If you’re currently looking for a new role in the Life Sciences industry, completing a personal SWOT analysis is a great way to plan and prepare yourself for your career move.
Split into four stages, a SWOT analysis will help you to identify your key Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats in order to create an action plan to make you a strong candidate for your desired role.
Before you begin your analysis, you need to be 100% sure of the type of role you’re looking for. With such a wide variety of roles available within Life Sciences, and each with their own unique required skill sets, it’s important that you’re able to identify the areas you need to develop in to meet the key requirements of your ideal role.
As we take you through each stage of the SWOT analysis, let’s assume that you want to be a Clinical Research Associate (CRA).
Start researching the CRA roles currently available on PharmiWeb.Jobs and make a list of the most common requirements. Here are a few examples:
- Communication and interpersonal skills
- Project management and organisational skills
- An understanding of Good Clinical Practice (GCP)
- Flexibility and willingness to travel
- Strong attention to detail
Put yourself in the shoes of a recruiter and think about which of the strengths you’ve already listed that make you a great candidate for a CRA role. Don’t panic if you don’t already meet all of the requirements - this is where the rest of your SWOT analysis comes in!
First begin by making a list of all your key strengths, including soft and hard skills, relevant experiences and qualifications. Pay particular attention to the achievements that you’re most proud of and the skills and experiences that make you stand out from your peers.
When identifying your weaknesses, it’s important to be 100% honest with yourself in order to create the most effective action plan.
Refer to the list you made of the key requirements of a CRA and start your list of weaknesses with the skills, experiences or qualifications that you may be lacking. You could also then ask yourself the following:
- Can I confidently give examples of situations where I’ve demonstrated the most desirable skills?
- Can I comfortably explain what GCP is and why it’s used in my own words?
- Do I have any negative work habits?
- Am I missing any gaps in my education?
Whilst most recruiters won’t expect you to meet every single requirement to be considered for a CRA role, it’s best to cover as many weaknesses as you can to help you stand out amongst other candidates.
Think about what opportunities you currently have that could help you land a CRA role. You could start by considering the following:
- Do I already have contacts in a company that hires CRAs? - If so, reach out to them to gain a more in depth overview of the responsibilities of a CRA or even to get their perspective on your CV.
- Is there a Clinical Research Organisation (CRO) local to me? - Working for a smaller CRO can be a great way to get some hands-on experience in an environment with less competition than the biggest pharma companies.
- Are there any new advancements in technology that I could research? - Keep an eye out for new tools and technologies that are emerging in the industry and where possible, learn about them. This will help you to stand out as a candidate as it shows an awareness of what direction the industry is moving in as well as where it’s already at.
Think about the external factors that could affect your chances of landing a CRA role and prepare yourself to face them as best you can. To identify threats, ask yourself the following:
- Is the industry growing or shrinking?
- Is the role going to be phased out through more automation or technology?
- Is there strong competition for this role?
Although you can’t control these, you can definitely prepare yourself to overcome them by turning them into opportunities. For example, if you find there is strong competition for CRA roles, use this as an opportunity to find something that will make you a unique candidate and stand out amongst the competition.
Start Your Action Plan
Once you’ve completed your honest SWOT analysis, you can then create an action plan to build on your strengths, fill in the gaps in your weaknesses, grow your opportunities and overcome your threats.
Visit PharmiWeb.Jobs to start your research and set up job alerts to be informed of the latest pharma and Life Sciences job opportunities.