The life sciences industry is one of the most rapid growth industries in the world. If you are looking for a career that is both challenging and rewarding, this industry might just be for you. Many different occupations are available in the life science industry, including jobs in research and development, marketing, and sales.
However, before embarking on a career in the life sciences industry, it is essential to understand the basic differences between working as a contract employee and working as a full-time employee.
To begin with, as an entrepreneur, you will be self-employed. This makes you responsible for finding your customers, setting your rates, and managing your business affairs. Entrepreneurs also generally have more freedom in choosing their projects and working hours.
Working in the life sciences industry as a traditional full-time employee, on the other hand, means that you are employed by a company and have a set job description and working hours. Full-time employees typically receive health insurance, paid vacation days, and 401k plans.
Each path in the life sciences industry has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a closer look at some of the pros and cons of working as an entrepreneur in the life sciences industry.
Working as an entrepreneur: the advantages
Whether you don’t have to worry about being micromanaged by a boss or have more control over your projects, there are many benefits to working as an entrepreneur. Here are some of the most notable benefits:
Be your own boss
As an entrepreneur, you have the freedom to choose your own projects and working hours. As a result, you have the flexibility to work on projects that interest you, as well as the ability to more easily balance your work and personal life. Additionally, you also have the flexibility to support new projects as they become available. It can be a great way to expand your skills and learn new things.
Build an impressive portfolio
Since you are in control of your own projects, you have the opportunity to quickly gain resume-worthy experience. This can be particularly advantageous if you are just starting out in your career or looking to change careers. Additionally, as an entrepreneur, you may work with a variety of different clients, which can give you a broad view of the life sciences industry.
Set your own rates
As a contractor, you have the power to charge more than you would if you were employed by an organization. Indeed, you are responsible for setting your rates and the value of your work. This can be effective in earning more money during your career.
One of the biggest benefits of working as an entrepreneur in the life sciences industry is having more job security than employees. If a company you work for downsizes or goes bankrupt, you’re usually unaffected because you can find additional work faster than a similarly-positioned employee. It can be a great way to protect yourself against layoffs and other career setbacks.
However, it’s also possible that you have less job security, but we’ll get to that in another section.
Work for anyone, from anywhere
Biopharmaceutical companies often seek entrepreneurs with specific skills to work on short-term projects in other countries. Additionally, many entrepreneurs work remotely, as they often have multiple clients based in different regions. Contract work can be ideal if you want to gain international experience and see the world.
Working as an entrepreneur: the disadvantages
Now that we’ve reviewed all the pros of working as an entrepreneur in the life science industry, let’s look at some of the cons.
As an entrepreneur, you typically don’t receive benefits such as health insurance, paid vacation, or 401k plans. This can be detrimental if you can’t find another source of health insurance or if you need to take a break due to illness or personal reasons.
Since you are responsible for finding your own clients, your income can be unstable from month to month. It can be a challenge if you can’t discover new projects regularly.
As mentioned earlier, job security is not guaranteed when working as a contractor. You may go through periods when you have no work. This can be a challenge if you are unable to find new projects quickly or if you rely on your contract earnings to support yourself or your family.
Additionally, life science contracts can only last a certain amount of time, which can be difficult if you don’t find a new project right away. Always pay attention to the length of the contract and ask about the likelihood of renewing it as the end date approaches.
What skills are best for contract work?
Now that you’ve weighed the pros and cons, you might be wondering what type of contract jobs are in high demand right now. Biopharmaceutical companies are looking for anyone from clinical research associates (CRAs), project managers, lab technicians, or even sales and sales representatives. It entirely depends on your background and skills.
For example, if you have experience in data management, you might want to look for a data management contract job. The same applies if you have experience in clinical research or if you are a laboratory technician. The life sciences industry is growing rapidly and entrepreneurs have many opportunities.
The best way to find out what types of contract jobs are in demand is to search on job sites or hire an experienced recruiter. They will be able to tell you what types of jobs are most in demand and put you on the right path to a fulfilling career.