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disappointed about career perspectives

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disappointed about career perspectives

Postby Susan H. » Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:24 am

Dear forum, I am at the end of a job rotation program (1.5 years) within Big Pharma and about to return to my original position (development, small molecule APIs). However, I am not very happy about my future perspectives. I was hoping to transition to a higher level after the job rotation, but no one seems to care or feel in charge. We have had frequent changes in staff and management, and this will probably continue. On the one hand it seems to be quite a given what the company thinks of you, and I have felt discouraged by my direct managers in the past when I brought up my ideas of possible next steps; on the other hand I also don't want to be perceived as being passive - I feel that the company blames me when I bring up the issue that I am not advancing. We are working in a matrix environment with very flat hierarchies, and I can see that a real promotion is rare. From what I see I am investing much more in my career than my colleagues, and I would find it very sad if that did not start to show somehow by the level of my position. I am confused about next steps. Time is running. Should I try to change companies? Any advice?
Susan H.
 
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Re: disappointed about career perspectives

Postby D.X. » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:24 am

HI Susan,

Based on what you've described about your Situation, you are pointing to the signs and symptoms that lead to many to seek opportunities externally.

That being said some Level of responsilbity for finding your next opportunity lies with you and well working with your Supervisor, you should have a map towards Milestones that will take you to a direct Level Promotion. Usually this Looks like increasing Levels of responsiblity with ability to Show leadership competencies or what some call, observed behavior, consistent with the next Level. That could be not only Performance but also them leadership attributes as highlighted.

It is often that many Managers trade increase responsiblity or given a different Level of exposure (like your Rotation) is the be and end all to employee Motivation and often the Point of understanding that a other elements beyond Promotion or dare is say compensation are no longer of interest. YOu have those individual Needs - however I think you should feed comfortable to express that. You can be a be saavy on how you expreess it but you should talk to your Supervisor about next steps and request to have that solidfied. You may even want to give a time-line. The Signal you want to communicate is that you want the next Level, you Need to see that, or you leave. You don't have to say the last part but you can hint to it quite pin-pointedly without it being a threat.

I would recommend that you do look externally - many People in your boat do just that and some times it can be the best Option for achieving your career Goals - certainly I have changed companies a few times, each time taking a step up in Level and or lateral move into a role to strengthen my Expertise and competitive edge.

Looking externally Comes down to your readiness for Change and put yourself out there - you have nothing to lose. When you are in flat organizations getting to certain Levels becomes really hard as an internal employee - that's the reality and sometimes, believe it or not, its easier to do so externally. Most People who I know whom have climbed the career ladder, have not done so within one Company, today a a career trajectory is really inclusive of stops in multiple companies - that's the reality. In my area, its common to ask fellow new Encounters "oh where were you before" as a part of an introduction.

You can run into old dinosaurs in Big Pharma who have been there for ever - i recommend you don't be one of those, they are the ones who cry when they get laid off say after 10 years in the Company when they realize there is no loyalty in corporate, don't be one of them idiots.

Best,

DX
D.X.
 
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Re: disappointed about career perspectives

Postby Dave Jensen » Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:12 pm

Susan,

DX's advice is excellent. I concur - this could be the time to seek opportunities outside of your present organization.

This is what large companies are like -- they often work on a matrix, and you can be going from one project team to another over the years as the clock ticks by, without a "real promotion." Of course, that experience is valuable and picking up project management experience along the way will help you no matter where you go.

You can choose to dig into your job, and just give as much as you can to your colleagues and project managers, or you can look outside at perhaps a smaller company where you might have much more involvement in the great scheme of things. You'll find fewer matrix kinds of situations in these smaller businesses, and just making a job change will give you a promotion of sorts. Few people have to make a lateral move, so you may be in for an increase in comp along with an increase in people leadership or resource management. Yes, I realize this is a headhunter giving the advice to look outside your organization, but if you've followed my participation over the years, I will just as often suggest that a person dig into their present post.

Good luck and let us know what happens.

Dave
"One of the most powerful networking practices is to provide immediate value to a new connection. This means the moment you identify a way to help someone, take action." - Lewis Howes
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Re: disappointed about career perspectives

Postby Susan H. » Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:52 am

I am a bit hesitant to look externally for 2 reasons: 1) From past experience, I seem to have difficulty with making a good first impression, and it takes some time (years) for other people/colleagues to get to know me. 2) I have been promoted once in my current company, and it took some time (4 years). Although an external move might allow for a step upwards, in some respects (company culture, colleagues, product portfolio..) I would still start from 0.
Susan H.
 
Posts: 159
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:41 pm

Re: disappointed about career perspectives

Postby D.X. » Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:44 pm

Hi Susan,

From your post it seems like your level on the readiness for change ladder is zero, with respect to an external search.

Establishing yourself in a new organization come with the territory of taking an external role irrespective of level. Each company I had to establish my network and credibility etc. what was different was that I was coming in with some expertise and experience. It becomes easier as you jump and have to do it a few times - you become a master of change management.

A warning - becareful of self limitation and becoming resistant to change - moving externallly is just one type of change, there are many that' happens internally via re-orgs that may put you in similar circumanstances. Refuse to change and well, you fold. You're then an risk if on them folks who need a box of tissues and seeing a burnout councilor. Embrace it and you become stronger. I would not let fear of change which is what your post suggest hold you back other wise, let me be blunt, you run the risk of not realizing your next step. Beating a leader means you may have to bring others through change - if you can't handle it - how do you expect those who follow you to handle it.

So some self introspection for you - take my criticism constructively.

Why ask the question of external pursuits - if you know already you are not ready to handle it?

Best

DX
D.X.
 
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Re: disappointed about career perspectives

Postby Dave Jensen » Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:39 pm

Susan H. wrote:I am a bit hesitant to look externally for 2 reasons: 1) From past experience, I seem to have difficulty with making a good first impression, and it takes some time (years) for other people/colleagues to get to know me. 2) I have been promoted once in my current company, and it took some time (4 years). Although an external move might allow for a step upwards, in some respects (company culture, colleagues, product portfolio..) I would still start from 0.


Hi Susan,

This is how careers develop. No longer are people in one company for 12, 15 or 20 years. This is a necessary part of your career toolbox -- to be able to market your skills and abilities to others, who will bring you on board in an advanced position from where you are presently.

Can you imagine the impact of where you might be in comparison to others, if they make those choices but do not? You'll certainly feel it in your paycheck.

Dave
"One of the most powerful networking practices is to provide immediate value to a new connection. This means the moment you identify a way to help someone, take action." - Lewis Howes
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