Just like any man who can assemble a Billy bookcase thinks he’s a Nobel Prize, any male scientist who is like Sheldon Cooper of The Big Bang Theory will refuse to speak to recruiters because, you know, they are just unqualified workforce compared to genius.
Still, just like anybody else, scientists may suddenly find themself unemployed (especially if they work in countries like Spain or Italy) and – sooner or later – at some point in their careers, they will have to convince recruiters and HR people that they’ll treat bosses and colleagues as carefully as they treat algorithms.
The evidence is that as an unemployed scientist, you’ll need to present some sort of soft skills.
And it doesn’t matter if you think that soft skills for losers.
Here are the main three soft skills you need to get a job if you’re like Sheldon Cooper.
Humility towards the HR manager
You’ll need to show off traces of humility: it doesn’t matter how smart and capable you are, it doesn’t matter if you’ll invent an app that’ll make your employer rich: the HR lady’s only concern is that you look and sound and behave just like a regular guy. She doesn’t want your intelligence to disrupt the team, she doesn’t want to have to listen to complaints about how much you dislike team-building activities. With her, don’t you ever try to kid the kidder, because she will have caught you from the very first moment. She knows what your social life would be like if only you had a social life, she knows that you’d prefer working from home without being surrounded by idiots that ask all the time what your opinion about Windows 10 is. And especially, she knows that you wash your hands both after and before using the toilet.
Patience towards little confused Becky
When little confused Becky will come to you in tears declaring that her computer has just broken down by itself without her having any active part in it, you will have to practice the gift of patience. Becky is either some hysterical secretary wearing ballet pumps or your regular account executive that bites her nails and whose job has absolutely nothing to do with yours; still, at some point, she was told that you could help her if the computer went down. Little confused Becky doesn’t need you to lecture her on how she shouldn’t be eating her porridge straight on the keyboard, or that she was supposed to install a PC antivirus three years ago: little confused Becky just need you to be kind and patient and to screw up all your plans for the day to repair her device. And this exactly is what anybody else in the office expects you to do.
Empathy towards the remote IT team in India
If you work in the tech industry, within call centres, in IT or in any other customer-care-based industries, you will always have to face a remote IT team in India that will mess up all your hard work without ever stopping smiling and asking how your family is. Try to show some empathy and do not throw your soft skill-set, as well as the computer itself, out of the window.