Top 5 ways vacation can be beneficial

Top 5 ways vacation can be beneficial

So many Americans have a fear of taking time off work for vacation. The importance of work life balance can not be expressed enough now a days. Over the past year four out of 10 Americans didn’t take all of their vacation days. Why? Because they’re not exactly enthusiastic about the work they’ll find on their desk when they return.

Pharmaceutical and Biotech Companies are encouraging their workers to take time off. There needs to be a balance in everyone’s life in order to continue productivity in the workplace.

Vacation days are something many Americans have and should be using.


work life balance

Here are the top 5 ways vacation can be beneficial for you

Better physical and mental health

Vacation can help your physical health — the stress of working can take its toll on the body. One of the main benefits of vacation time is that it can improve your mental health. Feelings of calm arise and relieve the stress, which allow the body and mind to heal in ways that it couldn’t if it were still under pressure.

Increase productivity

You can count on being more productive if you’re taking vacations. Upon returning from vacation, workers are likely to put more emphasis on the work they have to make up. You energy will increase along with your state of mind.

Closer family relationships

One of the biggest benefits of taking vacation is how much it affects your relationship with your family. Family vacations increase family bonding, especially when a lot of the activities have to do with talking about memories or even sharing stressful moments together. Shared family memories and time spent together isolated from ordinary everyday activities (school, work and so on) help to promote these positive ties.

work life balance Newer perspectives

Step away from work for awhile and enjoy the summer sun. When you come back to work, you’ll have a totally new outlook on life. When you take time and you step away from the problems and stresses you’re facing, you’re bound to get a better perspective and come out with a more satisfying answer. Taking some time away will open your mind and increase your focus upon your return.

Lower chance of burn out

If you begin to feel burned out it might be an indicator to take a vacation — especially because the time away will actually keep you from letting blowing out the flame. One key benefit of taking time off work is that you won’t feel all the pressures and discouragement that arise once you begin showing symptoms of a burnout. It’s vital that workers take time to relax. This will decrease their change of burn out and make them more creative and productive than their overworked, under-rested coworkers.



Top 5 Benefits of getting to know your co-workers

Top 5 Benefits of getting to know your co-workers

In today’s world managing your time at work is extremely important. At the end of the day you may ask yourself “Where did the time go?” But one may over look the importance of a manager spending a certain percentage of their time with team members. Investing a small amount of time to build relationships has several benefits that pay off in the long run.

Building relationships and mentoring relationships needs to be encouraged to simply get to know your own team members.

With days and weeks crammed with scheduled meetings, impromptu meetings, and a never-ending inbox, it can be tempting to spend that time some other way. But as the 80/20 rule suggests, that small effort can have a huge ripple effect for the manager to, the employee, and the team as a whole. The importance of engaging with your co-workers has its benefits.

There is an opportunity in every encounter. With time as valuable as it is, looking for opportunities in a crazy schedule helps add a new perspective. It can simple for all of us to get into the “zone” and miss what’s going on with each other, so grabbing coffee or lunch and connecting with another human being to get away from the computer screen can be a welcome break from the daily grind.engage with your co-workers

Work becomes more efficient. A manager may already know an employee’s strengths, but learning what their passions are and what inspires them can add new meaning and drive and take that relationship to the next level. There’s a real purpose when someones strengths and passion are combined and pursued.

Greater level of awareness. Spending time together creates a bond… it creates a sense of trust. When you get to know each other on a personal level, mutual respect grows. Knowing someone’s triggers as well as their strengths can also improve communication and help with growing a successful and motivated team. Things and events that take place outside of work can help give you a better understanding of what goes on at work.

Your coaching skills increase. When you take the time to get to know your employees, you will understand how each individual receives feedback and praise. This will allow you to become a more effective coach and manager that will be respected and appreciated by the team.

Builds trust with your “boss”. Breaking down that natural division of the manager/employee relationship helps build trust between you and your team member. When your employees can get to know the real you, they’ll feel more comfortable with you. By being yourself, you set the tone and encourage others to do the same. .

Finding ways to connect with employees can be as simple as grabbing lunch with them or taking a 15-minute walk together. Some companies promote this and encourage it more than others.

It’s important to find your own ways that you are comfortable with in order to engage with your co-workers.

Doing so removes some of that ‘boss wall’ and deference that can come with it.

Using your personal connections to get a job

Using your personal connections to get a job

Leveraging personal connections is probably the single-most effective approach in landing a job . Roughly half of all employees say that they found their job through a friend, family member, or other type of social network contact. Although all connections are not created equal. In a job search, talking to people and networking is clearly important, but who are the best people to talk to?

The importance of social networks for getting jobs

Studies show that the “strength” of the social tie between job seekers and the people giving them employment leads, and found that of those who found jobs through contacts, only 17% saw their contact “often,” while 56% saw the contact “occasionally,” and 28% saw him “rarely.” The people in your life who you don’t know too well are the ones who often matter the most when it comes time to find a job.

Other studies since have backed up the importance of “weak ties.” The general consensus is that people you don’t know well tend to belong to groups that aren’t your own. They therefore have access to information about jobs that you wouldn’t otherwise come across. The people who you’re closest to, your “strong ties,” usually move in the same social circles as you do. Most jobs they know of, you could have found out about from someone else. As painful as it can be to talk to people you don’t know too well about the fact that you’re looking for work, those could very easily prove to be the most important conversations.

What else can job seekers learn from social networks and personal connections?

  • Weak ties are important, but don’t ignore the strong ones. weak ties can play the largest role for people who already had jobs—those switching positions rather than looking to leave unemployment. Among the unemployed, strong ties actually matter more. In moments of pressure, it seems that strong ties might very well be the ones that come through. So while it’s important to utilize your acquaintances in your job search, that doesn’t mean you should neglect the people closest to you.
  • Willing. Your connections have to be willing to go to bat for you, since the jobs people know about are often at the place where they work. Letting folks in your social network know that you’re looking for work is the first step, but you should also work to sell them on the idea that you’d make a great employee. Explaining your professional life and selling yourself is very important.
  • Getting a job and getting a great job are two different things. we know that social connections are important for getting jobs. But do they also help people get jobs that are better than the ones they’d find in other ways? There is a lot of back and forth with this… Some suggest that having high-status connections helps land more prestigious jobs, but other argue that while people with high-status networks do tend to get higher-paying and more prestigious positions, the first isn’t necessarily causing the second. Instead, people simply have contacts similar to themselves. Therefore, networks are important for getting jobs, but if your goal is moving up the career ladder, don’t rely on the people you know as the only factor.
  • During a job search, social connections matter in different ways. The reason weak ties often lead to job tips is because of how information travels through social networks. But a job search usually involves a lot more than just looking for information about open jobs. It might also involve rewriting your resume, researching industries, understanding your personal career goals, and keeping a focused mindset as this process tends to take some time. Weak ties may be the key to getting your next job, but the strong ties are the people who will help push you and keep you motivated until the end!
Improving Interview Success

Improving Interview Success

by Clifford Mintz

It is interview season for many recent college graduates and veteran jobseekers looking for new opportunities.  To ensure success, there are a few things that a jobseeker can do to improve the likelihood of a callback after a phone interview or a preliminary face-to-face one.  Some of these techniques are well outlined in an article in a Chicago Tribune’s article entitled “4 Ways to Improve Your Interview Skills Like a Pro”.

While some of these recommendations are fairly obvious, I highly recommend that you review the list of things to do to improve the likelihood of success which is either to get to the next interview level or secure a job offer. Personally, the best advice that I have to offer is to have a positive attitude, exude confidence and do whatever it takes to impress an interviewer so that you can move to the next level.

Frequently, many jobseekers have doubts about a job that they may be interviewing for.  In these instances, it is a good idea to forget about those doubts and be totally invested in a winning performance.  Do not tank a job interview because you may not like an interviewer or you have some doubts about whether or not the job is a good fit for you. If a job is not right for you, you can always refuse an offer if one is extended.

The goal of any job interview is to get to the next level or secure an offer!

Although US unemployment is at record lows-4.3% (lowest in 16 years), securing a new job is still highly competitive.  To that point, my son, a recent college graduate, is on his third interview (phone screen, face-to-face interview and now a skill-based assessment). Put simply, it’s still tough out there to get a new job.  Therefore, it is incumbent on all job seekers to use whatever tools that are available to them to impress interviewers and move to the next level!

Until next time,

Good luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!


Top 10 quick tips for your phone interview

Top 10 quick tips for your phone interview

Many life science companies in pharmaceuticals or biotechnology begin the interview process with a phone ‘screen’ to discuss the job opportunity with a prospective employee to determine if the individual is a good fit, and also to gauge his or her interest in the position. Pharmaceutical Recruiters and hiring managers alike use phone screens as quick and convenient ways to weed out candidates. Here is a quick overview on some of the things you can do to prepare for your phone screen.

  • Do… Prepare.  talk to the recruiter or client about the role and what’s expected; dig around the company’s website and make sure you do your research about the business. See what you can find out about the interviewer on social media, press releases, research articles, etc.. Make a cheat sheet so can write down some good questions prior to the call.
  • Don’t… Get flustered if things don’t always go perfectly. If you make a verbal mistake, pause a moment, take a breath and regroup.  If the interview starts late use the time wisely to continue to prepare or read some more about the company.
  • Do… Chase. If the call hasn’t yet come in 10 minutes after it was scheduled to start, call your contact or email the interviewer. Most interviewers are busy and sometimes they need a quick reminder.
  • Don’t… Take the call while driving or where you could be interrupted. Make sure you are focused and in an appropriate location/quite place with zero distractions.
  • Do… ask clarifying questions if you’re not sure of your direction or if it sounds like the same question is being asked twice. You want to make sure you have given yourself the best chance possible and you can only do this by answering the questions correctly.
  • Don’t…let anything distract you. Listen very closely and try to picture what your interviewer is asking. You won’t have visual cues to aid you and you won’t be able to see their face or body language. Pay attention to verbal cues, intonation and inflection,
  • Do…Slow down, speak clearly, make certain to not over talk. Answer the question concisely yet completely
  • Don’t… make jokes or use sarcasm to make a point. This REALLY needs body language to work and you’ll never be able to gauge what your interviewer thinks. Usually, a phone interview is in the beginning stages of the process and you don’t want to make the wrong impression too soon so play it safe and keep it neutral
  • Don’t… close the interviewer by asking how you’ve done. Unless it went stupendously well, it’s unlikely the interviewer will tell you then and there what they think of you. Its a mark of desperation.
  • Do… ask what the next step will be. It shows that you’re invested, and will be a great test as to how you performed.
  • Do… stick to time. The interviewer’s probably got a whole stack of people to talk to after you, and by running over you’re making them late, which is never going to give them a great impression.

If you are they type that gets nervous, have a career counselor mock interview you a couple of times and ask you some difficult questions. This practice will allow you to better express yourself when the real one happens and will allow you to build interview

End positively. If you really want the job, end the call on a positive note. indicate that you appreciate the interviewer’s time and offer to be available if they have any additional questions.

The Biotech Culture Problem

The Biotech Culture Problem

Eric Celidonio, May 26, 2017 Recruiting

Tips for Interviewers in Biotechnology Companies

do as I say not as I do

Biopharmastart-ups have noble aspirations to cure all that ails the world and they have in many instances.  Advances in drugs and vaccines  are a big reason why we are living longer and are able to lead more active and productive lives.  

Many biotechs and pharmaceuticals however have systematic cultural & values issues that are far from apparent when reading their well-groomed press releases and perusing their flashy websites.  Many of these illustrious, high-flying organizations are perpetuating ‘mistruths’.

Their claims of  a  virtuous, meritorious, transparent and science based approach are often misleading or untrue. Careful observation will reveal some serious rifts,cultural divides and outright lies.

Interviewers beware- here are some clues :

  • No one is willing to talk about why previous employees have left the company
  • The interview feels like an interrogation and no one thanks you for coming in
  • No one at the company seems to be smiling or making eye contact
  • You were left waiting with no apology or there were hasty last minute cancellations
  • The leaders have elaborate offices while everyone else is in micro cubicles
  • You weren’t offered parking or expense reimbursement
  • The interviewer focused on your weaknesses and lack of experience

Read between the lines and observe the body language of your interviewers. It may reveal a much different picture than the values wordplay on  wall in the lobby next to the phony  best employer award plaques. Most of the time interviewers won’t be forthcoming so you have to pay special attention to visual cues and behaviors. Employer rating sites like glassdoor are hard to trust and tend to attract fringe reviews, good and bad.

The problem can start with  executives  that don’t ‘live’ the values they espouse because they feel that they are above them. This can create a downward cultural spiral as cynical employees observe the disconnect. Worse yet, they may emulate and spread this negative behavior until it spirals into the general population.  

Biotech Interviewing tips for getting the right applicant

          beware biotech interviewers

Let me first differentiate culture from values. Culture can be defined as is the personality of a company, that which defines the environment where employees work. Corporate values can be defined as operating philosophies or principles that guide an organization’s internal conduct as well as its relationship with its customers, partners, and shareholders.  The two are closely intertwined.

For sure, Biopharma can’t be completely singled out for it’s empty corporate values and cultural insincerity. Most every biotech or pharmaceutical industry has its share of guilty companies but biotech is a special case and I’ll explain why as you read on.

To be fair,  there are many well managed, promising  biotechs  run  by executives who care and adhere to respectable values while building healthy robust cultures. The typical biopharma values list has good intentions of trying to conjure a zen like, harmonious environment. The kind where people magically work as a team and have each other’s back in order to find a cure for a particular disease area. it’s ok to dream because without a dream none of these technologies would be possible. However, I for one think that people would be more appreciative of  honest statements about a current culture vs a phony, contrived or even aspired one. Just  admit that you are incomplete and that you need help- that there are gaps but opportunities.  Be real. Be sincere.

Be honest as a company with your employees about the direction you want to go with products, vaccines, etc.

an illusion at many places

Confess that you intend  to monetize your technology/ drug/vaccine. Don’t partake in the charade of a selfless, philanthropic institution just to to attract talent. Employees will resent it when they discover the truth . It’s ok to be for profit and in this business with less than 10% of drug programs succeeding to commercialization, there has to be a  prospect of high profitability or few would partake.  


Fact is, for many pre-commercial biotechs the corporate values may feel good but they are disingenuous. Too often a fluffy word salad used as a ruse to entice high-potential people.  The issue  is, that  once this hi-po person has landed s/he quickly realizes the truth and has buyer’s remorse .  This partially explains the high turnover rate of biotechs. Of course the volatility of proof of concept and fact that you need you need a mountain a cash to succeed are major factors as well.

culture problems of biotech and pharmaceutical companies can be avoided

quitting a start-up biotech

There are  other  high-beta industries that churn and burn people as well. High-tech is similar in this respect.  Biotech is probably more exaggerated though  because of its stark stages and regulatory hurdles. These companies often grow in ways that management hadn’t anticipated or expected. Example: most ‘platform technology’ biotech companies  re-brand themselves  as  ‘drug companies or Pharmas’  as they show progress clinically. 

Drug Development companies in turn may quickly  change therapeutic focus after a clinical failure or competition. They get bought by bigger companies and their brand and values will change yet again. Point is, these companies can change  into very different entities at these inflective junctions and it can all happen in a very compressed period  of time of a couple years..

The talent base of course  changes too. A pre-clinical discovery company (research folks ) will rotate out early talent in its clinical stage  (Development, Medical and Regulatory folks). Then  it will refocus dramatically as it approaches commercialization(Sales & Marketing folks). The skills needed will change rapidly. The personality types will change too and many of the individuals who seeded the company,  (the ones who probably created the values) will be long gone by the time you get into the clinic let alone the commercial stage.

So how did all this values nonsense get started anyway?

It seems to have gained popularity after the  Jim Collins and Jerry Porras business classic Built to Last, was published in 1994.  This book offers evidence that the “best” companies follow a set of principles or core values,  and that created a sort of cultish blueprint that every company feels compelled to now follow.  To quote Patrick Lencioni in the July 2002  Harvard Business Review: The values fad swept through corporate America like chicken pox through a kindergarten class. Today,

This article references "Built to Last" by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras

Are small biotech companies built to last?

80% of the Fortune 100 tout their values publicly—values that too often stand for nothing but a desire to be au courant or, worse still, politically correct.

Organizations  follow the lead and behavior of their CEO, and this establishes a company’s culture. This culture is perpetuated,  for better or worse by corporate values that either ring hollow and or are eschewed or mean something and are adhered to.  Because of the the industry’s expansion, it’s been harder to find top, experienced  leaders who possess the special qualities of  leadership , integrity and sincerity along with the experience and competence necessary  to lead biotech start-ups.

In the end, culture can be a moot point for biotechs because of the very business of drug development. You can have a wonderful culture and values but if your drug flunks a Phase IIb there won’t be a buyer just because of that fantastic culture. Just the same, things can unravel quickly. Even if a company has clinical success but keeps bleeding talent because of a shitty culture. Truly, culture does matter and values if used correctly this can drive organizational success or hasten  systemic failure.

Say what you mean and mean what you say. It’s ok if your culture needs work just admit that it’s evolving and you’re building toward it. Don’t use hollow words if they aren’t true just because you think they will resonate and catch on. They won’t if your leadership doesn’t embody and adhere to them.

CEOs: Don’t commit yourself to a carved-in-stone value system that is likely to change.The nature of the product life-cycle in this business is not simple. It isn’t realistic to pretend that you’ve summed up all the  outcomes, values and competencies before you begun the  journey. Start by acting with integrity and sincerity and  realistically describing who is  currently on the team,and where you need help.  It’s ok to be honest your employees will appreciate you for it.

values of biotech and pharmaceutical companies

say it like you mean it


Disclosures/post scripts

*1) Differentiating: biotech(nology) and pharmaceutical (biopharma) companies both produce medicine.Biotechnology companies’ medicines have a biological basis, and pharmaceutical companies’ medicines have a chemical basis. Biotechnology companies use live organisms or their products, such as bacteria or enzymes, to manufacture their drugs.  In my use of the word I am referring to any Pre-commercial Biotech or pharma company.

2) Recruiting has its own set of corporate values but we aren’t developing drugs.