Bioscience Career Review
New Job Offer? Follow These 10 Tips to Success
By John Chambers
Before you take the plunge into a new career somewhere else in life sciences, consider these top tips to smooth the transition:
1. Observe your workplace.
Stop, look and listen. “Observe how others do their jobs, and see how decisions are made,” the International Herald Tribune suggests. It can help you with your big decision to accept a job offer or look elsewhere.
2. Do your homework: What will be your support system?
Research whether or not your new work environment provides much training, what your coworkers will be like, and who you will work with the most.
“You probably haven’t had the opportunity to get to know your co-workers, but if you were given a tour of the office during your interview, you at least got to see them,” online resource About.com says. “Did they seem friendly and happy to be there?
“If you consider the amount of time you will spend at work, you will realize how important it is to have an amiable relationship with your co-workers. If you haven’t had any contact with them yet, it may be time to access your network to find out if anyone in it knows any of them.”
3. Have you been offered a fair salary?
“While money won’t necessarily bring you happiness, you should be paid what you’re worth. Find out what others in your field are making,” About.com states. “Take into account your experience and your location. Salaries differ by region.”
The Web site also suggests tips for negotiating offers.
4. Research company benefits.
Does the employer’s retirement package meet your needs? What about health benefits or corporate holidays?
“Since you don’t hold a position with the company at this time, it’s unlikely that you can get your hands on information about the health coverage such as the type of plan, deductibles, providers and restrictions,” online newspaper HearldNet says. “Even after you receive a job offer, it may still be challenging to obtain the full range of information.
“Get a copy of the benefits paperwork and read it carefully. Contact the human resources office with questions. If you have specific concerns, phrase them in a way that maintains your privacy, without revealing personal or confidential information.”
“Before you make the leap into what you think is your dream job, spend some time thinking about what are absolute necessities in your life and work,” Targetjobs.co.uk suggests. “Make a list of five ‘must-haves’ and five ‘nice-to-haves.’”
5. What are your opportunities for advancement?
Consider whether your new job will offer you opportunities for mentoring, continuing education, and other elements that may help grow your career.
“Nowadays, it’s up to you to take control of your professional future and make sure that you are progressing wisely down the right career path,” AllBusiness.com states.
“Many career experts agree that the best time to look for a new job is while you are still comfortably in your old one,” the business Web site says. “If there aren’t many career advancement opportunities where you work, the best next job may be waiting for you elsewhere.”
6. Think about location.
“While location sounds like a secondary factor, it can be a major deal maker or breaker for some,” CareerPath.com says. “Do you live in a city with a great deal of traffic? Is there access to public transportation? Would you mind spending two hours in the car each day getting to and from work?
“Some people don’t mind a long commute, but others shudder at the thought. If you are someone who can’t stand being in the car for long periods of time, make sure you don’t settle for a job that is 40 miles away.”
7. Is this the right business culture for you?
“Does the thought of working an 80-hour-work-week make you want to cry? Does animal testing make you cringe? Do you always play it straight even if it means you may lose sometimes?”
“Well, a job with a company that requires very long hours, supports animal testing, and encourages their employees to win at all costs isn’t for you,” About.com says.
“Also consider the organization’s values – stated and actual – and its reward and recognition systems,” technology company Salary.com says. What types of contributions are encouraged and rewarded? Is the employer buying what you have to sell.”
8. Work through your doubts.
Do not hesitate to dig deeper as you finalize your decision about a job offer.
“Remember, companies would rather you asked a hundred questions than blindly try to carry out your duties without really knowing what you’re doing as it can prove very costly both in monetary times and in time lost if you carry on regardless only to find that the errors you’ve made need to all be fixed later …,” employment site WorkEtiquette advices. “So if you have any doubts about anything, you should just ask.”
9. Know what you want.
“Do you want to spend 40 years of your life in a series of jobs, or do you want to have a lasting career? What do you picture yourself doing 20 years from now? 30? 40?”
“There are no rights or wrongs … but it’s essential you take the time to think it out, and write it down.” financial resource MsMoney.com states.
10. Jump in!
“Jump in with both feet rather than expecting the first day or week to be orientation,” says article database eHow. “Grab that first assignment and shine.”