Abraham Lincoln once said that the "best way to predict the future, is to create it."
In other words, if you want to become a leader in the life sciences sector
, then you need to take control of your development and put a plan in place to reach your goals.
People don't become senior compliance managers and heads of pharmaceutical companies by accident. These are the individuals that continuously assess their career, and plan on acquiring new skills, experiences, and capabilities. By driving your development, you ensure that you achieve your targets as quickly as possible.
The Importance of a Career Development Plan
A career development strategy is crucial because it gives your professional decisions focus. When you know what you want to accomplish, it's easier to make decisions that take you closer to your goals. For instance, if you know that you want to be a compliance manager, then you need a strong knowledge of life sciences regulations, leadership skills and the ability to work well in a team.
A development strategy is a roadmap to the jobs you want in the long-term, and the opportunities you need to take
in the long term.
Here's how you can take charge of your development.
1. Decide What You Want from Your Career
An effective development plan means deciding what you want from your role. This doesn't always mean searching for potential promotions. Lateral movements are essential too. For instance, if you're in a regional sales manager role, but you feel you thrive best when you're collaborating with the media, then you might want to look into a communications manager position. The more you learn about industries
like medical devices and pharmaceuticals, the more you'll find strengths and passions that guide you towards the right role. Start by listing your:
- Strengths and weaknesses
- Passions and values
- Ideas of the ideal workday (i.e., what kind of tasks you would be doing)
Once you have this information, try speaking to your manager or mentor about the roles they think you'd thrive in one day, or research your options online.
2. Conduct a Skills Audit
Once you've found a job that appeals to you, there's a good chance that you won't necessarily have all the talents required to apply for that position. For instance, if you want to become a quality assurance manager in the life science sector, you may already understand the industry and quality demands, but you may need to improve your leadership and management skills.
An audit of your existing CV and talent will define where you are now, so you can see what kind of progress you need to make to reach your goals.
For a better insight into the skills you need, consider comparing your CV to the CV of someone who already has the role you want. Alternatively, speak to a specialist life sciences recruitment company like Kinetic
, and get our insights. We know what makes a great candidate for many roles, so we can show you where to supplement your knowledge and experience.
3. Set SMART Goals
With a good vision of what you want to accomplish, you can begin to set long and short-term goals for your future. Goals are a critical part of developing any career, but they need to be carefully thought-out. For instance, the best targets are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound, or "SMART."
Often, there are many smaller milestones that you'll need to achieve before you reach your goal of a new career. For instance, you may need to work on your personal brand
before you can earn the reputation of a "leader" in life sciences. Before you apply for a role with more challenges and assignments than you're used to, you may volunteer to take part in similar projects. This process will identify you as a problem-solver in your company and expand your skills at the same time.
4. Work Backwards from Your Goals
You may find that the best way to accomplish your ambitions, is to work backwards from your goals. For instance, if you know that you want to become a head of technical compliance for a life sciences company, but you're not sure about your technical skills, you can start by shadowing someone in a similar role or finding a mentor to guide you.
If one day you'd like a role as a surgical product specialist, you might decide to start by volunteering to learn more about the surgical field in your spare time or signing up for networking opportunities where you can learn about the latest innovations in the sector.
Understanding where you are now and where you want to be will guide you towards better learning strategies
5. Keep on Top of Your Development
Finally, remember that it's important to keep tracking your development plan as you go. As the life sciences and medical industries continue to evolve
, there's a good chance that your ambitions will change too.
At least once a year, make sure that you sit down with your career plan, and ask yourself whether you're moving in the right direction to achieve your long-term goals. During this self-examination period, you can also determine whether your idea of the ideal role has started to change.
By thoroughly reviewing your career regularly, you can make sure that you feel secure and confident in your professional choices.
At Kinetic we pride ourselves on being the leading regional experts in the full range of recruitment solutions for the Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices industries.
Kinetic understands the niche requirements for all specialisms of this ever-increasing regulated industry. Wondering if your salary structure is correct in today’s market? Then download The Kinetic Salary and Employment Survey here.
To find out more about how we can support you in your recruitment campaign or help you land your next career progression contact us here.