The life sciences industry is fast becoming one of the most sought-after career paths in the world today. Maybe because it has a crucial role in the future we all want to see with constant research going in this field. Research shows that the life sciences have more than 800 jobs available for both entry-level applicants and experts in the sector. This makes it one of the reasons why the industry is facing a talent gap, as there are barely enough talents available to take up roles in that sector.
A career in the life science industry requires some qualities which you should possess if you desire to build a career in that sector. Not having them would most likely make you less effective than you need to be. Hence, we have compiled a list of things that you should know if you are about or intend to start a career in the industry.
1. Know Your Area of Specialization
The life sciences industry is a broad field that covers research, pharmaceuticals, development, cosmeceuticals, food processing, and other areas that improve human life and experience as we know it. It is important that you find out the area you want to specialize in or the area you’d like to dive into if you’re considering a career in life sciences. Learn about what is required for each of these areas and what’s needed to get started in any of them.
This will help you make informed choices and give you a heads-up on what to expect and how to prepare for the job. You can read this up if you don’t yet have enough knowledge about it, so you may know the qualities or experience required for that area. This will help you channel your learning and fix your attention in that area, which would further help you become an expert in the area.
2. Increase your Knowledge in your Area of Specialization
If you already have substantial knowledge or experience in an area, you can go on without breaking a sweat. Not only will you be able to contribute meaningfully, but you’ll also be able to garner more knowledge in the field. On the other hand, if you don’t have sufficient experience in a field, but you’d like to specialize in that field, you can take up courses and build up your knowledge in the area.
Most employers would love to see that you have basic knowledge about the field you’re seeking to intern or work in. Say they’re researching or running a protein expression system, you should know all about pichia pastoris expression, protein production, and E. Coli expression system. Having good knowledge or experience will help you excel in that area and become an expert in the field. Increasing your knowledge in the field is never a waste as you get the chance of being the best at what you do, especially when the life sciences industry can require technical know-how.
3. Improve Your Communication Skills
Life Sciences is strongly connected to data; how to source data and analyze it. One thing you’d have to deal with in this industry is communication. You will need to communicate with people to get or share data, especially in research. Data is indispensable in life sciences, and you need to find a way to be able to communicate effectively with people to be able to get needed data.
If you have challenges with communication, you can improve your communication skills by starting with a colleague or a small group of people. Organize a mini information session and have people share their views, ask questions, and respond to people. This will help hone your communication skills and also train you for your career path in the life sciences industry.
4. You Need a Mentor/ Counselor
Another thing you should do before taking up a career in life sciences is to seek professional counsel about all or some of your decisions about the field you’d like to specialize in. You can find people currently working in this niche and connect with them down on social media.
It’s only necessary to add that it would be safe on your part to not always expect to receive engagement or answers from these people, especially when you don’t know them closely. They may or may not answer, just keep doing your bid to reach out. When you get the chance, make sure you use it wisely and get all of your questions answered or doubts settled. This may help you get ahead of any confusing situation you might be in.
5. Network with People in the Field
Having connections and being a part of a growing community is often recommended to become successful in any field. There are recent graduates, professors, experts, or even past employers in the life sciences industry that you can network with. This can grant you unlimited access to useful resources and tips on how to grow or start a career in the life sciences industry. You get to see for yourself how these sets of people conduct themselves and learn what they do to keep being at the forefront of their careers. They can also refer you to open opportunities and give you reviews on any application you may be currently looking to send in.
There is no such thing as doing too much research when it comes to life sciences, considering the industry itself is based on research. You should research how the field has advanced and how you can keep up with any technological advancement. Research can help you develop an interest or help you know if this is the right path for you.
The field keeps growing, and it is very possible to be lost in the tracks or left behind if you don’t ensure that you are doing enough research and asking questions from the right people. If you have done some research, do some more and keep learning to get around the curve.
A career in the life sciences industry is very possible, and you can thrive in it when you take the right steps and equip yourself with enough knowledge and training in the field. Doing this will help you deal with any feeling of inadequacies that may spring up from not having enough knowledge and experience.