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Medicine shake-up opens new job paths

Question :

I have a degree in biology and have worked in the pharmaceutical industry for several years. I am doing an LLB from a local university and will graduate next year. Other than being a lawyer, are there any particular positions that are suitable for me either in or outside of the pharmaceutical industry? 

Posted by Lklp on Friday, 24 Aug 2012

Comments :

It seems to me that you have the ingredients to be a successful executive and I admire your continuous-learning mindset. The pharmaceutical industry is currently going through transformational changes, driven by the expiration of patents. This has resulted in more over-the-counter drugs on the shelves, giving consumers a lot more choices. Where there are changes, there are opportunities. The industry is looking for marketing talent in areas such as social media, customer analytics and partnering or alliances.

Other than becoming an in-house legal officer, there are again many choices. You did not tell me what your current position is. In general, job categories are divided into two streams: line or staff positions and specialist or generalist positions. Line positions – those that have a direct impact on the top and bottom lines – include sales, logistics, and operations, while staff positions – which have a contributing impact on business results – include R&D, HR and finance. Specialist positions include areas such as IT, legal, safety and compliance, while generalist positions include HR, project management, marketing and planning. From your question, I assume that your preference is more geared towards specialist positions in the areas of biology and law.

One thing you might like to consider is doing a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment. This instrument has 40 questions designed to measure how people perceive the world and make decisions. The questions give an insight into four opposing dimensions of your personality: extrovert/introvert, sensing/intuiting, thinking/feeling and judging/perceiving.

The assessment is designed to help you understand more about yourself and it will give you an insight into what type of job excites and interests you more. There are no right or  wrong answers and it can be downloaded from the internet or via smartphone applications.

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