Choosing a career path starts at school and begins with identifying your interests and aptitude to determine potential careers that would suit your personality traits and personal aspirations. For those with a keen interest in biology, mathematics or technology, a career in life sciences can offer an interesting and rewarding career in a rapidly developing field.
Knowing where you want to end up makes it easier to plan your career progression. You will be able to identify the skills and experience you will need to develop and in what timescale to ensure that you are able to fulfil your ambitions when the time comes.
To begin to plan out how you will achieve your career goals, there are five very important questions that you must ask yourself.
1. What do you enjoy doing?
What are your hobbies and interests and what areas of academic study appeal to you? What sort of challenges do you rise to and which do you shy away from? The purpose of this question is to determine which industries offer work that will challenge you in a positive way, about which you already have some knowledge and experience, and that will provide a great starting point for your career.
2. What sort of company do you want to work for?
The company culture at your chosen organisation must suit your personality traits and ambitions. If you are very driven, highly ambitious and keen to progress up the career ladder as quickly as possible, you will want to seek out an employer who is at the forefront of their field. Additionally, if you want to learn and develop your skills, selecting an employer with a strong reputation for continuous professional development will be vital for you.
3. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Life can change a great deal in 10 years, but setting yourself the target of horizon planning for your career is an important step in understanding your long-term career goals. What is the height of your ambition and what would you like to achieve in your working life? By asking yourself this question and really taking the time to consider it, you will be able to identify the steps that will be necessary to achieve your ambition. This may even shape the choices that you make regarding interim employment in order to develop the skills and experience that you will need in the longer term.
4. What is your current skill set?
Knowing where you want to be is very important. Knowing your starting point is essential. You will need to make a note of your current skill set, including any practical hands-on experience and any qualifications that you have already gained. You should understand the basic qualifications required for entry-level positions in the industry that you wish to move into. Identify where gaps exist and create a tailored plan for closing them. Make a timeline for achieving the experience and qualifications that you will need and consider whether this will impact the career options that are open to you.
5. Are you prepared to think outside the box?
Career paths need not be linear or static. There is significant opportunity to move about and to change your mind if you need to. Many of your skills will be transferable between industries, so the key is identifying how you would apply your existing knowledge in a different field. Life sciences is a hugely progressive industry and if you are passionate about learning and seeking out new experiences, you will go far.
For help in identifying your long term career goals and setting a tailored path for achieving them, Circle Life Sciences can help you. We are key players in this industry and through our vast network of contacts, we can identify suitable positions that will allow you to assimilate relevant experience and hone your skills, ultimately supporting you in making your career dreams a reality.