Anyone contemplating a lateral move from CRA yet within the industry?

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Comments (4)

SAE4ME in Lexington, North Carolina

23 months ago

So I've been a Senior/Lead CRA for ~ seven years now, for two of the big CROs. I'm starting to think about my next career move, I don't want to be doing regional jet travel & SDV'ing the rest of my life. I would really like to get on track for executive management in a CRO, or at least Associate Director level; I'm just not sure what path to take. I've thought about making Project Manager a goal... however as an observer it seems a bit of a dead end. I've never seen anyone advance past PM & I've only known one Associate Director of Clinical Ops who did the CRA/PM path. Same with Data Management & Regulatory managers. The CROs where I've worked tend to fill upper management positions with external candidates with management experience in pharma or even other industries (processed foods, wireless providers). I feel with my background I could bring something unique to management of clin ops or even another dept; however I'm not sure how to build the rest of my necessary business experience package. I've looked at online MBAs, and online six-sigma courses, would these be meaningful towards making me a more well-rounded candidate? Should I make a Project Manager position a short term goal or would I be better served by focusing what little extra time I have on the online courses I mentioned? I do have some manufacturing QA experience so I have some hands-on with the six sigma tools already. My wife has been a Project Manager for a large ad firm as well as managing creative services at another large company. Her responsibilities are very broad compared to a CRO PM... she does financial accounting, bid presentations, forecasting, etc., using business skills she picked up doing everything during & after college from retail & B2B sales to running a childcare facility. That's where I feel I'm lacking, I need to find a way to round out my management skills, I'm just not sure whether to target a PM position or look into online degrees &certificates. thx!

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nn01 in Toronto, Ontario

20 months ago

Hi, any luck or leads? I am in quite the same point in my career and am contemplating an MBA.

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SAE4ME in Lexington, North Carolina

16 months ago

Hey it's me again, the only change is that after working super hard, volunteering for anything & everything, I've landed in a Lead CRA role again. However I'm not feeling that optimistic. I don't feel like I'm learning a great deal; I'm mostly doing high-level site management, like making sure data cleaning percentages stay up, SDV backlogs stay manageable, etc. The problem is that I really need to be doing more; I need to be taking some Six-Sixma certification courses or enroll in an MBA program. The problem is I'm putting up some huge working hours, and I'm just toast at the end of each day. I still feel like I'm not getting the business executive background I need from the LCRA role & I don't feel like I have the resources to pursue extra professional training. All my energy still goes into the production grind. I'm still volunteering for stuff; I'm just hoping I'll catch some side project where I'll get the opportunity to knock one out of the park and get somebody's attention to the extent they'll want to pull me out of ClinOps & put me in Process Improvement or at least Project Management.

I'm running out of time, I'm almost 40 and the future isn't something that's gonna happen one day; it's like, right NOW! I'm starting to worry that if I haven't been able to change course by now it might never happen.

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Jersey in Thompson, Connecticut

16 months ago

I am early in my career, but I am also worrying the road away from monitoring will be a difficult one. The second trial manager on my study dropped off and there isn't another one available right away to take his place so, hoping that I was in the right place at the right time, I am taking on all the CTM work in addition to all the Lead CTM. 12hour days are commonplace now, and to be honest I feel in too deep.. I too am hoping someone, somewhere will notice and give me that chance at a real managing gig.

After 6years of monitoring, I want new challenges and I just want out of the grind, but other industries would require a huge pay cut from my CRA salary, so I feel stuck.

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