Hello there bloggies!

I am just about to finish my fifth week in my new position in industry. That’s just about a month of not being a trainee and working in a for-profit setting.

As with any transition into a new job, new group, or even a new project, I can safely say that I have spent most of my time playing catch-up and trying to figure out exactly what I’m supposed to be doing. I’ve read gads of papers, attended so many meetings, and chatted with and endless parade of my new co-workers. It certainly has been a month of excitement, anxiety, learning, frustration, and opportunity.

Over this past month, I’ve come to some (fairly obvious, yet important) realizations about research in industry.

First, as I mentioned in a previous post (link here), the work is still all about the science. The major difference is the end goal. Instead of solely considering the underlying biological phenomena (as well as the practical grant and publication concerns), researchers in industry must always ask themselves one question:

Will this work help lead to a treatment?

That is and must be the motivation behind every experiment, analysis, and trial. That work must help identify and test new treatments for human disease

Second, I have found myself needing to rely on myself and being proactive in order to do my work and to get anything done. There is no hand-holding, no step-by-step guidebook, no checklist. You must do what you have to do in order to get things done. And get them done quickly and efficiently.

Finally, developing professional relationships and a network within the company is just as important as your general network. Each person at your new company has so much institutional knowledge (unless you’ve founded your own company). This knowledge isn’t in a training or a paper. You can only learn about these vital things–like the basis of target identification or why certain programs are progressing (and others not)–by talking with people. I’ve had to force myself out of comfort zone and chat with as many people as I can without being annoying to my new colleagues :).

Month one of my foray into research in industry has come and gone. I’m still alive and excited for what’s to come. Stay tuned for the twists and turns!

Thanks for stopping by the blog! As always, please do reach out on twitter @DrFsThoughts or in the comments.

-Dr. F