There is no denying that entering the Life Sciences and Biotech industries can be challenging. It is a vast industry that offers lots of never-ending opportunities no matter what stage you are currently at.
Be that as it may, competition can be fierce, requiring diligence and patience to survive.
Do not let this scare you and back out, though. If you are someone who wants this, then you should go for it.
Below are thirteen essential tips you might find useful for starting your career in Life Sciences and Biotech:
- Create a Vision of Yourself
- Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
- Complete an Internship
- Earn a Certificate or Master’s Degree
- Ensure Your CV Stands Out from the Crowd
- Be Up to Date
- Crowd Sourcing Career Help
- Find Your Cheering Section
- Find the Right Mentors
- Don’t Be Afraid of Failure
- Be Bold and Ask
- Work Hard, Work Smart
- Keep an Open Mind
1. Create a Vision of Yourself
The very first thing you should do before diving into this career is to create a vision of yourself in the field.
Look deep within yourself and try to see if you believe that you are genuinely for that career. Then, you should make sure that you have the focus and enough willpower to pursue that career.
Once you have convinced yourself that you really can make it, try closing your eyes and envision yourself where you think you will be ten years from now. What specialization do you see yourself in?
Do you think you can be a biotechnologist? A research assistant? A drug safety specialist? What about a conservation scientist?
Do you envision yourself as someone successful in the field? Probably the head of research of a big company or a lab.
You can be whoever you want to be in your vision. Try to identify your passion. Because once you have been able to visualize what you are going to be, it will be easier for you to create a strategy to accomplish that.
2. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
Once you’ve envisioned yourself in a specialization you want, it’s time you take a bachelor’s degree for that.
Let’s be completely honest here. You won’t be able to pursue a career in Life Sciences if you don’t earn a bachelor’s degree. Because as mentioned earlier, this is a broad field, and there are many applications you need to study.
By earning a bachelor’s degree, you can get the foundation you need to become who you want. Let’s say you want to be a Biotechnologist. You can take a bachelor’s degree in biotechnology if you wish to, but at the same time, you can also take a course related to it like chemistry and physics.
Just make sure that you don’t choose a degree that will only present to you theories from the book. It’s also essential that the degree allows you to apply what you’ve learned through experiments and fieldwork.
3. Complete an Internship
After the bachelor’s degree, the next step you can take is to complete an internship. Through this, you’ll be able to apply what you’ve learned in school to real-life situations.
It’s best to get an internship in a company you desire to work with or a company related to where you want to be. This way, you’ll be able to familiarize yourself with the systems and procedures done.
For example, you want to be more involved with food safety and quality. It’s probably better to get an internship at a manufacturing company. That way, you’ll understand more about the food industry.
4. Earn a Certificate or Master’s Degree
Let’s say you’ve earned your bachelor’s degree and now working in a company you desire. Do you think you should stop there?
Well, you can. But if you want to move higher, you also can get a certificate related to your field or a master’s degree. Although it’s not required, this is something you can add to your resume to prove you have more expertise on the subject.
As subjects in the master’s degree are advanced, you’ll be learning a lot of new things. Added to that, it serves as an excellent refresher of what you have learned before. And if there are new updates and discoveries, it’s something you’ll immediately know about.
5. Ensure Your CV Stands Out from the Crowd
When you think it’s finally time to put yourself out there and eventually land that dream role, make sure you stand out from the crowd. How do you do that? You just need to ensure that your CV stands out.
The Life Sciences industry is very competitive, and you need to expect that there will be applicants who are as good or probably better than you. So, you need to make sure that your CV would say something substantial about you that will put you above your competitors.
Here are some things that will help your CV stand out:
- Make sure you tailor-fit your CV for the job — Omit anything unrelated to the role. This includes everything that will only make your CV so long that the hiring manager won’t even have the desire to look at it.
- Proofread your CV — A CV is a professional document, so it must look professional. A CV containing grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes will likely turn a hiring manager off. Plus, this gives the impression that you can’t pay strong attention to detail, which is an essential skill in the industry.
- Lessen personal details — Hiring managers don’t need to know every detail about you, such as your age, religion, date of birth, etc.
- Order education and qualifications — Most recent education and experiences should always be on top of your resume. And if you have lots of experience and education, make sure to include what’s only relevant to the role.
- Include other skills you have — Get the most out of your skills and include them on your CV. Include any relevant skills you have that you think will be able to give value to the company.
6. Be Up to Date
Make sure that you’re updated on every related news in your field. Whether there’s a new drug discovered, a new technology invented, new software developed, etc., you should know this. In this industry, learning should never stop, and you should practice researching daily to get the most recent news.
This is also one way to stand out if you’re applying for an employer. If you invest your time studying what’s new, you’ll be able to introduce new solutions to some old problems they’re facing. This can make you a top choice for the position.
7. Crowd Sourcing Career Help
Where can you learn best about the career you want than the experts themselves, right?
As someone starting your career in Life Sciences and Biotech, it is highly recommended to ask for some advice from professionals, too. They are the ones who are most familiar in the field and have gone through what you had. They will share the do’s and don’ts and what is the best path to take.
By talking to professionals, you will find out the best course of action you need to take. You will probably be able to get tips on how you can land your first job, advance in your career, or, generally, how to survive in the industry.
8. Find Your Cheering Section
The Life Sciences industry is challenging, and without the proper support, many people would have chosen to give up. If you feel like you are not getting enough help at home or feel like you are not on the right track, find your cheering section.
Try to search for platforms that will let you engage with others and talk about your struggles and pains. At the same time, it is a group where everyone can share their successes, celebrate wins, and inspire others to keep moving forward.
The Life Sciences and Biotech career is not a joke, and it is expected that you will encounter various obstacles in your path. If you are alone on your journey, it will be hard to push yourself to keep going. So, it would help if you have your friends and family to cheer you on.
9. Find the Right Mentors
As mentioned already, it is imperative to ask for help from people who are already successful in the field. But, if you can take it on another level, why not find the right mentors?
Mentors are people who would always put their best effort to guide you and mold you to be one of the best in your chosen career. They are the people you can expect to extend a helping hand if you need some help.
Mentors serve as your role models. These are usually the people who are not only great at what they do, but they are also people you resonate with the most. In other words, you want to be like them.
Even Michelle Dipp, a Life Science expert, has a role model she admired so much and inspires her. Therefore, nothing should stop you from finding your role model.
10. Don’t Be Afraid of Failure
There’s not one successful person who has not experienced failure, and that’s mainly because these two are connected. So, you should start acknowledging that loss is normal, and you should not be afraid of it.
The Life Sciences and Biotech industry’s success path is so long that you would certainly face many challenges your way. And trust me, you will fail a couple of times before you get where you want to be.
You will experience rejection, not getting hired in the company you want, nobody listening to your ideas, and more. But you should know that even if this happens, you’ll be fine.
Besides, there’s no learning if you don’t fail. Because when you fail, you learn, and you grow. Once you can stand up, try again. You might fall again, but don’t stop because you’ll reach that success soon.
11. Be Bold and Ask
This is probably the third time we are saying this, but if you have questions you need answers, you need to be bold and ask.
Be confident with yourself. If you have found a niche or research you’re very interested in and want to understand more about it, don’t hesitate to ask the best person in the field. This is probably a famous scientist worldwide, but remember, there is never a that says you can’t ask them.
So if asking professionals in your area is not enough, ask scientists in the field you want. Don’t worry; they don’t bite. If anything, they’ll be so happy to answer your questions.
12. Work Hard, Work Smart
Let’s put it this way: You want a Life Sciences and Biotech career, but you chose an English degree. Of course, it’s still possible for you to enter the industry despite that. But you’ll be working extra hard because you don’t have the fundamental knowledge about the subject.
So, in whatever you do, don’t just put in the best efforts. You should also make sure that you’re putting your best efforts in the right place.
13. Keep an Open Mind
Lastly, keep an open mind.
As mentioned earlier, the Life and Sciences industry is broad, and there are truly many opportunities waiting for you. Great news, right? But this could also mean that you might not be able to get what you wanted to do.
It is already expected that you will be facing many difficulties along the way. You will be tested if you will continue straight on or choose a different and more comfortable path.
If you choose the latter, do not be disappointed in yourself. You tried your best, and that is important. Plus, scientists are needed in a lot of industries. So if you want to be a doctor but can’t, you can try becoming a research assistant, a quality assurance officer, or even in journalism.
Starting a career in the Life Sciences and Biotech industries is undeniably rewarding. Imagine becoming part of a group that creates a significant change in the world through science and technology. It is amazing!
So, if you want this to be your career, the thirteen tips above will help you a lot.
Just a gentle reminder, though. Do not rely on this list alone, and make sure that you ask the experts about the career you want. Their inputs are the things you would like to take note of.