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Starting a New Job in Life Sciences: How to Ensure Success in The First 90 Days

Starting a new job is no easy feat. Regardless of whether you’re fresh out of university and just landed your first full-time job or have a decade of experience under your belt in the life sciences industry, the anticipation of starting your new job can be a little overwhelming.

Between meeting professional expectations for your new role, remembering your colleagues’ names, and getting up-to-speed with the new office norms, there’s a lot to learn! Keep in mind that your new employer wants you to succeed—but how successful you are in your new job is entirely up to you.

The first few months in your new role are a critical time to set the foundation for long-term success. Follow these tips to make a great first impression with your new employer and ensure success in your first 90 days.

First 30 Days: Making the First Impression

Go out of your way to introduce yourself 

When you start your new job, your supervisor will likely have a list of people that they want to connect you with initially. Take a proactive approach by reaching out early to these people and ask your supervisor if there are other individuals that you should meet with as well. Additionally, it’s a nice touch to introduce yourself to others even if you won’t work directly with them.

Make the most of your one-on-one meetings

Oftentimes, supervisors will direct new hires to schedule one-on-one meetings with other colleagues that they will work with at some point. Make the most of these one-on-one meetings by viewing them as opportunities to learn more about that person’s role and responsibilities. One-on-ones are great ways to further your understanding of how people like to operate in the workplace.

First 60 Days: Working as a Team Player

Put your hand up, not out 

One of the best pieces of advice I received early on in my career was from The Planet Group’s CEO, Mike Stomberg, who said, “Remember to put your hand up, not out.” Meaning, instead of heading into a new job with a list of things that you need, try to instead focus on how you can contribute to the workplace. This will demonstrate that you’re a team player who contributes to solutions (not just highlighting issues) and will earn you the respect of your supervisor and colleagues.

Contribute to a positive work environment

Regardless of what industry you work in, your title, responsibilities, or how many people you work with, one thing will remain consistent throughout your career: there is no “I” in team. You, like every other individual on your team, will bring different strengths and experiences to the table. To contribute to a positive work culture, make an effort to act as a collaborative team member. Focus on sharpening your verbal and nonverbal communication skills, maintaining a solutions-oriented attitude, and proving yourself to be reliable. Doing so will show that you’re a team player who is committed to the company’s goals and vision.

First 90 Days: Building Your Knowledge

Keep up with industry news and trends 

By this point in your new role, you likely feel like you’ve learned a lot—and you also likely feel that there is still a lot to learn. The life sciences and pharmaceutical industry is fast-paced, competitive, and highly innovative. Keep up with points of interest, industry trends, and medical developments within your specific field so that you keep your knowledge base up-to-date and relevant. Subscribe to pharmaceutical industry leaders’ blogs and newsletters and follow any related accounts on social media as well.

Take advantage of professional development opportunities 

Within your first three months at your new job, you should start to feel more comfortable with your responsibilities and have a solid grasp of what’s expected of you. However, now is not the time to blend in with the background. Rather than get too comfortable, start thinking about how you can continue to build your network. Take advantage of internal and niche-specific networking and training opportunities. Oftentimes, pharmaceutical companies and contract research organizations will offer a wealth of personal development programs. These are great ways to build strong professional relationships and enhance your own knowledge.

Starting a new job comes with a lot of emotions; if you’re feeling excitement, nervousness, and uncertainty, you’re not alone! However, with these tips, you can get started on the right foot at your new job. Do yourself a favor and set yourself—and your career—up for success all within the first 90 days.


Photo credit: Canva

by Treasa Alterskye, Recruiter, Planet Pharma

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