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Careers in pharmaceutical marketing

When it comes to moving between companies, on average respondents have worked for 1.7 companies in the last five years

ladderWhen it comes to moving between companies, on average respondents have worked for 1.7 companies in the last five years, which equates to one move every three years. The exceptions to the rule are those working in biotech, who have moved twice in the last five years on average.

Those who hold lower ranking positions (eg, executives) are significantly more likely to move, with almost a quarter having worked for three companies over the past five years. Unsurprisingly, the older people are, the less likely they are to move, preferring to feel more comfortable with something they know.

Many of you taking part in the survey are very loyal to your company; 20 per cent of you have been with your current firm for more than 10 years. A further 21 per cent of you have been working for the same company for six to 10 years, bringing the mean number of years worked for all those who responded to 6.32.

Generally speaking, heads of department are the most loyal, working for the same company for an average of eight years. However, sales directors and heads of sales move more frequently, with a mean of 3 and 3.6 job moves, respectively, within the last five years.

The training department is obviously a good area to work in, with respondents staying more than two years longer (8.7 years) than the average (6.3 years).

As reported in previous years, you are updating CVs on average every 18 months, with almost two-thirds (64 per cent) having done so in the last year.

Men are more likely (68 per cent) to have updated their CVs, while fewer women (28 per cent) have done this in the last two years. Those most likely to update their CV are aged between 35 and 39 years, have a basic salary of between £30k and £39,999 (possibly with a diploma in marketing) and work in medical, marketing, commercial or in a brand or product team on the international side.

Those in sales and PR and communications are least likely to have an up-to-date CV; most have not updated their CV for two years or more. In contrast, marketing directors are sure to have an updated CV to hand.

Moving on up
With additional qualifications helping pharma folk to rise to the top, 40 per cent (187) of you intend to get further qualifications at some stage. Some 48 of you have already grabbed the bull by the horns and are working on another qualification. Almost one in three (29 per cent) of you are considering doing a diploma - the most common further education step.

This is followed closely by an MBA (11 respondents), while nine people are looking specifically at the Chartered Institute of Marketing diploma.

Fresh workplace challenges are clearly important to people working in pharma and, as such, a third of you have been in your current position for less than a year. Of the remaining two- thirds, 74 per cent have been in the same job for under three years, with workers, on average, having spent 2.6 years in their current position.

Those working in product teams are the most likely to move, staying in their current position for just a little over 18 months. Conversely, those least likely to move are older respondents, with as many as a quarter of 50+ year olds holding on to the same job for between six and 10 years.

The commercial department experiences the least movement after those in training, with the typical worker staying in their current role for an average of 7.3 years. Those working in the medical department are also likely to stick around and on average stay for 6.6 years.

Heads of sales and sales directors tend to move between firms more regularly than others in pharma. In general, those working in sales stay in the same post for an average of 3 years.

The favourite jobs
Marketing managers and directors are the most sought after roles; one in 10 respondents want to be a manager or director of marketing in the next five years. The majority of people aspiring to marketing management or directorship are currently working in a product team.

Of those who are already directors, 19 per cent want to be a managing director, 11 per cent aspire to be a vice president and 10 per cent have set their sights on being a general manager in the next five years.

Business unit and commercial directors have their sights set on being an MD, general manager or vice president of a company in five years' time; these candidates are also significantly more likely to have gained European (non-UK) and international (other geographical regions such as US, Asia, Australasia) experience as part of their current role.

Just over half (53 per cent) of directors who responded believe they will be with the same company by 2010, whereas 38 per cent of directors said they would move to get their desired role. Some chose not to answer this question.

Of all the respondents, managers are the most likely to stay at their current company, with 62 per cent remaining loyal. Other personnel not intending to move are likely to work in any one of the following: product teams and commercial department (or in sales). This year, as reflected in previous years, those most likely to change their employer work in PR and Communications.

UK-focused companies are less likely to suffer attrition, with almost six in every 10 employees stating that they intend to stay put. It may be wise to note, however, that if you are considering seeking a role as director in the next five years it will pay to ensure that you obtain European and/or international experience; in fact it is vital if you hope to get your desired job.

Almost all directors have gained experience of European and/or international markets. This know-how can also help department heads and group or senior managers, as well as those in a commercial department, business unit or PR/comms role.

The findings from this survey suggest that in order to achieve the higher levels of remuneration, some European and/or international experience is required. The survey revealed that seven out of 10 respondents with multinational experience earn in excess of £70k per year.

2nd September 2008


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