Making a career move in pharma

If you feel that you have gone as far as you can in your current role, it could be time to make a career move in pharma. Here’s some advice from Pf’s recruitment experts to get you on track for future career success.

When was the last time you really felt challenged at work? Are you eyeing up job adverts, dreaming of taking the next step? Is it time to plan your career move in pharma?

“No longer feeling challenged with your day-to-day responsibilities, or feeling that you have reached your peak in performance in your current role, are typical signs that it is time to move your career forward,” says Lauren Ward, Support Operations and Graduate Recruitment Manager, Evolve Selection.

Joe Grundy, Healthcare / Medical Devices Consultant, Carrot Pharma, recommends keeping your eyes open to new opportunities: “We tend to experience highs and lows of enjoyment in our careers. This can lead us to make conscious decisions to passively explore new opportunities, either internally or externally. By going through this process, should you find a position that offers you that next step and meets your expectations, it’s time to investigate further!”

Consider your needs

Lauren advises taking a long hard look at what you really want: “Once you have identified what you are seeking in your next role, you will be able to explore options both internally and externally and select the ones which match your criteria best,” she says. “It is always best to take into account the areas that you feel most comfortable working within when identifying your long-term career goals. Stepping too far outside your comfort zone could be seen as a positive challenge, or alternatively may be seen as a step too far. It is therefore important to be realistic with your expectations when deciding what career move you want to make.”

Joe suggests making a list of your key requirements in a new role: “Think broad – salary/location/work-life balance – these can then be narrowed more specifically based on your needs,” he says. “It’s also common to be led by reputation when researching suitable employers, so try to stay open-minded, allowing yourself to make an independent, informed decision.”

Direct or recruiter?

Whether you decide to apply to companies directly or to go through a specialist recruiter, adapting your CV to target the specific job is essential.

“Your CV should be tailored for every application that you make. Match your strengths, skills and competencies to those required for each position,” says Lauren. “Ensure that you include recent key achievements and successes. These must be specific, measurable and relevant to the vacancy.”

“Hiring managers/talent acquisition typically want a CV to tick certain boxes – proven technical skills, experience, key achievements, coupled with tangible evidence to demonstrate you can ‘get the job done’,” advises Joe. “Personal touches can be useful; however, I’d keep them brief.”

Working with an expert recruiter can give you extra confidence when searching for your next role. “It can feel overwhelming to consider changing roles but using a specialist recruiter can eliminate some of the apprehensions which come with this,” says Joe. “They have the knowledge to put you forward to companies they believe you’ll be most suitable for. This exchange is also your opportunity to gauge their knowledge of the industry, clients they work with and how they plan to work with you.”

Lauren advises choosing a recruiter who fully understands your needs: “If you are working with a market specialist, they should seek to understand what your career goals are and therefore help you achieve them in the best way possible. They should do this by providing expert advice, support and insight to add value to your job search, outside of what you can do yourself.”

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