Monday, November 23, 2009

How do you "break in" when you lack experience?


Almost every non-clinical job description will indicate that you must have some experience in that field. After all, it's extremely rare to find a true "entry level" position in pharma, biotech, consulting, health IT, etc. However, the reality is that everyone has to "break in" from somewhere. Everyone starts by having zero industry experience. So, how do you get started? Do you need to start really low and then slowly climb the corporate ladder? Start with some freelancing assignments? Do some independent consulting?

This is where I have found that personalized career coaching can be extremely beneficial. Why? Because you need guidance on this topic if you fit into that category of someone who lacks significant industry experience. Career counselors and coaches can help you find suitable ways to break into certain industries. You need to know how to create a career map that outlines both short-term and long-term goals. What are feasible expectations? What types of salaries should you expect to receive? How can you transition from one industry to the next?

For instance, you may spend 1-2 years in pharma and realize that you don't want to build a career in pharma. Can you transition easily into health IT? What about medical consulting?

What if you gain 1-2 years as a medical writer? What can you do then? Are you stuck as a medical writer?

What's the best way to enter pharma? Sales rep? MSL? Drug safety?

Once you ask one or two questions, you quickly realize that there are so many additional questions that quickly follow. To find answers to your questions, consult a career counselor/coach or mentor. Discuss these issues with people who have personally gone through these types of transitions and who have helped others with these career decisions. Find a Non-Clinical Physician Mentor

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