Good pharmaceutical jobs are not always easy to find. Once you get in, promotions are equally hard to come by. But does that mean you should jump at every opportunity to get promoted? Not necessarily. Promotions are good, but they are not always sunshine and roses.
Promotions bring with them greater responsibilities. That could mean more pay. But as with any other industry, Pharma has its idiosyncrasies. It’s wise to look closely at all the implications of a pharmaceutical job promotion before you even apply.
Here are five questions we recommend asking before going after that promotion:
1. How is my current work-life balance?
So many people spend their entire careers trying to achieve the perfect work-life balance and never quite get there. How about you? How is your work-life balance right now? If it is closer to where you want it to be than it was a year ago, honestly assess whether taking the promotion would be a step backward.
Regression isn’t necessarily bad in the short term. As long as there is a path forward to improve things, a regression could be a temporary setback. But if the new job will significantly throw off your work-life balance in favor of work, maybe it’s not a good move.
2. What does the compensation look like?
Although pharma job promotions often come with better compensation, that’s not always the case. Sometimes employees do not get a raise with their promotions. Other times the raise is minimal. You need to ask yourself if the compensation that comes with the new job is worth making the move. If you are happy with your current compensation and the promotion doesn’t offer enough of a raise, maybe think twice.
3. Do I have what it takes to fill the new role?
Few things are as frustrating as accepting a promotion only to discover that you don’t have what it takes to fill the role. It is even worse when your employer leaves you to figure things out on your own. If you think you’re prepared enough to handle it, go for it. But if you don’t feel prepared, taking the promotion may put you in a position that isn’t good for your long-term career goals.
4. Am I happy in my current role?
There is a tendency to look at promotions only from the aspects of compensation and responsibility. More money would be nice. Having more responsibilities would be a challenge. But what about your happiness? That is not quantifiable in a paycheck or a title.
If you’re happy in your current role, do you think you could be equally happy taking the promotion? You should probably ask yourself how important being happy in your job is.
5. Is the timing right for me?
All the answers to the first four questions might point to taking the promotion. Your last question is whether the timing is right. For instance, you might have other things going on in your life right now, things that really cannot afford to take a back seat to a new job.
A promotion might be the best thing for you – but not right now. If the timing is not right, don’t sweat it. Keep doing what you are doing and wait for the next opportunity to come along. The timing might be better than.
Promotions in pharmaceutical jobs do not come along every day. So, it can be awfully tempting to apply for one as soon as an opportunity presents itself. But be cautious and think things through. Make sure a promotion is right for you before you apply.