April 10, 2024

Questions to Ask Before Looking for a New Job

I'm Melissa
I'm a Career and Leadership Coach for Women in Pharma/Biotech. I've been where you are, and I help you create the career you want without working more hours or settling for good enough.
Get the proven strategies your boss or HR don't want you to know that are proven to work (even with budget cuts, restructuring, and if you've been told "no")
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There is a lot of movement happening in the Pharma/Biotech industry right now and you might be wondering if it’s time for a new job or promotion. Before talking to your boss or scrolling LinkedIn to apply for a new job, tune in to this episode where I am sharing questions I suggest you know the answers to before starting your job search.

What you’ll learn:

  • 5 questions to ask yourself before looking for a new job so you can make sure any move is the right one AND increase your chances of a dream job offer
  • Pitfalls to avoid in your job search or promotion journey

Mentioned in this episode:


  • Get a new job, get promoted, or improve your current role inside Beyond the Ceiling – a group coaching program for women in Pharma/Biotech. Learn more
  • Looking for private 1-1 career and leadership coaching? Learn more and schedule a consultation
  • Want insider tips, access to new trainings, behind the podcast details and first-to-know information from Melissa? Join the free VIP Email Insiders


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Welcome to Your Worthy Career, a podcast for women in Pharma and Biotech with me, Melissa Lawrence. I am a certified career and leadership coach with a master’s in Organizational Psychology who has worked in talent and learning development in biotech to large pharma, from non-clinical to commercial. I help women in pharma and biotech create a career worthy of them. Whether you want to get clear on what you want, get a new job, get promoted, or be effective as a leader at any level, this is the place for you. Every week, you will get practical career strategies and mindset shifts to help you overcome the problems you experience at work so you can reach your goals feeling better than ever. Your up level begins now. 

Hello and welcome to another episode of Your Worthy Career. I am so glad that you’re here. There have been a couple of fun updates in my business that I want to bring you up to speed on. If you listened to the episode last week, you know that I talked about the hidden ways that you can advance your career as a woman in pharma or biotech. There are strategies I use in this industry that get my clients new jobs and promotions that aren’t just the right fit for them and avoid the whole grass is greener on the other side issue that leaves you with regret. But they even work with budget cuts, layoffs, or restructuring going on. I know the industry is having a lot of movement, and many of the people in my world are looking for new jobs. So I decided to put the four strategies into a guide that you can download at no cost. And I give you practical implementation tips too. You can get it at www.yourworthycareer.com/hidden. Now, when you do, you’re going to get the second thing that I have been working on, and that is an improved weekly email named The Cheetah Chronicles.

How fun is that? I have been sending a value-packed email every Wednesday morning, to those of you on my email list, for several years. I can’t believe it, but I have been in my business for just about four years now. And I wanted to improve the email to be more of a Career Development Digest that celebrates women in the industry and gives you a ton of practical resources that you can implement to improve your career. You’ll be able to check it out when you get your strategy guide. Of course, you can unsubscribe anytime, but honestly, why would you? It’s a free career advice digest with insights for women in the industry just like you. But of course, if at any time you want to opt out, you absolutely can. And I’m so excited to elevate and provide even more value to you through this new resource and the weekly Cheetah Chronicles. And if you’re wondering why Cheetahs, I tell you why when you get your strategy guide. And it’s really all about you and your potential. Cheetahs are a symbol for us as women in the industry. There’s a lot of significance and symbolism behind it.

And I actually talk about it in an episode in the beginning of 2023 when I went through my rebrand. I talk about the cheetahs and why that’s important. And I also explain it in one of the emails that you get when you join my list and get your strategy guide. All right, let’s go ahead and dig into today’s topic, shall we? Now, if you’re considering looking for a new job, maybe you’ve even already started or you have some potential jobs out there that you’re thinking about, maybe a recruiter reached out to you, whatever it is, before you get too far in the process, I want to share five questions that I suggest you ask yourself first. Why? Why do I want you to ask yourself these questions? Because when we start entertaining getting a new job, it’s because there’s something that we want to be different. And these questions will help you identify if a new job is right for you, what jobs to look for, and can even help you be even more confident in your application and interview process. Instead of wanting a change, being unhappy, and then being overwhelmed and confused on what to do, or if you should do anything at all, these questions are going to help you collect the right data before Do you waste any time on jobs that might not be a good fit for you?

So let’s get to it. Number one, what problem will having a new job solve? This question is so simple, right? But when you boil it down, There’s a problem you’re trying to solve by getting a new job or promotion. Is it money? Is it boredom? Is it a lack of meaning or passion in your work? Knowing what problem you’re trying to solve will tell you more about what you’re looking for and what options would solve that problem. Otherwise, let’s say you don’t know the answer to this and you just hop ship to something else, it could look all shiny and beautiful and everything you’ve ever wanted on the outside. But then when you get into it, you realize it’s not actually what you wanted at all because you didn’t solve the right problem. So instead, be clear on what problem the potential job change is going to solve for you. Number two, what is my secret sauce? I love this question. What is your secret sauce? We all have a secret sauce, and it’s so much better than just the ketchup mayo combo on a Big Mac at McDonald’s, okay? You are likely not the only person who does what you do.

So what sets you apart? What makes you different? How do you approach your work differently? What is it about you that is a secret sauce? Knowing this is going to give you a confidence boost and That is going to impact your job offers. It’s going to impact which jobs you decide to apply for and how you demonstrate your skills all the way from your application through the interview process. It’s even going to increase your chances of getting an interview. Now, if you’re wondering if you have a secret sauce, let me assure you, yes, you do. No one is like you. No one can do what you do in just the way that you do it. You 100 % have a secret sauce, and knowing this is going to make such a positive difference for you. So ask yourself, what is my secret sauce? All right. Number three, if the culture or leadership was different, would I stay? Now, here’s why I love this question. It is common to get so down and frustrated with your job because you’re so sick of the leadership, of not being heard, or things being done inefficiently, or not the way that you would, with jerk colleagues who make your life miserable.

You deal with one or all of that for enough time, and you can start to wonder if your career is right for you at all, if the industry is right for you, if you made a huge mistake in getting your PhD or spending the amount of money you did on your education. But here is what I have found. I have found that a lot of times, if the culture in leadership was different, you would actually love what you did for your career. And if that’s you, then that gives you some very important data. It tells you that you just need a different group or department or a new company. You maybe even need to build your skills to navigate the workplace more effectively, but you don’t need a whole new career. Number four, what problems do I want to solve? Now, the first question was, what problem is the new job solving? This is, what problems do you want to solve? When you think of why you do what you do, it’s because there’s an impact you want to make, a difference you want to make with your work. What is that? What are the problems you want to solve in your unique way?

When you know this, it will tell you a lot about what you want for your career and what direction to take it. Number five, what are my skills, including transferable skills? You probably know some of what you’re good at, the skills and experience that you have. But I suggest getting really clear on all of your skills, especially your transferable skills. Even if you don’t think you’re going to move into something very different, transferable skills are still important. You will find that you’re more qualified than you think for so much more than you think. There’s so many more opportunities available to you than you might realize. You might also discover you’re actually ready for another level of leadership or a more senior role. So your skills list can open up opportunities that you didn’t know you had, especially when you consider the answers to the first four questions. In Beyond the Ceiling, I have a transferable skills worksheet that takes you through a five-step process to know exactly what your skills are, your transferable skills and how to demonstrate your qualifications for any pivot you want to make, which results in better resumes, more interviews, and dream job offers.

All right, so these are just five questions to ask yourself before looking for a new job. What problem will having a new job solve? What is my secret sauce? If the culture or leadership was different, would I stay? What problems do I want to solve? And what are my skills, including transferable skills. Take out a journal and give yourself 30 minutes to answer each of these as thoroughly as you can, and use your answers to confirm if a new job is right for you, what your next best role is, and how you want to position yourself to get it. All right, have an amazing, amazing week. 

Hey, the episode is over, but I want to let you in on a secret. There are four hidden ways you can use to advance your career as a woman in Pharma or Biotech that your boss or HR doesn’t want you to know about. These are strategies that are proven to work even after you’ve been told no. Save yourself so much time and advance your career on your terms by downloading the strategies at my website, www.yourworthycareer.com/hidden. They’re completely free. Go get them now.

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No longer settles for “good enough”

Hi, I’m Melissa.

Career & Leadership Coach for Women in Pharma/Biotech

I'm a former Talent & Development leader in Pharma/Biotech turned CEO and Certified Professional Career & Life Coach. I also host the podcast, Your Worthy Career.

I've been where you are, and I help you create the career you want without working more hours or settling for good enough.

I'm leading a movement of women in the industry who are figuring out exactly what they want and shattering the glass ceiling. The very real ceiling in the industry, but also the one that we impose on ourselves. 

So long, imposter syndrome and overthinking. It's time to step into the impact and life you're worthy of having.

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