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transferable skills for biotech jobs | Cheeky Scientist | list of transferable skillsI was a few months away from getting my PhD.

That’s when it happened.

I suddenly realized that the academic career route was not for me.

So I started preparing myself for a non-academic career by attending networking events and alternative career seminars.

That’s when I heard the words “transferable skills” for the first time.

Like a lot of PhDs, I mistakenly assumed that transferable job skills just meant “communication skills.”

I also found out that having these transferable job skills were just as important as having technical skills, like the technical skills I learned in the lab during graduate school.

Again, like a lot of PhDs, I made the mistake of assuming that my scientific knowledge and academic achievements, like my publishing record, was enough to get me the biotechnology or biopharmaceutical job I wanted.

I was wrong.

I remember speaking to a few of my colleagues at a conference who were also having trouble transitioning into industry.

One of my colleagues said…

“Why would a hiring manager reject a science PhD from a biotech job just because he lacks budgeting skills? I don’t get it.”

Wait—I thought—what are budgeting skills?

I later found out that budgeting skills are another type of transferable job skills, along with management skills, teaching skills, negotiation skills, organizational skills, and many other skills that top employers look for in PhDs.

After several failed attempts transitioning into an alternative career, I started increasing the size of my network both offline (by going to live networking events) and online (by joining the Cheeky Scientist Association).

skills for biotechnology career | Cheeky Scientist | pharmaceutical recruiters list of skillsI modified my resume to highlight my transferable job skills while continuing to develop these skills outside of the lab.

This change was instrumental in securing my first job after graduate school, which I was fortunately able to do right after graduating.

Why You Need Transferable Job Skills In Industry

Ignoring these skills can seriously hurt a Life Science PhD’s chances of landing a job in the biotech or biopharma sector.

Most PhD students and postdocs do not fully understand what transferable job skills are or how to develop them.

As a result, these PhDs continue to miss out on lucrative job opportunities.

Later, I found out that this lack of transferable job skills is a major issue among most new PhDs.

Industry employers are increasingly screening for personality traits in hopes of determining which job candidates work well with existing team members.

More than any other transferable job skills, your interpersonal skills will determine whether or not you get a job in industry.

PhD job candidates who have the required scientific skills for a position but who are difficult or awkward to work with will not get into a top industry job.

PhDs who do transition into an industry position must also be able to get their scientific message across to diverse groups of professionals.

They must be able to explain their findings to decision-makers in a clear and concise way.

Most importantly, they must be able to adapt their presentations to fit the audience they’re presenting to. The goal is to make everyone in the audience understand the main idea while also fitting the main idea into the overall goals of the organization.

The survey also found that lack of these skills is one of the main reasons new graduates fail to secure industry jobs.

This is where your experience presenting in journal clubs, lab meetings, and at scientific meetings works to your advantage.

Don’t take your scientific presentations for granted, not even your poster presentations. Instead, prepare thoroughly and aim to connect deeply with the audience.

Source: cheekyscientist.com
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