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Your Career in Pharma


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Plan your pharmaceutical career and get the best from your recruitment consultant

Published in: Health & Medicine
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Your Career in Pharma

  1. 1. Careerin Pharma
  2. 2. Career planningPlan your careerin pharma Career planning is simply negotiating - with yourself The keys to successful negotiation are term goals are broader plans for the future (e.g. infrastructure.Whatever size of company, you’llsimple: set ground rules, clarify issues from all family, lifestyle and career aspirations). Set them need to be able to handle change.There’s aperspectives, brainstorm and agree a solution. by envisioning what you want to be doing and strong chance your company will be takenThe keys to successful career planning are where you want to be in the next five to ten over or merged in the next few years!much the same because career planning is years – and think about barriers you mightsimply negotiating – with yourself. have to overcome. Where do I look for jobs? Define what you can offer a prospective Scouring the general press for jobThe ground rules employer. Look at your experience, advertisements is one option however the It’s easier to make the right choices on your qualifications, personality and skills. Identify pharmaceutical industry has several dedicatedcareer path if you truly understand where you achievements in your career to date. If you’re publications which contain job adverts – theare now and where you want to be in the new to the job market, give examples of advantage of the latter being that you’re morefuture. So, make time to focus on your career, achievements in your personal or academic life. likely to find a suitable role. Indeed, it’s worthand prepare to have your self perception If you’re looking at a career change, identify keeping an eye on the adverts in suchchallenged! skills you can transfer into a new role. publications even when you are not actively Highlight where you have a skill deficit and job hunting.They give you a good idea ofClarify issues see if you can improve in that area. what the job situation is in your chosen field. Write down answers to these questions. Write down career options that meet your Most recruiters place advertisements on• What do I enjoy doing? aspirations but dont make choices at this stage. industry-specific websites.You can search by• What motivates me? Visualise yourself in each role. Look at the role, location, salary etc, and submit your CV• What annoys me? types of things you really don’t want to do. Be for review. Most postings have contact names• What is important to me in a career? honest about this now to prevent mistakes that and email addresses so you can find out more• What opportunities do I have? may come back to haunt you later! about the role before applying formally.• What are my strengths and weaknesses?• What sorts of things can I see myself doing? Agree a solution Networking• What do I want my personal- work-life You’ve assessed your strengths and Developing a professional network is a balance to be? weaknesses, set your career and life goals and, fundamental way of getting exposure to• What interests do I have outside work? for better or for worse, have confirmed the path potential employers. Start with a list of people• How would I like work to make me feel? for your career in the pharmaceutical sector. you know within or in some way associated Ask others how they would answer some of with the pharmaceutical industry.these questions about you. Don’t just ask those Does size matter? Once the contact is made, know what youwho’ll tell you what you want to hear. Ask What type of company would you like to want from it. Is it advice, information or a leadpeople you don’t get along with – and learn work for? Small companies can give you to another contact who may be able to helpfrom what they say. opportunity to work cross-functionally.They more? Always thank people for their help even if sometimes offer incentives to stay with them they haven’t really moved your search on. If theyBrainstorm and it’s easier for you to shine. Remember have, go back to them with feedback. Be Now write down career goals for the short though, that being out there on your own or proactive and confident and above all, don’t giveand long term. Short-term goals are specific in a small team may be tough. And that small up – the perfect job is out there waiting for you!objectives that, when met, you will take you companies can become big companies. Bigon your way to meeting long-term goals (e.g. companies may offer more flexible benefitsgetting a qualification, getting a job in a packages, the opportunity to work with achosen career, getting a promotion etc). Long- wider product range and a stronger marketing Your Career in Pharma
  3. 3. Working with consultants Get the best from your consultant After all, you’re looking for someone you can trust The first and arguably most important step is that your consultant can give you sound career If you know what you want to do and don’tto choose your agencies with care.You may advice.Your consultant needs to be able to have a particular preference towards where youthink that the more you register with the more quickly assimilate your current experience and do it, you may just want to use a consultant tovacancies you are likely to hear about.This is competencies in order to determine what roles help you to explore your opportunities. In thisnot necessarily true. And this approach has its are available to you. situation, your consultant can save you a goodrisks: An initial face-to-face meeting is important deal of time by exploring a range of roles for• You could flood the market with your in this process.Telephone interviews are you. Make sure youre clear about what types applications. Pharma companies may tire commonly used and are a good start but do of positions you do and don’t want to consider. of you. not give ideal opportunity for you and your• You could lose control of your job search. Managing your consultant ’ You might find yourself being put forward Once you have chosen the consultant(s) that for roles you havent had time to learn There’s a lot to be said for personal meets your requirements, there are a few things • enough about. recommendation. You’re looking that you should do in order to ensure your Consider then what you really want from ’ relationships run smoothly.your consultant. Is it career advice, knowledge for someone you can trust Tell your consultant if he or she calls you toof the industry and its key players, a range of discuss a role for which you have alreadypositions for which to apply? Which agency is applied via another agency.The last thing youbest-placed to meet your specific consultant to really get to know one another. want is your CV landing on one manager’srequirements? Be prepared to spend time with your desk from five different places! Don t be fooled by recruitment agencies consultant, exploring every facet of your career Never allow your CV to be sent to awith many pages of vacancies on their website. to date.What have you done? What are you company without your permission. AA quick’ check will often show that some good at? What are you not so good at? What recruitment consultant should have firstvacancies are no longer current or have been do you like? What don t you like? All these discussed the role with you in detail and sentduplicated to (falsely) portray a wealth of questions will help your consultant form a you a job description for review.opportunity. Find an agency instead that has a picture of the right type of role for you. ’ Interviewing: beware of any consultant whorange of vacancies (and therefore contacts), simply leaves you to your own devices!relevant experience and specialised knowledge Company knowledge Give your consultant feedback as soon asof your industry. Ask potential consultants who If you know what you want to do but are possible after interviews so that they knowthey know and the type and volume of not quite sure where you would like to do it, your views when the client calls with they have done with particular you need a consultant to help find the right Be honest with your consultant they will becompanies in the past. And ask contemporaries company for you. Ask them which companies: discreet but need to know if there are any issueswho theyve found supportive, helpful and • have the type of role you’re looking for that might affect your suitability for a role.successful.There a lot to be said for taking up s • have a product portfolio that interests you Finally, never fail to turn up for an interviewa personal recommendation. After all, you’re • are located in the right area for you ’ without telling your consultant. A cancelled orlooking for someone you can trust. • have an organisational culture in which you re-arranged interview is acceptable - a ‘no • might enjoy working show’ is not!Career advice Also find out who the key players in are in If you are uncertain at this stage what your the organisation. Have you worked with themnext career step could be, you need to ensure before? Do you want to again? Your Career in Pharma