Off the Beaten Path: Life Science Jobs You May Not Have Considered

Off the Beaten Path: Life Science Jobs You May Not Have Considered

Author:  Tara Smylie

Life Science Jobs – When you think about what it means to be employed in STEM, do you think of syringes, microscopes, and lab coats? If so, you’re not alone! In reality, however, lab jobs are just one path you can take as a life science graduate.

Within STEM and biopharma, there are many hidden-gem positions that simply don’t get as much attention as they should. If you have an interest in science but also enjoy analysis, management, or communications, there is no shortage of exciting and non-traditional job prospects out there for you to explore.

STEM (Life Science Jobs) and Business

Not all STEM positions are primarily scientific. Most will require at least a foundational understanding of STEM concepts, but some also call for a strong big-picture grasp of business operations.

As such, if you possess both a science background and a keen understanding of economics, markets, and/or human behavior, you’re in luck. Job-seekers with passions for both science and business can consider the following options:

  • Medical science liaison: this position requires both people skills and a knack for clearly communicating important information. The main duty associated with this role is the provision of medical product information to key players in the pharma and life science industries.
  • Life science recruiter: if you have a strong network and enjoy the thrill of the chase, this position may be for you. Recruiters in the life sciences have the chance to make new connections across many different fields, and to gain an insider perspective on the back-end of science-based business operations.
  • Biopharmaceutical sales rep: if you have an advanced science degree, a go-getter attitude, and are a self-professed “people person”, you may find a perfect match in this position. The earning potential is very high, and for the right fit, the work environment can be exhilarating.

STEM and Communications

Any job in scientific communications will require both a keen analytical mind and the ability to articulate high-level concepts. If you’ve cultivated that elusive blend of “soft” communications skills and “harder” data and research skills, this may be the niche you’ve been searching for.

If you’re interested in finding a job in this field, here are some positions to keep on your radar:

  • Technical/Medical Writer: If you feel comfortable communicating scientific concepts to wide audiences, consider looking into medical or technical writing as a career. Some science writers work on a freelance basis, while others are employed by corporations.
  • Science Journalist: science journalism is similar to technical writing, but potentially broader in scope. A scientific journalist produces copy for not only scientific media but also blogs, websites, newspapers, etc.
  • Scientific Instructional Designer: this position is ideal for anyone with a teaching background as well as a scientific mind. Instructional design is a growing field, with many roles currently available at life science/biotech companies.

Another path less travelled: health informatics

When it comes to lab-coat-free science positions, health informatics jobs are just about as good as it gets. For one thing, they tend to pay well. And for another, the work they involve usually proves to be both stable and stimulating – the perfect combo. Positions in this field tend to involve management, advising, communicating, and/or analysis. If you possess one or more of these skills, consider that HI could make for a very fulfilling career path.

Here are just a few health informatics jobs available today:

  1. Clinical Informatics Analyst: this position is all about the data. It involves compiling and analyzing health information, and using that analysis to make policy and workflow changes within an organization.
  2. Health Information Technology Project Manager: think regular project manager, but with a little added expertise. For an employee in this role, projects often center on the implementation of new technology and the optimization of existing workflows.
  3. Health Informatics Consultant: often contracted for on a per-project basis, an employee in this role advises a healthcare organization on health-informatics-related challenges, questions, and initiatives. Because of its broad scope, the nature of this position can vary greatly from client to client.

Look before you leap (into a career)

Depending on your skill set and personality, a lab position may be ideal for you. But no matter where you end up, you’ll never regret having explored your options. Remember: modern career paths are not always linear! What you learn now could come in handy years down the line.

Whether you’re looking for a medical writing position, a senior lab job, or just for some career guidance,’s recruitment services can help you get where you want to go.


  1. What Does a Medical Science Liaison Do?
  2. So You Want To Be A Recruiter? Do You Have What It Takes?
  3. Top 11 Alternative Careers for Biotechnology & Life Science Graduates
  4. 12 Careers for PhD Life Scientists Outside of the Lab
  5. Instructional design helps you create classes, trainings, and apps that people actually learn from.
  6. 6 Top Careers in Healthcare Informatics
How to Keep Up Your Job Search During the Holidays

How to Keep Up Your Job Search During the Holidays

Author:  Tess Joosse

Job search during the holidays?  Sure!  The holiday season brings many joys and many stresses, but conventional wisdom states that the job hunt isn’t supposed to be one of them. Many job seekers think that keeping up their search this season is futile: hiring managers and recruiters are taking time off, companies are focused on wrapping up the year, and employers freeze hiring until January as a result.

While it is true that some companies put interviews and onboarding on hold to save time and money until after the holiday rush, this isn’t always the case, and looking for a new job in November and December can actually give you a leg up over the competition and provide some great networking opportunities. Here, we’ve gathered several steps you can take to make the most of the season while you search for a new role.

Other candidates have paused their searches, meaning less competition for positions.

You are not the only job hunter considering putting their search on hold until after New Year’s Day. Many candidates will indeed slow down their search during this season because of vacations, celebrations, and other commitments. Others have also heard about the supposed holiday hiring freeze and think their efforts will be futile until January. But as needs and projects expand, companies will need to fill positions regardless of the time of year. And if an employer does post an open position during this time and you’re a good fit for the role, your application will likely face less competition as other job seekers sit the season out.

Holiday events provide great networking opportunities.

Whether it be your neighborhood Turkey Trot, your spouse’s company holiday party, or your nephew’s Christmas concert, you likely will have opportunities to socialize with lots of new people as you attend seasonal events. Feel free to use these opportunities to chat with connections about their companies, industries, and if they or their networks can introduce you to any opportunities. After you mingle, be sure to follow up with your new connections to reiterate your season’s greetings and to keep the lines of communication open.

Job search during the holidays is a perfect time to reach out to past contacts.

Beyond any new connections you might make over the punch bowl at a party, the holiday season is a great time to circle back to past recruiters, interviewers, hiring managers, or other contacts at companies you’ve interacted with in the past. Email a “season’s greetings” message to people in your network who could connect you to new opportunities. In the message, express your warm holiday wishes, briefly update the recipient on your job search, and convey your interest in working with them in the future.

And it’s a great time to take advantage of contract opportunities.

One industry that definitely doesn’t freeze hiring during the holidays? Retail. According to the National Retail Foundation, these employers hire around half a million temporary seasonal workers each year to help with the holiday shopping rush. But temporary or contract opportunities are available in other industries, too, including in biotech and the life sciences.

The industry has experienced a wave of layoffs in the last several months as companies aim to respond to and shield themselves from uncertain economic conditions. While that’s bad news for many, there could be a silver lining for some job hunters. As full-time positions get cut, that work still needs to be done – and many companies are shifting towards hiring more contractors to accomplish these tasks. Despite economic conditions and industry trends, a contract or temporary position could lead to a permanent job. And if you are in a full-time position but have been wanting to move into a contracting role, this season could be a great time to make the jump.

The takeaway?

Don’t give up your job search during the holidays. Between a less competitive applicant pool, abundant occasions for networking, and opportunities to snag a contracting or temporary position, you just might start the new year with a new role.


  1. The Holiday Hiring Freeze: Fact or Fiction?
  2. Your Holiday Job-Search Guide
  3. Why the Holidays May Be the Best Time of Year to Look for a Job
  4. 13 Holiday Networking Tips You Need To Know
Recently Graduated and Unemployed? Here’s What to Do

Recently Graduated and Unemployed? Here’s What to Do

Author:  Tara Smylie

Ah, the job search. Universally hated, and unfortunately also necessary for almost everyone at some point during their career. If you’re a recent grad in the middle of the hunt, you might feel a little stressed out or overwhelmed. That’s totally normal – and luckily, there are several ways you can manage your anxieties as you continue casting your net.

Contact and Connect

Friends, family, old mentors or professors… chances are, you know a handful of people who’ve been through the same thing and have some words of wisdom to offer. If possible, reach out to peers who are in the same boat – you will all feel less alone if you have each other to confide in. Connecting with other recent grads also has the advantage of strengthening your professional network.

Take a chance and connect with people or organizations you’d really like to work for, perhaps even offering to volunteer for them. For example, if you’re interested in a medical research environment, email a lab coordinator in that field and ask them if they have any opportunities for an ambitious assistant who is willing to work hard and eager to contribute. When it comes to life science and biotech, your connections are your strength – so never stop making them.

Work smart, not hard

Don’t pressure yourself to apply to exactly X number of jobs every day. Instead, focus on finding jobs that match your interests and abilities. For example, let’s say you excelled in all your statistics courses and have some field experience as a scientist. Perhaps you could put your skills to good use as a biostatistician – or possibly an environmental analyst for the right company. The ideal job will make use of your existing skills while offering you opportunities to cultivate new ones.

And remember: you don’t have to rush to the finish line. They say that looking for a job is a full-time job, but you don’t need to spend a full 8-hour day on the search if that feels excessive. While you are searching, be sure to read all job descriptions – you don’t want to waste anyone’s time applying for a job that doesn’t click for you. And when you inevitably face some rejection, try not to dwell on it and remember that rejection will happen to any job hunter who aims high.

Constantly refine your approach

Mass applying to hundreds of jobs at a time can feel productive, but you’re not as likely to impress any single employer. Find a balance between quality and quantity – and yes, that will mean writing cover letters. Over half of employers prefer candidates who attach them, and they can help you sell yourself if you maintain a professional tone.

As you search, you may notice that some components of your process need work. If you think your resume could use some fine-tuning, ask a colleague to look it over and give you some feedback. Or maybe you know your interviewing skills aren’t quite where you’d like them to be. If that’s the case, consider watching some videos or taking a course on the subject to brush up your skills. Your job-seeking skills will drive both your short- and long-term career, and the perfect time to invest in it is when you’re actively looking.

Relax your standards

There’s no need to find the “perfect” job immediately – you never know what an opportunity can lead to. Instead of chasing your number-one dream position, focus your efforts on landing a “good enough” job and consider where it could take you in the future. Nowadays it’s very common to end up working in a different field than the one you formally trained in, so stay open to the possibility of doing something a little unfamiliar.

As a final note: remember to enjoy the free time you have right now. You may not get the chance to take time off work for a while once you do have a job – so make the most of it while you can! Take this opportunity to polish your skills, reach out to old contacts, and get back in touch with the hobbies that fell by the wayside during your college days.

Keep calm and carry on

Finding a job is never easy. Realize that you’re not alone, and take the search at a pace that feels comfortable to you. Remember, you can’t control when you get an offer – only the effort you put into the process. If you’d like some assistance finding your next opportunity,’s recruitment services can help you take your next steps.


  1. It’s Who You Know: A Guide to Career Networking in the Life Science Industry
  2. How to Deal With Job Rejection and Move On
  3. 83 Must-Know Resume Statistics: 2022 Data on Length, Cover Letters & Valuable Skills
  4. Resume Writing for Life Scientists
  5. Managing Job Interview Questions
  6. Only 27 percent of college grads have a job related to their major
Hate Your Job? Here’s What to Do

Hate Your Job? Here’s What to Do

Author:  Tara Smylie

We’ve all felt it: that sinking feeling we get when a new position isn’t what we thought it would be. But there’s no need to despair. No matter what happens, you can gain valuable work experience and a new list of potential references. If your current work circumstances aren’t quite doing it for you, consider the following tips to help you take charge of the situation.

Identify the problem

To hone in on the source of your discomfort, you’ll have to put words to your feelings. Take a mental walk-through of your average workday, and when you hit a sore spot, write down why you think that is. Then, condense your notes into a list of specific, tangible issues that affect your day-to-day work life. Are you finding certain tasks to be beneath your skill level? Not what you expected out of this role? Are certain colleagues making it hard to focus on your job? The more specific you can make this list, the better.

Once you’ve identified some key pain points, brainstorm some changes that could fix them. More than likely, your supervisors can adjust your work environment or project load to improve your experience. Say you’re working as a lab assistant, and would like to spend more of your time helping researchers and less on menial tasks. Before you tell anyone at work, come up with a few ways you could make this happen, such as assisting with higher-level work one day a week or working with a different research team.

Meet with your boss or supervisor

Once you’ve thoroughly assessed the situation, schedule a meeting with your supervisor and ask them if there’s any room to make changes. Politely explain how your solutions could help the organization, along with improving your job satisfaction. Keep an open mind as they respond to your ideas: Even if they don’t fully agree with what you’ve proposed, they’ll likely meet you halfway.

Perhaps they can’t assign you to a different team, but will green-light your suggestion to spend some afternoons shadowing a senior researcher. Or maybe they can lay out a path to help you secure a promotion to a more research-based position within the next year.

Take advantage of the networking opportunity

Even if you do end up resigning, here’s no need to throw the baby out with the bathwater. If your job isn’t what you hoped it would be, the connections you make in your current role can help you with a career move in the future. Maybe your boss will write you a top-notch reference letter, or you’ll be able to come back and work for your current employer in a different role someday. For such scenarios to pan out, you’ll have to make a sharp impression while you can.

As you consider how to make the most of your circumstances, don’t underestimate the power of horizontal networking – making connections with people at your level. You probably have a lot more in common with your coworkers than with your bosses, which means that you can all share resources and keep each other up-to-date about new developments in your field.

Be courteous from start to finish

Whether you’re resigning from a four-month internship or a full-time job you’ve had for two years, a resignation letter will help you make a graceful exit. Your supervisors will take note of your professionalism and will appreciate having a record of your reasons for leaving. If all goes well, you can also ask your boss to write a letter of recommendation for you.

Keep on moving

So you’ve made your exit. Now what? Simple: get back on that grind. Reach out to your contacts and keep tabs on all job boards in your field. If you want a really competitive edge, consider working with a recruiter. And this time around, you know exactly what you don’t want in a work experience, so you can pursue your next opportunity with greater clarity.

If you’re eager to find your next science or biotech opportunity,’s recruitment services can help you land a job that complements your skills and career interests.


  1. How to Enjoy Work in 12 Steps and Why Doing So Is Important
  2. 12 Ways To Ensure a Successful Meeting With Your Boss
  3. Being Honest with Your Boss can Increase Your Workplace Happiness
  4. 8 Reasons Why It’s Important To Build Workplace Relationships
  5. Why You Should Be Horizontally Networking With Your Peers
  6. Having Trouble Selecting a Recruiter? Start With These Questions
Meet the Recruiters: Carter and Jessica

Meet the Recruiters: Carter and Jessica

Author: Claire Jarvis

We’re delighted to introduce Jessica Byrd and Carter Lewis, two senior recruiters at, as part of our ongoing Meet the Recruiters blog series. Both have been at the company just over a year: Jessica focuses on RPO in clinical operations and regulatory affairs; Carter focuses on RPO and contingency recruitment projects in the gene therapy space.

Scientific Beginnings

Jessica graduated with a BA and MA in Psychology in 2018. She worked in the field for a couple of years, before returning to school to obtain a Master’s degree in Human Resources. While studying, Jessica looked for opportunities to apply what she was learning in school. “I thought would be a good place to get my toes wet in the HR world,” she explains.

Carter graduated with a BS in Biotechnology. Aware that he didn’t want a career at the bench, Carter joined after graduating: “I was really interested in the biotechnology world. But I realized I didn’t want to be running assays for my career.” He thought a recruiting career would be a great way to remain involved in biotech.

Recruitment as a STEM Career

One of the things Carter enjoys most about working at is “getting to interact with really smart people every day who tell me how their technologies work, while I help them build their company.”

Jessica enjoys the supportive environment at Sci.Bio, where success is about “the quality of results, not number of hires.” Carter agrees: “the inclusive and welcoming culture at is what drew me in.”

Hybrid Work and Life

Both Carter and Jessica work in hybrid roles, commuting to the office in Braintree, MA once or twice a week. Both appreciate the flexibility of hybrid recruiting work. “You learn a lot in the office from hearing other calls and talking with fellow recruiters,” says Carter.

A typical day for Jessica begins with a few hours dedicated to sourcing, then phone screens and interviews scheduled together. After that she reserves time to collect notes, write summaries and talk with hiring managers.

Carter likes to block off several hours for grouped tasks such as sourcing or calls. He explains “it can take you a while to focus if you’re hopping between client calls, meetings, etc.” Carter uses a notebook to keep most of his scheduling information, since the act of physically writing down notes helps them stay in his mind.

Jessica uses the virtual notepad OneNote to keep all her information (such as salaries, phone screening information) centrally located and categorized by client. She also uses Google Keep to track how many hours I’m spending on each client. Jessica’s one office essential? “My Airpods – when you have back-to-back phone calls it’s nice to have your hands free…it made the biggest difference to my neck!”

Outside of work Jessica likes hiking on trails near where she lives. Carter also enjoys outdoor activities such as backpacking, running, and skiing in the winter.

Advice for Others

Carter’s advice for other STEM graduates is to “keep an open mind” about recruiting as a potential career. “Most recruitment is either done hybrid or remotely, it’s based on your schedule and what you want to do…if you like making connections and networking with people”

For Jessica, the key to success as a recruiter is persistence. “Not everyone will reply to your phone call or email – you can’t let that deter you.”