super helpful. I always thought memorizing answers would be enough, but practicing for interviews was critical to getting the job I wanted. That is what accountability does - it makes you do the things you don’t want to do so you can have the things you really want to have. In my case, the thing I really wanted was a regulatory medical writing job right after graduation, and thanks to the Accountability Key, I have it now.””

The Accountability Key Is A Three-Month Long Program To Help You Put Your Job Search Strategy In Place.

The Accountability Key is a laser-focused three-month program that will give you the tools you need to create a job search strategy that works specifically for you.

During those three months, we will give you constant support and will help you remain accountable.

Weekly call days and times will be determined based on the incoming Accountability Key cohort. All locations and time zones are welcome and all will be considered.

Our membership allows you to request support based on your needs, your location, and your schedule.

When You Sign Up For The Accountability Key, You Will Get Additional Layers Of Support That Are Exclusive For You.

You probably know, firsthand, that transitioning into industry isn’t an overnight process.

Going from academic postdoc to industry professional can take months of honing your skills, persistently networking, and aggressively pursuing all opportunities before you.

Securing a position takes patience.

In contrast, joining the Accountability Key gives you access to multiple benefits in a very short time frame.

With the Accountability Key, there’s a small gap between signing up for our membership and beginning to reap the benefits of our support.

You’ll get same-day answers within WhatsApp.

You’ll get access to a personalized dashboard with never-before-offered resources.

You will get access to our weekly conference calls once the new Accountability Key cohort starts and for the following three months.

While you’re waiting for your future career to materialize, you’ll enjoy regular, responsive support from the Cheeky Scientist team to keep you on track.

Here’s the Targeted Training You’ll Receive From The Accountability Key...

Introduction & Strategic Organization

  • Value of meeting in small groups – held accountable in your job search 
  • Establish background, specific position you’re looking for and challenges/obstacles getting to these positions
  • Job search strategy spreadsheet – Identify companies you want to work for, identify people who work in those companies, when last connected and when next to connect. Make an excel sheet – your job search strategy spreadsheet: company, position, contact, second contact, last time connected, next time connected – put on your calendar so that you can keep track. Goal: to have 3-4 interviews/week
    • Company search – search by location, size (small or midsize), company type, company reviews.
  • Scripts to connect with someone and streamline into informational interview/referral 
  • Scripts to get mutual a connection to introduce you to someone on LinkedIn
  • Homework: prioritizing the top 30 companies and reaching out to people working there.
  • Use the Members’ Directory
  • If don’t know the target company/title, focus on target company first because titles are not consistent across different companies
  • Deliverable: Prepare job search strategy excel sheet and prioritize the top 10 companies and contacts to reach out to.

Network Prioritization & Job Referrals

  • Establish patterns to your job search
  • Job search strategy spreadsheet
  • Introduce: Straight line referral strategy
  • “Covering” find job titles similar to the positions you’re after and your safety position –  many companies have different titles
  • Challenge Q&A: how many Associates are uncomfortable reaching out to people?
  • Flash task – a couple of sentences to reach out to people. The power of “next” if people don’t reply. 
  • Establishing how to find emails of connections
  • Hunter.io
  • How to reach out effectively?
  • How to add value to gain a referral?
  • Networking scripts
  • Scripts for informational interviews
  • How to handle “rejections” from networking?
  • Exercise: Walk Us Through The Top 5-10 Lines Of Your Job Search Strategy Spreadsheet
  • Deliverable: Reach out to the top 5 prioritized people on your spreadsheet and get a reply from at least two of them. Reach out to more people as needed until you get 2 replies.

 

Straight Line Referral Strategy & Informational Interview Deep Dive 

  • Framework to straight-line referrals + informational interviews
  • Q: How to speak to senior vs junior manager? 
  • Informational interview – 4-step strategy from cold contact to informational interview
    • Level 1: Casual
    • Level 2: Personal
    • Level 3: Landscape
    • Level 4: Job lead
  • Challenge: Reach out to 10 people/day. Goal, reach out to 30 people/day. Prioritize the top 5 people.
  • Negative behavioral questions are about seeing how you handle stressful situations
  • Positive behavioral questions are about seeing how you can handle cross-functional situations
  • STAR method – opportunity to tell a convincing story. 
  • Unique Selling Proposition 
  • Pre-interview questions
  • In-interview questions
  • Priming Interview questions
  • Post-interview questions
  • Exercise: Share the 5 messages you sent out and at least one contact replied.
  • Deliverable: Set up and execute at least one informational interview and record your questions and their answers.

 

Elevator Pitch Practice & Unique Selling Proposition Diagrams

  • STAR – Put an example position and company. 
  • Examples of questions:
    • Q1: Why should we hire you over other candidates?
    • Q2: We’re looking for someone with a leadership quality, what makes you the right candidate for this job?
    • Q3: You’re the first PhD we’re hiring. We’re concerned about why you’re leaving academia after some time. Tell us, why you’re committed to industry and what can you bring to the table?
    • Q4: Why do you want to work in this company and what skills can you bring to this company over the other companies? 
    • Q5: You’re the first PhD to apply for this role. Doesn’t seem you have a lot of industry experience. How do you know this role is right for you and what can you do for this position?
  • Craft Unique Selling Proposition
  • Exercise: Walk Us Through Your Informational Interview
  • Deliverable: Practice elevator pitch incorporating Unique Selling Proposition for next call

Higher Quality LinkedIn Profiles

  • Strategies for LinkedIn
  • Flexibility, performance management, personal development and virtual training
  • Persuasive phrases: use of specific phrases during economic times 
    • People-, systems- and self-oriented skills – employers are focused on these 3 sections. During a recession use phrases like “protect your job” vs during economic boom, “elevate your job search”
    • During disrupted times, need to highlight flexibility and show certainty 
  • Include the above as starting points to bullet points
  • Headline: job title, location, skills 
  • Features
  • Work experience
  • Volunteer experience
  • Endorsements and recommendations
  • Interests
  • Exercise: Read out your Elevator Pitch & Walk Us Through Your USP Diagram
  • Deliverable: Update LinkedIn profile headline, “work” experience, volunteer experience, endorsements & get/give 2 reviews

Resume Updates & Higher Quality Bullet Points

  • Formatting
  • Name, contact information
  • Professional summary
  • Work Experience
  • Skills/hobbies
  • Affiliations 
  • Spacing
  • Walkthrough bullet point creation (live examples)
  • Exercise: Walk Us Through Your LinkedIn Profile Updates
  • Deliverable: Update bullets points for Professional Summary & Work Experience Section

Phone Screens & Mock Audio Interviews

  • Phone screen questions 
  • Get trained on audio calls, without video on 
  • Some examples to work on:
    • Tell me a little bit about yourself and why you’re interested in this position
    • Looks like you’ve been in academia for a while, when did you decide to get into position X and why now, why you want to leave academia now and do you plan to go back?
    • What do you know about the commercialization part of this role – it seems you have a lot of experience with research – tell me what do you know about product maturity and commercialization
    • We are opening up a number positions here, are you open to other positions
    • What are your salary expectations
    • How much small talk is good?
    • Elevate your elevator pitch to your unique selling proposition. Don’t talk in terms of years of experience unless you have results immediately following
    • How to get over the first “hurdle” of phone screen? 
    • How to mirror the questioner?
    • Some very experienced HR person will avoid technicality in their first question/tell stories 
    • Always go back to skills, results and why that company/prepared me to get to this position (STAR) – if asked more example
  • Exercise: Walk Us Through Your Resume Updates
  • Deliverable: Practice list of common phone screen questions

Mock Video Interviews & Behavioral Interview Deep Dive

  • Each Associate gives elevator pitch incorporating unique selling proposition
  • Some behavioral questions to go over: weakness & conflict are the biggest questions – but remember the positive questions too
  • How to prepare for and ace behavioral questions
  • What are the most common behavioral questions in a job interview
  • How to create strong answers to behavioral questions
  • What to do if you don’t know the answer
  • Why industry interviews rely on behavioral questions to hire top candidates
  • Exercise: Answer audio-only interview questions (Mock Phone Screen – Usually 2-3 Questions)
  • Deliverable: work on the list of behavioral questions and incorporate feedback into respective answers

Site Visit Preparation & Incorporating Business Acumen 

  • How business flow/company is structured 
  • Flexibility to be open to other roles that call for skills similar to target position
  • #2 on article – commercialization. Delivery and distribution. Strategy. Go/bring it to market strategy – transition between development and bringing it into the market. 
  • Corporate Strategy
  • Basics to project management and people management
  • Cash flow/cash burn – how to ensure staying within budget
  • Exercise: Answer 1-2 Video Interview Behavioral Question
  • Deliverable: Craft a 3 slide presentation

Interview Presentation Design

  • Feedback of presentation 
  • Video presentations, do’s and don’ts – good audio, good background, good light on your face
  • Establish an audience
  • Flow of presentation/slides + target audience and position
  • What is the theme across all 3 slides? Close the story and theme of the presentation
  • Exercise: Present Interview Presentation
  • Deliverable: Update Job Search Spreadsheet Strategy and LinkedIn profile (endorsements & recommendations)

Mock Interview Presentations & Higher Quality Slides

  • Presentation should incorporate Unique Selling Proposition
  • Relevant to technical (Directors/team lead) and non-technical (HR) audiences
  • Flow of slides according to length of presentation
  • Exercise: Present Updated Interview Presentation
  • Deliverable: incorporate suggestions from current presentations and prepare for live presentations into CSA private group

Live Interview Presentation Training, Review & Wrap Up

  • Live stream of live presentation into CSA group
  • Personalized feedback in private – inflection, tone, personality, timed presentation, audio connection, looking at the camera 
  • Summary:
    • What changed in your job search strategy/what’s changed to who you’re contacting
    • What challenges you have
    • Are you open to new positions/locations. Give pointers to Associates on which positions they can go with.
  • Exercise: Present Interview Presentation Live
  • Deliverable: Final Interview Presentation

The Theory-Only PhD 

This PhD loves the abstract. From physics to biology, the theoretical has a strong appeal to this academic.

The practical? Not so much.

This PhD would rather read articles on transitioning into industry than actually send a networking script to a contact. He would rather watch a webinar than pinpoint potential employers.

If that describes you, then don’t join the Accountability Key.

The Accountability Key membership purposefully emphasizes the “hands-on” aspect of transitioning. As we said before, our goal is all about the “how” of moving into industry.

 

The Behind-the-Screen PhD 

This PhD would rather type a message than pick up the phone. He would rather send an email than interact face-to-face.

If this describes you, then we wouldn’t recommend signing up for the Accountability Key.

A big part of the Accountability Key’s value is the closer communication you’ll enjoy through our weekly conference calls and the WhatsApp private group.

On top of that, the accountability key encourages person-to-person interaction. (Networking is more than having the best LinkedIn profile out there).

If you can’t see yourself voice messaging us or conducting in-person informational interviews, you may not benefit from the Accountability Key.

The Know-It-All PhD 

This PhD is already experiencing good success using the Cheeky Scientist blueprint.

They blew through the CSA materials and have no problem networking. They’re not facing difficult obstacles—such as a rare academic background. They haven’t experienced a crushing letdown. And their confidence is quite high.

If this situation describes you, more than likely, you don’t need any additional support.

You really don’t need the Accountability Key.

The Accountability Key is about boosting your confidence with further resources. It provides accountability for those who are struggling to get traction. It offers additional insights for breaking through barriers.

The PhD who has it all together doesn’t need the Accountability Key.

The Accountability Key Is Yours For The Taking

We’ve said a lot about the Accountability Key membership. But the decision is ultimately yours. This is an opportunity to connect with the Cheeky Scientist Team in a way that you never have before. This is an opportunity to bring a sense of accountability to your transition. This is an opportunity to bring fresh insights to your job search.

Be sure you don’t simply understand the “what.” Be sure you give the “how” of landing an industry position your attention, too.

Double down on your transition with the Accountability Key.