I cannot believe that seven months have passed since I left Academia and joined a Biopharma industry. It seems like a lifetime ago…
Am I still enjoying it? Most definitely yes.
Did I have some set backs? Yes.
One of the greatest things that happened to me (as any academic of 8 years would appreciate) is that I received a permanent contract within 3 months of working there!
The reason why I received it so fast? Because they appreciated ‘how hard I was working and that I managed to integrate into the company with ease‘.
Would this ever happen in academia? I do not think so.
After four months of working for a really nice Senior Team Leader, who would always listen and advise and was always approachable (and still is) I was moved to another group with another lovely Manager who is very approachable and appreciates the work that I do.
The reason that I was moved to this team was because they needed someone who can get things done and I have been working hard ever since.
Once I moved to this position I have been given much more responsibility, I was made a Co-PI on one project and am overseeing a study together with my manager. When my manager was on holidays I was part of a team of 3 people who held the fort and got things done.
It hasn’t been all smooth, I had to stand up for myself once more as a result of what could be deemed as workplace bullying. However, once I stood up for myself and made it understood that I will not stand for such behavior, the senior management listened and we managed to find a middle ground where both I and that person were comfortable working together. At that time I felt pleasantly surprised as in my academic career there were no consequences. The senior management would stand back and not want to rock the boat.
Since starting this position I feel like I am finally doing something that I was always meant to do. I have to say that I am the happiest I have ever been in a job right now and the busiest. Every day I have a long list of tasks to achieve and more are constantly added by senior management.
The counting of hours comes naturally now and as there is a flexi time my manager does not mind me coming in later and leaving earlier on days that I have drop and pick my kids up from childminder. In academia I would always feel so guilty leaving at four. Here, I feel happy.
Happy that I managed to finish all of my work on time. Happy that I do not have to bring that work home and do not have think about it on weekend.
What is next? I started inquiring about becoming a Senior Technical Scientist.
I am already doing that role and the senior management refer to me as Team Lead. So why not get paid for what I do.. My manager is being very helpful and we came up with a plan of action of what to do in the next 6 months and how to get there.
Would I ever go back to academia? Absolutely not.
Our lives are too short to have to constantly worry about things that are really beyond our control such as funding, results, publications and yearly contracts. I feel happy knowing that I am being appreciated, respected and that at any point if I do not feel happy I can move to another area within the company that I am in, and if I am no longer happy in this company, there are plenty of others that would take me with my experiences.
If you are an academic with some years of experience, and who is not feeling too happy and are not applying for a Biopharma position because you are thinking it is just too late.. Don’t. Go to a recruiter, find out what is out there and apply. You never know you might actually find a job that you feel comfortable in and you Love.