The pharmaceutical industry continues to adapt to a whirlwind of advancements, along with the movement toward improving patient outcomes, better and faster analysis and improving the safety of drug development. If you’re looking to step up the career ladder, then it’s going to take just the right combination of hard and soft skills. Here is a list of competencies that contract research organizations and other similar employers value the most. If you’re looking to advance, improve some of these skills.

  1. Critical thinking – From a strong work ethic to critical thinking, hiring managers place a premium on candidates who have the soft skills that are often difficult to teach. It’s especially important in the biotech industry because it’s usually a race to see who can solve problems, like finding the safest vaccine or treatment, the fastest. Even though you can’t expect to be right 100% of the time, if you can think critically about all of the options before deciding how to proceed, the outcomes tend to be positive. Some effective ways to strengthen your critical thinking skills is to focus more on being creative, flexible, and curious.
  2. Leadership – Showing at least some ability to lead others is a prerequisite to advancing regardless of the industry. Earning the trust and respect of your coworkers is usually the first step. Then, strive to show your boss that you can handle delegating work to others while being held accountable for successes and failures along the way. For instance, volunteering as a mentor to new hires is a good strategy for career advancement.
  3. Attitude – Since this is one of the most fast-paced professions, maintaining a positive outlook in a stressful work environment is a good way to gain recognition in such a competitive field. People with positive attitudes also share many of these same qualities that help them stand out to their employers: confidence, honesty, cooperation, respect, and patience.
  4. Teamwork – Getting along with coworkers is an important skill to employers because it directly impacts the overall culture of an organization. If a workplace lacks teamwork, then it’s next to impossible to promote a positive work culture. Even though you don’t have to befriend everybody that you work with, it’s more likely for leaders to promote employees with a history of coexisting with their coworkers. Refine some of these skills and you’ll excel at teamwork: empathy, self-awareness, collaboration, and customer service.

Your hard skills might be enough to get an entry-level pharmaceutical job, but candidates who also have these strong people skills are always in higher demand and tend to advance much quicker than those who don’t.

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