The Best Time to Find a New MSL Opportunity is When You Have a Job.
We frequently see under-employed MSL Candidates in admittedly bad situations with their current job. Lay-offs or acquisitions are likely and they recognize changes that make continued employment uncertain. While some candidates’ situations make sense for them to remain passive, I’m often confused by their willingness to stay in an uncertain situation. SEMbio is consistently ‘in-the-know’ about great opportunities available for Medical Science Liaisons. There’s plenty of reason to be proactive in directing your career – before it’s redirected for you.
1. Consistent MSL Career Timeline
You can avoid being out of work in most cases. Whether for financial reasons or to prevent boredom, the majority of MSLs we know prefer minimizing time spent jobless. Severance paired with time off while job hunting doesn’t sound so bad, but unemployment lengths are unpredictable. The MSL job market cycles from hot to cold and back again across all geographical areas of the country. Getting laid off can increase the time it takes to find your next gig.
2. Choose Your MSL Dream Job – On Your Terms
When you’re out of a job, you’re likely eager to find another job quickly. So, what should you do? Start applying for more positions than you would normally. Consider applying to every MSL position in your state to ensure multiple interviews. The unfortunate reality is now you’re limited to only what’s currently available. Having an earlier proactive job hunt reveals more opportunities from which to choose rather than settling for what is available at the time.
3. Control MSL Options with Confidence
The last point leads us to this – don’t make a regrettable job decision just because you need it. If you “ride it out” until you’re laid off before starting your job search, you’ve chosen to ensure taking a new job when you’re most vulnerable. Avoid feeling rushed and making hasty decisions by job hunting while actively employed. You can walk away if the job you’re interviewing for ends up not feeling right rather than accepting a job because you feel that you have no choice.
4. Leverage Better MSL Salary and Benefits
While most MSLs are motivated by more aspects of the career than just money, it’s still an important component of your job. The reality is that employed candidates with an existing salary and benefits can leverage a better offer. Here’s proof: (https://libertystreeteconomics.newyorkfed.org/2018/04/do-the-employed-get-better-job-offers.html). It’s true new salary laws could prevent companies from inquiring about current base salaries that may level the playing field a bit. However, you still inherently have fewer bargaining chips while interviewing for jobs when your salary is $0 and you’re without benefits.
5. Get More MSL Offers
Interviewing while employed plays into your favor. You avoid questions about why you’re not employed or why you’ve been without a job for so long. Anyone reading this who has ever been laid off can probably relate. Interviewing while unemployed inevitably leads to the question, “why did you leave your last employer?” This can steer the conversation away from discussing your skills or your interest, putting you at a disadvantage against other candidates. Moreover, employers can inadvertently perceive employed applicants to have more value. In fact, it turns out that some employers require current employment before even considering a candidate. Predictably, this led to unemployment discrimination progress across the U.S. (https://www.workplacefairness.org/unemployment-discrimination).
So, the next time things are dicey at your current job and you think “I’ll just ride it out,” ask yourself if being so passive is really the best move for your career.
Author: Lawrence Beck, CPC