What do you wish someone would’ve told you at the beginning of your career? Most people reflect on their career development and think, ‘If only I knew then what I know now, I’d be farther along.’ Many life science professionals don’t have access to mentors or career coaches to help them navigate potential pitfalls in the workplace and plan to reach their goals. As a result, some professionals look back on past decisions and circumstances regretting choices they’ve made.
BioSpace recently posed this question to readers, if you could give one piece of advice to someone just starting their career in life sciences, what would it be? The question struck a chord with many people and different, anonymous responses poured in. Once most professionals are further along in their career, they may have advice or wisdom to share with others. Are you the type of person who is open to feedback, alternative viewpoints, or critique? It is important in your career growth and development to have the ability to positively receive advice and feedback, even if you disagree. Here are some highlights of the best career advice for new life science professionals!
What to do on the job
The first series of advice is related to what to do and how to act while on the job. What kinds of attitudes and behaviors do you display in the workplace? Your colleagues and your boss will be observing everything about you, especially within your first 90 days of a new position. Being engaged and grateful for your current role is something that will set you apart from others. Learning as much as you can, while doing high-quality work can get you noticed for all of the right reasons.
Don’t look too far. Enjoy your current job and learn as much as possible.
You have two jobs. The first is to do your job as per the job description. The other is to make your boss look good. Managing up is as important as managing sideways and down.
Learn the skill of active listening combined with rapport building.
Honesty, accuracy, and compassion.
Thinking about growth and development is wise at any stage in your career. The sooner you consider the big picture and your overall career strategy, you can capitalize on different opportunities to pursue training, position yourself for promotions, and earn raises. Do you have a vision of what success would look like in your career? If not, its vital for you to think about what your ideal job is, what type of environment you enjoy working in, and the values of the organization you want to work for. Most people can only offer advice about careers they’ve been in or traditional career paths they’ve heard about. Do your own research, don’t be afraid to try different things, and see what works best for you.
Don’t confine yourself to traditional careers. Look at non-traditional options.
If you are looking to work in the laboratory, having a BS degree will not take you anywhere, an MS degree will only take you somewhere, but a Ph.D. will take you anywhere.
Establish a high floor. Your potential ceiling may be limitless, but the person who gets the job/promotion/raise has the high floor.
Go to med school.
Dare to dream
We are bombarded by contradicting opinions and ideas on a daily basis. Whether you are watching television or videos online, scrolling through your social media feeds, or listening to others in deep conversation, you are bound to see stark differences on key issues. The topic of your career can also be a point of debate by your friends and family members. It is easy to stay in a place of negativity or fear, while not pursuing your dreams. Being positive and taking action towards what you desire can help you make your dreams a reality.
Don’t give up on finding your dream career; it is out there.
Be true to yourself. Don’t follow the fads. Do some good in the world.
Most people wish that they were given sound advice at the beginning of their careers. BioSpace asked readers to give their best career advice for new life science professionals. The advice covered many areas such as how to present yourself at work, what to do on the job, planning for career growth, and achieving your dreams. Do you regularly consider these topics when it comes to your career? Regardless of what stage of your career you are in, this advice can be helpful in improving your level of job satisfaction. What piece of advice would you give that wasn’t mentioned already?
A Product Manager with expertise in pharma marketing and sales operations