Posted by: Audrey Erbes | June 15, 2009

You’re Only as Marketable as your Latest Skills and Contacts

MeetingListJune16update (This  is a downloadable Word document)


So You Can’t Find the List of Industry Meetings…

I’ve just committed the cardinal error of marketing–not fulfilling my audience’s need. Somewhere along the line of posting weekly meetings and” jobs that crossed my desk”, I forgot to inform the blog reader that the complete list of life science industry meetings is downloadable in a Word file found at the beginning of the post, just above the “Hi”.  So I’ve now told you where to find the list which is named “meeting list” with latest update noted at end of file name.

Choosing Events this Coming Week

If you want to learn how to save money on clinical development of a life science product, be sure to attend Tuesday, June 16th meeting of Bio2Device Group where expert Adam Ruskin, Ph.D. will share his considerable expertise and experience on this topic. This is free meeting with typically over 80 attendees each Tuesday morning.

On Tuesday evening Cafe Scientifique ( which thankfully doesn’t conflict with the Bio2Device Group’s regular second Tuesday of the month evening meeting this month) has an intriguing topic which I’m considering attending as well. Yes, I want to know how to “reverse engineer the brain” so I’m anxious to learn more about neurons and synapses that are now at the forefront of understanding neurodegenerative diseases from Stephen Smith, PhD, Dept. of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Stanford University. And they promise some comedy from standup comic Norm Goldblatt who will open the meeting–we all could use a little laughter in this economy and when talking about the deteriorating state of our brain–all for free. Note there’s no registration for either of the free events just mentioned.

Once again we have a traffic jam of meetings occurring solely or overlapping with June 17th. I’ll be attending the BioScience Forum meeting to learn how to derisk the commercial side and maximize the value of innovation in talk “Crossing the Biotech – Pharma Chasm.” On Thursday evening I want to take advantage of getting tips on “Regulatory Intelligence: A Primer”  to help me sharpen my skills for doing product/technology opportunity assessments.  The speaker Meredith Brown-Tuttle at the RAPS meeting on the 18th will examine the fundamentals of regulatory intelligence including what it is, how it is conducted, and how it can be used to inform  decision making throughout a biomedical product development program. I’m grateful that there aren’t any events on Friday so I can take a night off!

List Continues Through Portion of July

See the above and more knowledge-filled events in the downloadable list that appears at the opening of this blog. Don’t overlook the free industry webcasts–there are three listed. They don’t provide the valuable networking of face-to-face events but allow you to get in some additional learning without leaving your desk. If you’re in transition, you need to get out and network as first priority and sharpen the saw through classes or free meeting lectures to  get over residual anger and any feelings of lack of worth from losing your job and get ready for reengagementment with your next career step.

You don’t necessarily need to get back on the same “horse” similar to the last one you rode. This may be your chance to escape from the jail of a less than satisfying function or company and pursue new opportunities. If your family income permits, returning to the classroom is a great investment for readying you for the next economic growth period and potentially a more satisfying career. But above all else you need to learn during this economic slump, you need to cultivate and maintain a vibrant network and  keep growing your skills at all times–not just when you’re laid off. During your lifetime, I guarantee you you will need these resources  more than once. I speak from experience of being laid off twice during the last three downturns. It was easier to bounce back once I learned this valuable lesson–You’re only as marketable as your latest skills and contacts to get your resume in front of a hiring manager


P.S. UCSC Extension in Silicon Valley offers outstanding life science education developed for working professionals like you and at affordable prices. You don’t necessarily  need another degree but rather current “best practices” industry skills taught by industry experts actively working in the field.

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