One year ago I took an exciting but scary decision to change direction and set out as an independent clinical research training consultant. It’s been quite a year and I’ve been amazed at the opportunities that have opened up. I’m so grateful to all my lovely clients and colleagues for your support, your recommendations and your business!
I’ve worked with such a variety of customers in the past year from academia and health services through biotech, pharma, CROs and non-profits to tiny biotech startups. I’ve set up training programmes, delivered training courses, advised on SOPs and learned a huge amount about Advanced Therapy Products. I’ve also been able to provide mentoring support to one or two rising stars in the Biotech industry.
So what have I learned? I’ve been running a business of one sort or another for nearly 16 years, but starting over is always a challenge, and leaving something behind is always sad. However I’ve always been someone who focuses on opportunities rather than difficulties and so I find change exciting, and love to try new things. I’ve taken to heart the advice allegedly given by Richard Branson “If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!” I do only take something on if I have a level of confidence that I can do it, I sometimes just need to do some research first.
The best thing about my job is that I’m constantly learning new things and that keeps my brain active and my mind young(ish). I’ve learned to trust my experience and expertise and go into a task with a view to helping my clients develop new treatments which will save and improve patient’s lives, while maintaining the ethical basis of GCP. My mantra is “subject protection and data quality”.
The future looks exciting too – I’ve launched a series of webinars and we’re getting ready for our first networking event in London in November. I have loads of ideas and can’t wait to get started on the next year.
My advice one year in is to know yourself, trust your skills and experience, and to grab new opportunities with both hands.