By Kyle Carver, PharmaLogics Project Specialist

As a recruiter in the life science industry, I believe it is extremely important to consider all of the deciding factors a candidate must consider before signing the dotted line on their next opportunity. For me, understanding these factors is imperative to ensuring the opportunities I am working on are indeed a good fit for both the client and the candidate in consideration.

There are many reasons in which an individual may begin actively looking. Whether they are unhappy with their current projects, are seeking to gain experience in another area or function, are seeking to gain more responsibilities, or if they simply are seeking a more competitive rate within the market, they will likely make the decision to move based off of more than one reason listed above. There are unlimited reasons an individual could be seeking something new in their career, but what are the key deciding factors you should consider before taking that leap of faith?

Weighing the Pros and Cons of a Life Sciences Career Move

When you’re looking, it’s important to narrow down the key pain points you’re currently facing in your job. This is key to determining what it is you’re truly looking to change and also is the creation of your journey in ending these pain points in your next role. Another step in identifying what it is you are truly looking to change in your current role, is by making a list of pros and cons of what you like and dislike about your current role and the company you work for. This list can also be used to re-evaluate your current level of satisfaction on what you’re currently enjoying compared to what you’d like to see change.

After you’ve made your pros and cons, it should be clear from your con’s what you’d like to change in the future. Some things to consider when weighing your pros and cons of a new position include:

  1.     Location & Remote Flexibility
  2.     Benefits
  3.     Office Culture
  4.     Opportunities for Growth
  5.     Company History & Pipeline

Asking the Important Questions 

Location & Remote Flexibility

The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way many organizations view work from home flexibility and the requirements of on-site work. When considering making a move, it is very important to ensure the location of your next opportunity is feasible for you and will not impact your work / life balance. Asking important questions regarding remote flexibility and on-site work requirements upfront in conversations with prospective employers will also reduce frustration and time wasted for both parties. Setting clear expectations and ensuring you can commit to a prospective commute is definitely key when deciding to make a move.

Questions such as: “Am I willing to make this commute?” , “Will this reduce my commute in any way?”, “Is there remote-flexibility for certain tasks or responsibilities?”, or “How does your organization view remote-working?” may be beneficial to ask!


Benefits are often overlooked when discussing and considering new employment. This is a helpful reminder that your base salary is one piece of your total compensation package! If benefits are on your con list, it is extremely important as a candidate to inquire about your potential employer’s benefits before signing an offer letter. Factors that should be considered include insurance options, 401K contribution and matching, equity options, bonus structures, and paid time off available.

Questions such as: “How do my prospective employers’ benefits compare to my current benefits package?”, “Would I be willing to take a lower base salary for higher benefits or a more competitive overall package?”, or “Are there wellness initiatives in place?”  

Office Culture

When thinking about your current company’s culture, it is important to try and evaluate it from a non-biased perspective. Throughout different work experiences, one’s perspective can be skewed, while other circumstances cannot be ignored. Although this is an intangible factor to consider, answers to questions that are important to you can help pre-determine your prospective employers view on culture.

Questions such as: “How does your organization value team morale?”, “What initiatives are in place to foster team collaboration?”, or “Do you hold team outings?” or “Do you have flexible hours or work from home days available?”

Opportunities for Growth

If growth is a pain point in your current role, it is imperative to understand prospective employer’s typical career trajectory. It is also very important to note that leveling is vastly different from company to company, in addition to the way companies internally promote from within. Understanding these differences and assessing when you are due for a promotion in your current company are some important factors to consider in your search for a new role.

Questions such as: “How long does someone typically stay in this position until they reach the next level?” or “Am I applying for a role in which I will soon be promoted to in the future?” or “What is the typical career trajectory for someone in this role?”

Company History & Pipeline

Evaluating your current company’s performance and track record in comparison to prospective employers is always a good rule of thumb to better understand the market you’re searching for a new role within.  It is also good to know what other competitors are doing within your industry and how your current company’s pipeline relates, as it will likely correlate to opportunities for growth in the future.

Questions such as:What other companies are trailblazing in this space and how does my current company compare?” or “How does my current company’s history reflect on its stability in the future?” or “How does this prospective company’s pipeline support my growth and career development in the future?” or “Could I gain experience in a specific area at this prospective company that I could not gain in my current company?”

Making the Choice

As the old saying goes, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. To determine if it is, you will have to assess what pain points you’re currently enduring and how they compare to what prospective employers have to offer. Asking these important questions to yourself and any prospective employer can better guarantee you’re making the right decision for you and your career.


About the Author: 

Kyle Carver

Kyle Carver is a Project Specialist at PharmaLogics Recruiting with over a year and a half of experience within Talent Acquisition. Prior to this, he graduated with his Marketing Degree from Suffolk University in 2020 and has spent time in the retail & restaurant industries while working towards his degree. Kyle is passionate about the life science space and thrives in an environment where he can place qualified candidates in roles that directly improve or save lives. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his adopted pup Brody, hanging out with family & friends, and exploring new restaurants in the Greater Boston area.

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