Contracting: An Increasingly Attractive Career and Lifestyle Choice

The line between work and home life is becoming increasingly blurry, with many of us using mobile devices to stay connected with colleagues throughout the day and into the evening.  Our work lives and our personal lives are in constant competition for our time and attention. This competition for time is one of the reasons why the world of work is changing fast.

At CK, we see career development opportunities in both contract and permanent roles, but increasingly highly skilled people are looking at contracting as one of the ways to help them manage the growing demands on time.

There are perks and benefits of a permanent role like stability, security and pension contributions but there are also perks to being a contractor. More and more people are looking at contract work as an attractive career and lifestyle choice for the following reasons:

  • Higher Earning Potential
    Skilled contractors that are in high demand and short supply are often paid more per hour than their permanent counterparts. Obviously, there are perks and benefits that permanent workers receive such as enhanced pensions, paid leave and sick pay etc. but if you aren’t looking for these, contracting can be highly lucrative.
  • Take Back Control
    Contracting gives you the opportunity to decide what work you take on and when. If you are in a profession that means you can complete work outside of the office, you can also decide when and where you do the work.
  • Avoid Office Politics 
    As a contractor, you are not part of the business on a long term basis so do not have to get involved in jockeying for position or worrying about your next promotion or appraisal.  You can leave work at the end of the day and concentrate on your home life.
  • Flexibility
    If you are not tied to the office 9-5 for 48 weeks of the year, you can decide when you take breaks from contracts and plan holidays without having to worry about your annual allowance.
  • Increased Knowledge and Experience
    Contracting provides you with the opportunity to work with a range of companies on different projects which can accelerate the exposure you get to new experiences, technology and situations.
  • Network
    Building up your professional network through working in different companies and environments means that you can become well connected quickly. Building and maintaining good relationships with people you meet through contract work can lead to more work opportunities in the future.
  • See the World
    As a contractor you are likely to be highly skilled and in demand.  If you wanted to broaden your experience and see more of the world, why not consider short to medium contracts in other countries to get a taste of real life and culture in other countries whilst continue to further your professional development.

If you are considering your options as a contractor, the CK team are here to help. Contact us today to discuss your next career move.

If you’re looking to reduce stress, take a look a these four easy steps to leading a healthy work-life balance.

 

Posted in Articles, Candidates, Careers Advice, News

Four easy steps to leading a healthy work-life balance

Today the perception of work has shifted. Having a healthy work-life balance has become a necessity for many, so much so that millennials prioritise this over pay and career advancement. Yet with social media and our ever-growing addiction to technology, it is more difficult than ever to switch off and escape the demands of work outside the office.

Mental health issues are currently on the rise, with 74% of individuals in the last year feeling so stressed that they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope. The Mental Health Foundation calls the increasingly demanding work culture in the UK “perhaps the biggest and most pressing challenge to the mental health of the general population”

With work related stress costing Britain 10.4 million working days per year, maybe it is time we pay more attention and prioritise our own work-life balance.

To help get you started we have created 4 simple steps to improve your work-life balance.

 

Step 1: Turn off technology

We live in a world that never sleeps. Smartphone users unlock their phones on average 85 times daily and use it for over five hours a day. With the constant distraction of emails and social media, it is extremely hard to set boundaries of when our working day begins and ends. Furthermore, using our phones at home not only disrupts family time but also affects sleep.

As a tip, to help separate your personal life from your home life, make a rule not to answer any emails in the evening and be present with your family, or take part in a sport or hobby to help you switch off.

 

Step 2: Work smarter not harder

Rushing around and chasing the clock seems to be the norm in today’s society. Most individuals feel they never have enough time to get everything done. However, this can be tackled by improving your own time management skills.

To help feel on top of life and tasks, it is extremely important that you learn how to work smarter, and not harder, to make the most effective use of your time.

  • Ensure you organise your day appropriately by creating a to do list and focusing on the most important tasks
  • Review all work meetings to see if they are necessary, and if they are, make sure they are sharp and straight to the point. Try limiting them to 30 minutes with a specific desired outcome.
  • Devote your entire focus to the task at hand. Many people think that they will get more done when multitasking, however multi-tasking can reduce productivity by as much as 40%. Put your phone away, close browsers and concentrate on one task at a time.

 

Step 3: Take time to exercise

One of the most beneficial activities to participate in before or after work is exercise. Exercise is a fantastic stress reliever and improves our sense of well-being and overall mood. It is estimated that exercising three times per week can reduce the risk of depression by up to 20%. This In turn helps us be more productive at work.

Try to keep your exercise plan flexible and make it fit around your timetable. For example, you could include lunch-time walks or runs, early morning workouts, or a fitness class on your way home. Try and strike a balance between cardio, weights, and relaxing workouts such as stretching or yoga, to best reap the benefits, otherwise you could end up doing more harm than good.

 

Step 4: Learn to say no

Despite everyone leading busy lives, many of us often find ourselves taking on tasks that we don’t have time for or would rather not do. Whether it’s agreeing to overtime, doing someone a favour, or socialising when you don’t want to, if these activities are causing you to feel exhausted or stressed, it is time to learn to say no more often.

Steve Jobs once said “I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying ‘no’ to 1,000 things.”

Saying no can have a very positive influence on your life and is essential when it comes to your work-life balance. Saying no shows you value your time, you understand what you want, and makes it easier to fill your life with activities and people who bring you true happiness.

 

It is important to realise that a healthy work-life balance means something different to everyone and it is crucial to find the right balance for you. However, no matter what career you’re in, or however many additional commitments you have, creating a healthy balance between work, play, and recharging, is essential to leading a happy, healthy and productive life, both at home and in the workplace.

 

Posted in Articles, Candidates, Homepage Candidates, Industry News, News

5 simple ways to ace a job interview

How do you introduce yourself in a job interview?

First impressions play a major role in securing a job. In fact, research shows that 33% of employers know within the first 90 seconds of an interview whether they will hire someone. It is therefore vital that you present yourself in the right way.

Interviews can be extremely exciting, or extremely dreadful. Before your interview, there are several key things you need to consider, and prepare, to ensure you are setting yourself up for success.

 

  1. Dress appropriately

Appearance plays an important role when meeting someone new and is ultimately the first thing an employer will notice when you walk through the door.

65% of employers indicate that clothes could be a deciding factor between two almost-identical candidates.

It is a good idea to research the companies dress code before you choose your interview attire. A clinical consultant interview will likely require more formal dress than that of an engineer. Ensure you choose to dress more on the professional side, in an outfit which you feel both comfortable and confident in.

 

  1. Brush up on manners and body language

Regardless of what job you are applying for, it is essential that you show good manners throughout the interview. When introduced to your interviewer, give them a firm handshake and remember to smile.

Once you sit down, position yourself so that you are facing your interviewer, with your body, legs, and feet pointing in their direction. This shows you are engaged and prepared to start the interview.

Furthermore, ensure you pay your full attention throughout, with plenty of eye contact.

67% of employers say that failure to make eye contact is a common nonverbal mistake, with it making you look uninterested, disconnected and bored.

 

  1. Come prepared and do your research

Many people are often spot on when talking about themselves in an interview, however often struggle when the questions turn to talking about the company itself.

Researching the company prior to an interview will give you the much-needed confidence to answer questions appropriately. It will help you tailor your answers to suit the company’s needs, proving that you are a perfect match for the organisation.

The company’s website is the best place to start, which will hold information such as their mission statement, values, history, and products or services.

Social media sites are also a great way to find out more in-depth information about the company culture; LinkedIn is particularly useful and enables you to see if you have any connections to the company.

 

  1. Take the time to practice

Fail to prepare and prepare to fail. Practicing for an interview is essential to ensure you are as prepared as you can be.

CK have written several articles to help you overcome the fear of interview questions including an advice article on how to prepare for dreaded behavioural interview questions.

It’s a good idea to rehearse some questions at home with a family member or friend, asking them for honest, constructive feedback, jotting down notes and practicing as many times as you need. This is a great way to reduce interview stress, sharpen your skills, and increase your confidence.

 

  1. Ask plenty of questions

Asking questions shows you are truly interested in the job, and strong appropriate questions show that you have done your research properly. For example, if you are applying for a lab role ask about the techniques they use, and what they are currently investigating.

If you don’t ask questions, you could appear disinterested, or less enthusiastic than other candidates in the running.

Last of all do not forget to send a “Thank You” email once you have had the interview, thanking them for their time and the opportunity of an interview. If you haven’t heard back from them after one to two weeks, send a follow up email asking for feedback. Keep it simple and straight forward, making sure you are friendly and polite rather than pushy. Follow-up emails are a successful indication of your keen interest in the job and assertiveness, traits which any potential employer would want to see.

Posted in Articles, Candidates, Careers Advice, News

5 things to avoid including in your CV

It is no secret that the job market is highly competitive, and that it is a tough challenge nowadays just trying to get your CV noticed. On average, a recruiter will scan a CV for less than 20 seconds – leaving you very little time to impress them. It is therefore crucial to get your CV right and make those precious seconds count.

Here is a short list of things NOT to include if you want to make that lasting impression.

 

  1. Avoid overused buzzwords

We often hear about the top keywords to include in your CV to get noticed. But ironically, with everyone using them, recruiters read these “buzzwords” over and over again and they end up having no meaning.

According to LinkedIn, the most used buzzword on people’s profiles is “motivated”. “Specialised” is another word that appears on most CVs, closely followed by “leadership” and “experienced”.

Other words that appear far too often are “successful”, “passionate” and “enthusiastic”.

In a previous article we suggested different ways of saying these most common buzzwords – see here. For example, instead of using “motivated” why not use words such as inspired, enthused or determined to achieve success?

 

  1. Avoid generic terminology

Other phrases to avoid at all costs are vague terminologies such as “responsible for”, “thought leadership” or “results-driven”.

Being “responsible for a team” doesn’t give much proof of your capabilities or what role you played. Instead, use decisive verbs such as “managed” or “directed” with facts and figures.

 

  1. Show, don’t tell

It is meaningless to claim something without the facts and figures to back it up.

Instead of using keywords, describe your best examples. Explain what drives you, what inspires you the most in your job or your best achievements. This will help recruiters get a better insight on who you are and what you can bring to the table.

A good tactic is to use numbers alongside buzzwords to show your value. This will get your CV noticed and give you credibility.

For example – “I managed a team of 10 people and successfully launched X bringing in a revenue of Y over 3 years”.

 

  1. Remove any irrelevant experience

As mentioned previously, a recruiter will spend less than 20 seconds looking at your CV, so make sure all the information you provide is relevant to the role you are applying for. Keep your CV to the point.

 

  1. Remove the unnecessary

And finally, remove any other information from your CV that is unnecessary at this stage of the application process. Here is a list of a few items that often appear on CVs and have no place being there.

  • The words “References available upon request “
  • The words “Salary is negotiable “
  • More than one address
  • A headshot

Stand out from the crowd, think about what experiences you have which are relevant to the role and set you aside from the crowd. Recruiters don’t want to see yet another generic CV, they want to see a concise CV full of examples and proof of your capabilities.

For more advice on how to improve your CV, contact us.

 

Posted in Candidates, Careers Advice, General, News

Candidate of the Week Senior Drug Safety Contractor

Hendre at CK Clinical is currently helping an excellent Senior Drug Safety Contractor to find a new position. Watch his video to find out more!

For more information, please contact Hendre Moolman at CK Clinical on 01438 870 023 or emaail hmoolman@ckclinical.co.uk.

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Candidate of the Week: Principal Data Manager

Priya Mukherjee presents CK Clinical’s Candidate of the Week – a Principal Data Manager looking for a new position in the South East of England.

This excellent candidate specialises in Clinical Data Management, with 12 years experience of working within Pharmaceutical, CRO’s and Not for Profit Organisations.

This candidate has proven leadership skills and has mentored, lead and supported a team of staff.

For more information, please contact Priya Mukherjee at CK Clinical on 01438 743 047 or email pmukherjee@ckclinical.co.uk.

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Candidate of the Week: Medical Info Professional

Krishna Pankhania at CK Clinical presents our Candidate of the Week – an experienced Medical Information Professional.

This excellent candidate has over 3 years of experience of working within Medical Information, and also has strong experience in the following:

  • Approval and review of non-promotional and promotional materials in compliance with the ABPI code of practice.
  • Line management of a small team
  • Recruitment and interviewing process

Highly recommended by CK Clinical, this candidate is looking to take the next step up in their career within the Pharmaceutical Industry.

This excellent candidate is looking for a salary of around £50-60k, lives in London and is on a 1 month notice period.

For more information, please contact Krishna at CK Clinical on 01438 743 047 or email kpankhania@ckclinical.co.uk.

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Our Best Biometrics Candidates…

Priya Mukherjee at CK Clinical is a leading expert in Biometrics recruitment across the UK and EU.

Please click on the links below to view details of Priya’s best candidates currently looking for a new role:

 

 

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Med Info and Drug Safety Candidates: August 2011

CK Science are experts in PV, Drug Safety and Medical Information recruitment

Please click on the links below to view details our best candidates currently looking for new positions:

Deputy Safety Officer

Regional Head – Benefit Risk Management

Medical Science Liaison

Scientific Advisor

Senior Scientific and Medical Information Advisor

Medical Science Liaison

Principal Scientist – Epidemiology

Senior Pharmacovigilance Scientist

Senior Pharmacovigilance Scientist

Senior Medical Affairs Associate

Register a vacancy

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Our best Biometrics candidates…

CK Clinical are currently working with a number of excellent Biometrics candidates. Click on the job titles below to find out more.

If you would like to find out more about any of the candidates featured below, please contact Priya Mukherjee on 01438 743 047 or email pmukherjee@ckclinical.co.uk.

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