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2017 is coming to a close. I think everyone anticipates excitement and optimism entering 2018!  We have witnessed sustained economic headway and will undoubtedly continue into First Quarter. The pharma/biotech sector is steaming ahead with steady and consistent growth.  Feels good to ride the wave!

Every Q1 of the calendar year is the best time to re-evaluate career direction and personal aspirations. Why? Because three factors are in your favor:

  1. Corporate headcounts are approved.
  2. Prior year annual bonuses are paid after which people leave the company, and in some cases produces a backfill need.
  3. New year, new outlook, and dept. expansions.

In coaching calls recently and speaking to potential candidates, many of you are getting the itch to perhaps make a change. You know what I mean. Prevent yourself from becoming mediocre and take on something new – a new challenges, new opportunity, job, higher earnings potential, etc.

The employment landscape overall appears very positive. The past 6 – 8 months my conversations seem more zealous, more deliberate, more collaborative. This time period is a very favorable environment to consider ‘kicking the tires’ and possibly evaluating job changes.

A few “what-if” scenarios may be running through your head. Questions like: What’s the job market like? Is it slowing down, picking up? Who’s hiring? Who’s downsizing? If I take this job, do you think the company will be acquired in a few years? These are all fair questions. There is risk in any life changing decision but I think people are more confident of the industry stability and willing to take a look around at making a change.

Job change affects many things and there may not always be “right” answers; however, the more information you gather, the more equipped you are in making an effective decision.

In my coaching discussions, I help unwrap any anxiousness and point out some key strategies you may want to consider. You need to be in-the-know as much as possible and have an edge on the landscape ahead. Staying informed will help you understand industry trends, growing therapeutic areas. In 2018, the healthcare industry will continue to expand, transform. Access, quality, and cost play key roles and probably are the biggest healthcare challenges. Its crazy out there but you can only control and prepare best when you focus on improving you!

Let me recommend three key steps in maintaining the edge to get noticed, score a promotion, and prepare to make a career change:

  1. Self-Analysis.Are you working strategically and intelligently? Are you too complacent? Step back. Evaluate your own job performance. Break out the job description outlining your current role. Are you performing all that is required? Take on some new responsibilities to help increase your talents and marketability. Be thorough and be effective. Master the basics first, then work to improve other new areas.
  2. Avoid Frustration. Better understand your company and department objectives. Working in a vacuum is dangerous. You may “feel” you are on-track, but are you? I was listening to a mid-level executive recently who mentioned he wasn’t getting the visibility he deserved. Turns out he was getting sidetracked on another department project that was not his direct responsibility. Regroup and do the proactive assignments that get you noticed while maintaining your responsibilities and department objectives.
  3. Appeal to your creative mind.Yes, think ‘out of the box’. Everyone has creativity. Some better than others. We all offer different views and perspectives. A key ingredient, and requirement, is understanding the work landscape – your stakeholders, the environment, your competitors. For example, when in the midst of a product launch, what factors are involved? Is it price, positioning, competitive intelligence? Lean on past projects and accomplishments to help scope out a new strategy. Invite your colleague to give you candid and honest feedback on your contributions and performance. Recommend new, innovative ways to test an idea or product or analyze quantitative results that stretches beyond an obvious result. Creativity will stir new opportunities.

Companies desire employees with leadership qualities, creativity, and camaraderie in a team goal-oriented environment. Consider these recommended steps and hopefully will help you track better and excel in 2018 and beyond!

Make it count, Steve Kane

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