DR J. #5 - The Heaviness vs. Happiness

Does everyone who wants to exit academia and go into pharma, come to this point?

For roughly a year I have been working on finding a personal path to transition out of academia, two years if you count the “early days” of bold exploration and idea-sculpting.

So, for about a year I’ve been working fully upskilling myself on the MSL role (see my previous posts 1-4). I am now in fruitful contact with several recruiters and have had some first telephone interviews that went well this time. So, there are palpable possibilities in the air, maybe even a face-to-face interview soon. And honest to say, I really feel an increasing tailwind.

So you might think "that’ll pan out, it’ll just take some time”. True.

Still, going to my academic job makes me feel dismal, every day. I don’t feel connected to the ‘larger goal’ anymore, really don’t like the over-crowded 1-option career-path… The everlasting uncertainties, the relentless always-a.s.a.p. deadlines, backroom politics, mistreatment, work consistently spilling over into evenings and weekends.

It has become the standard, and it’s killing spare time and relaxation in general. It has been going on unchanged for too long, for years on end, and I have had enough of it.
Last years’ venture on the road into pharma, hasn’t just been a transition of career focus, it truly has been one of the mind too. Unexpectedly profound and illuminating. My focus and ambitions have now shifted so profoundly that they have - by figure of speech - shifted my point of gravity and are squeezing me against the window that looks out from academia into pharma. I want out, but still need to find the appropriate handle to open that window and climb out towards happiness. I would rather have opened it yesterday than today. I need to stay patient and allow chances to correctly play out. To find the best-fitting handle I can find. Still, I firmly believe this means my idea of transitioning, has now matured into a very strong and positive drive to get out of academia into a career that will provide plenty of opportunities for a scientist like myself.

Even though that notion has materialized, I can personally share it only with a very select crowd. Since, for different reasons, I need to keep my pharma-ambitions “below the radar”.

Which is a pity, as I am actually quite excited about the recent developments in my search for an MSL job. Furthermore, I know more than a couple of people around me who would greatly appreciate some hands-on info from me about how to potentially exit from academia.

Nonetheless, at work, I need to continue as usual with the same vigor and creativity. And that is what I feel as “the heaviness”; the unwanted need to keep going on a track you no longer want to follow; a track you know you will exit sooner or later, and the silent joy that I have found a way out. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. That light is called MSL.

Are you ready to jump ship?

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