career choice

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career choice

Postby Dagge » Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:04 pm

I am a new poster and am hoping that the forum can help me with a career choice that I have to make in the coming couple of months.

I currently lead a research group of approximately 40 scientists in Southern Europe. I am expecting this group to grow with an additional 10-20 people in the coming 2-3 years. I report to the head of research and development who is located in a different country. I have been in the position for a little more than 5 years. The company is a part of a global enterprise. For various reasons I dont think that it will be possible for me to take additional career steps within the research organization of the company I currently work for. I do however have the possibility to move into a more senior leadership role and think that I have support for this move from our global management. Unfortunately taking that step will take maybe a couple of years since I need some training and possibly job rotations before it becomes reality and it is likely to cause friction and potentially conflict with some of the other local managers. I am also not entirely sure about what I feel about potentially leaving research. Research in this company is about doing cutting edge product development with plenty of available resources while for example manufacturing has a constantly increasing cost pressure.

I can therefore see three options

1) Stay in the current position and enjoy the growth of my team. Upside: growing group, safe. Downside: limited personal development possibilities and I fear that if I stay to long my possibility to move to another position may decrease.

2) Do the internal move described above. Upside: plenty of development opportunities both short and long term. Downside: the potential conflict with some of the local managers. I am not dependent on them but it may cause a difficult situation.

3) look at other options which are not defined at this time.
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Re: career choice

Postby D.X. » Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:15 pm

Hi Dagge,

Well it Comes down to what do you want? Any Job Transition be it local or Global will have it's Points of friction and challenges. As you go higher, it is only natural that politics and the nuances of organizational behavior will intensify and you will have to manage that. You become more diplomat than say subject matter expert in your R&D area, in fact, you'll become an SME in stakeholder Management. (he he he).

So with upward advancement Comes certain challenges you describe - it Comes with the territory. So do you want it or not? ARe the rewards worth it to you? are the challenges acceptable?

If you're in Global and you worried obut local country managers such as the local general Managers (GMs), raising your feathers, well maybe you haven't been sufficiently exposed to true Global-Level Management.

GMs are always raising feathers be it blame you for lack of sales Performance due to delyaed data or no data, or lack of pursuing a new line extention which will then Limit thier MTP, or you're causing some form of technical related issue that say Impacts drug always Global's fault when you're in Global, so if you want to advance, better get use to Routine hazing, finger pointing, by the GMs, it goes with the terroritory. Or and they have thier political allies in Global too so enter the land mines. But, that's part of the development process if you want to go up the Global management chain. And it doesn't stop at the GMs, there are days you feel the whole local organization is against you, from local Marketing to local Regulatory and Drug Safety.

So if you think you're not ready yet, nothing wrong with continuing to grow your Group. Capitalized on the Training and development opportunities and do the rotations - it's the Name of the game.


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Re: career choice

Postby Dave Jensen » Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:16 pm

Hello Dagge, and welcome to our Forum discussion.

This is not an unusual situation to find yourself in. Many scientists have faced this in the past. It's a matter of determining where your job satisfaction points are. Does doing this state-of-the-art science really get you excited? It sounds like your firm is really "science driven" . . . Some firms are indeed science driven, but they shift to "manufacturing driven" or "marketing driven" as time goes on. If you sense that you want to stay with the company, but that it's moving to become a far more commercial entity, than considering a move to a more senior role but in a different part of the company is a GOOD THING.

But that's only if you'd like that move. If you're a hard core scientist, and that's what really tickles you about the job, than ride that increase in staff and make the best of your job leading science until you need to make a move outside the company and find a position with another growing science organization, where you can do it all over again (or, take a more senior role). You didn't even mention looking outside of your organization. That's fine -- but once you are in place for 7-10 years or more, it becomes very hard to leave. Recruiters and hiring managers will think you've become immobile, and you'll see fewer opportunities.

“There is no such thing as work-life balance. Everything worth fighting for unbalances your life.”- Alain de Botton
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