I have heard a number of career gurus talk about personal branding. I'm having a hard time with that concept in my field as a pharmaceutical scientist. I'm employed, but lately (as I have posted), have become ancy (tired of watching high-D manager waste so much time rushing the science) and so I'm doing the usual things of checking in with my network, updating resume, etc.
The most important thing on my resume are the projects and dosage forms I have worked on, and the different areas. So that is what I list, and I think it is a pretty good resume if I start applying.
But when I think of my "brand" something different comes to mind that I can't put on a resume. It's that in my life, at this job, in grad school, in my jobs as an engineer before grad school, and even for my wife's recent health problems, there's a trend: I encounter an unfamiliar situation that is on the edges of multiple scientific disciplines, I research and connect with others and learn the fundamental principles of the different disciplines, usually realize something is being done wrong, then develop and evaluate innovative paths forward that relies on the biology/chemistry/physics, and my skills in organization, computers, statistics, presenting, and team facilitation, and then share that knowledge usually for lasting change.
Is there a shorter way to describe the above? Does it belong on my resume, on a Linkedin profile, or save it for an interview? How do I promote this in my current job?
Some real examples of the above:
- before grad school, joined a manufacturing place as an engineer and it was in terrible shape. I had never worked in this type of product. Standard chemistry on this area were hard to apply since we were on the boundaries of disciplines, so I learned it from vendors and picking and choosing literature from college libraries, ran experiments, discovered new scientific things about our product and processes, facilitated teams, implemented quality control, set up an overseas plant that was problem free from day 1, left, and heard they were still problem free.
- my PhD thesis, also on the boundary of different fields, so I learned from mostly literature, recognized we had all the wrong test methods, ran experiments, again discovered new things, published papers and my PhD, tried to tell my advisor he had to change everything -- he left the university and this research area instead.
- current job, working on an aspect of this dosage form that has never been studied, again having to synthesize and apply literature from different pharmaceutical fields, reach out to people in different places to get advice, developed an experimental plan that a contract lab is running right now, and potentially discovering things in this field that have never been examined before.
- wife's health, she's pretty young, but has gotten worse (wheelchair, breathing assistance). Over the last three years, I got her in front of 30+ best doctors in the NYC area and at NIH, none of whom could figure it out because it was on the boundary of several disciplines. So instead, I started searching the literature, read 140+ papers on the molecular biology and genetics, E-mailed authors (networked) to get idea of tests or other doctors to talk to, developed theories, had tests run, found these tests that looked normal were reported incorrectly, and then connected the results to similar cases in the literature. Finally, a few months ago, I proposed that she had a new, never before seen form of a rare disease that a world famous specialist in this area said she didn't have. A different famous specialist has now almost confirmed she has this disease, and most importantly, started her on a treatment 20 days ago for which we are seeing improvements.
I'm glad I read about branding because I realize this theme in my life. The question now is, what do I call this attribute, and how do I communicate it?