I am preparing to deliver a webinar for the Association of Women in Science (AWIS for more info see awis.org). As the day approaches I am reflecting on what steps I took to leave the lab bench for another career.
In reality the process started several years ago when the pharmaceutical industry started to undergo rapid change. In 2008 I attended a Bioscience Leadership program that was a joint collaboration between Smith College and the Keck Graduate Institute (http://www.kgi.edu/documents/KGISmith.pdf). I got my first glimpse into virtual biotech companies that operated with a staff of less than 10 and executed all operations via service providers. The model was to outsource all but your core competency. Back then, I started to think about my core competencies. What’s unique about me? What do I bring to the table that you can’t get at a contract resource organization? To answer the question, I spent time getting to know myself using tools like the Myers Briggs assessment and asking friends and colleagues for feedback. I also spent time reflecting on my values and writing them down.
Guy Kawasaki said “to make meaning is to increase the quality of life, right a wrong, or prevent the end of something good”.
My advice to anyone who wants to make a career change…get to know your core and you can make meaning in a new role.