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Moving From a Permanent Role to a Contract Role in the Life Sciences Industry

Posted on September 2023

Professional man and woman in lab coats discussing data

​Better earning potential, the chance to be their own boss, and greater flexibility are some of the reasons why a growing number of life sciences professionals are moving from permanent to contract roles. With numerous benefits on offer, the move is attractive, but it’s not one to rush. There are a few things you should do to make the transition a successful one.

Below, EPM Scientific highlights some of the advantageous reasons why people in permanent roles in the life sciences industry look for contract roles. We also offer guidance on making the transition.

Why do people choose to look for a contract role?

Permanent roles certainly have their advantages. Many professionals appreciate the security, better benefits and perks, paid time off, sense of belonging, and opportunities for career development these roles offer. That said, the advantages of contract roles are appealing enough for some individuals to choose this route over that of a permanent position. Some of the major reasons why people in the life sciences industry choose to look for contract roles include:

The ability to acquire different skills in shorter time periods.

  • A more flexible work schedule.

  • The potential to work in various areas of life sciences and other industries.

  • Higher salaries offset the lack of benefits.

  • You can experience company culture and find out whether a particular company would be a good long-term fit.

  • Faster interview processes.

  • Opportunities to build a larger professional network.

Guidance for transitioning from permanent to contract roles

Moving from a permanent role to a contract role in life sciences is a significant change, and it can be challenging if you don’t put time and effort into ensuring the transition is successful. Follow this guidance:

1. Plan your next move and finances

The contract recruitment market’s buoyancy in life sciences offers a plethora of opportunities, so take time to think carefully about your next move. Consider your greatest strengths, your unique experience and selling points, and how you can add value to a company. Ensure you have a good understanding of your income and business expenses, as you will need to manage your own finances as a contract employee.

2. Continue to upskill

Ensure you maintain your skills and stay up to date with life sciences industry developments. Read industry news, watch webinars, and attend networking and knowledge-sharing events. Be careful not to focus solely on ensuring you can move seamlessly from one role to another for the sake of a consistent cash flow, but take into consideration which positions will provide you with in-demand skills and experience for future roles.

3. Build your personal brand

As a contract employee, you will need to sell yourself with every new role you apply for, so think about building your personal brand. Consider:

  • How you want to present yourself to potential clients and to your professional network

  • How you operate

  • How well you do your job

  • What you want people to say about you

  • What sets you apart from others

  • How you assist others

  • How you can add value to a life sciences company

4. The power of networking

A good network is an excellent source of guidance and advice, can present advantageous opportunities, help grow your reputation as a specialist, and help build your profile. Take advantage of offline networking opportunities such as life sciences industry networking events and expos, and online platforms such as LinkedIn.

5. Seek support from a specialist talent partner

Consider whether you want to specialize in a particular area or whether you want to be a generalist, and look at the types and availability of different roles and at rates on offer. This can be a mammoth task, so seek support from a specialist talent partner like EPM Scientific. We can deliver suitable opportunities and help you find the perfect contract roles.

Find the right role for you

Make the transition from a permanent role to a contract role in the life sciences industry with ease. Find top contract roles with EPM Scientific – Register your resume/CV with us, or take a look at our contract roles.

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