11 July 2023

Unless you've been living under a cinematic rock for the last 6 months, you'll know two things about the most highly anticipated theatrical releases of the summer;

1. Both "Barbie: The Movie" and "Oppenheimer" are being released on the same day
2. The release date has prompted an unexpected intersection of film buffs who are as excited to see Christopher Nolan's gritty historical drama as they are to watch Greta Gerwig's delightfully camp satire on Mattel's iconic doll.

At this point, you're probably wondering why we - a talent consultancy service - are writing about what trailers are trending on YouTube. In fact, when I mentioned writing this article, I was met with a couple of blank faces and one butchered pronunciation of the word "Oppenheimer". However, the unexpected overlap between two audiences (both associated with vastly polarised genres) acts as an amusing visual representation of one of the key things to remember when looking for a new role: sometimes what we like can surprise us.

A New Perspective

Job searching, particularly when at the stage of exploring the types of roles available in the market, can be overwhelming. Whether you're unhappy in your current role or not, dedicating sporadic sections of your working week to recruiting calls, CV edits and interviews. You'd be forgiven for taking the easiest approach; keep your blinkers on, pick one destination to focus on, and that you're the winning horse. In the current market it's no wonder that so many of the talented professionals we work with feel this way - there are masses of people looking for work, and not enough vacancies for all of them. But what happens if we play the slow game- if we stop for a while, and take the opportunity to explore something new that perhaps we hadn't considered?

We've lost track of the amount of times we've seen talent rush themselves through a process, accept an offer, and then 3 months down the line wonder what life could have been like if they had taken more time to explore their options. Particularly in an industry like healthcare communications, which offers so many varieties of the "same role", it's always opportunities that may not be your typical first choice.

Let's play pretend

You're a client services professional working at senior account manager level. You've got a PhD in Neuroscience, and have progressed from an executive to a senior account manager as part of several high-science agencies. Now you've started to think about making your next career move, and the successes of your past suggest that sticking to agencies with a high-science offering is the only way for you.

This line of thinking makes sense, and isn't to be sniffed at. However, a lack of diversification in your previous career may lead to you feeling stagnated and underchallenged, as each role feels eerily similar to the last (just with more pay and less time without your Teams app notification going off).

What if you were to allow yourself the time to explore roles outside of your comfort zone?

Instead of sticking to what you know, you decide to apply for a strategic role at a creative-focused agency. They invite you for an interview and you are surprised by how much you enjoy meeting them and how exciting the work sounds compared to what you're used to. You're still keen for your new role to have a high-science focus, and are pleasantly surprised to hear that this agency has an in-house creative team who work collaboratively with the scientific teams. In the midst of the stress of the search, you're glad you stopped to consider something different- something that can offer you something new without sacrificing the things you already love.

In this competitive market, it can feel as though you have to sacrifice one thing in order to secure another. But the truth is that in our sector, there are always roles that can offer the talent we work with the variety and flexibility to explore multiple facets of their interests and experience. It doesn't have to be a question of scientific vs creative, IME vs med affairs, publications vs events, or Barbie vs Oppenheimer.

If you're willing to take a chance on something new, are open to exploring multiple options, and don't mind spending your entire Saturday in the cinema, you can enjoy both.

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