CRA BASICS, TIPS AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT FOR ENTRY LEVEL CLINICAL RESEARCH ASSOCIATES OR THOSE INTERESTED IN BECOMING CLINICAL RESEARCH ASSOCIATES
I know several of you have already started the process in your CRA job search for 2015 and that is great; so here are some tips to help you succeed!
1. Get experience (Not necessarily monitoring)
Although most position require at least 2 years of monitoring experience please note that two years of pharmaceutical industry can open a lot of doors for you to
2. Get a mentor
Whether it is you manager or a senior level employee at the company. You need someone who is going to relay wisdom and knowledge on you.
3. Get familiar with industry language
Companies differ but the basic lingo is the same. Learn the language so that you can converse on an equal plane with your peers. Check out my glossary to get started.
4. Get knowledgeable about IRB procedures
If you don’t know what an IRB is, please get busy learning you will learn quickly with IRBs are preferable have streamlined processes more meetings and provide faster feedback. All these aspects of the IRB impact you and how you do your job. (This will probably be covered further in another blog post!)
5. Understand the fundamentals of GCP
Again go look at the glossary and start looking up GCP. I will link a great book to get you started.
6. Learn how to work with difficult people
Every work space has them. Learn to work with them and always be professional.
7. Learn how to be patient
You may not get a job right away. That’s OK. you need to be able to wait it out and have a positive attitude.
8. Understand that the pharmaceutical world although scientific is still a corporate environment
This is not easy to explain unless you have worked in a corporate environment before. It’s basically like an episode of Games of Thrones. Whoever is king is who you want to be close to but always have allies elsewhere because you never know who will be King tomorrow.
9. Set your life up to be flexible
You will have high demands early in your career. If you don’t have kids yet don’t start having them. If you don’t have a spouse don’t get married yet. If you do have all or any of these things please prepare your loved ones for your absence as this is the time in your career when you will not have any say on your site assignments and you could very well be on the road for several days at a time missing out on precious family moments.
10. Don’t give up on applying to opportunities you come across
The more you apply the more you have a chance at jobs. Just because you don’t get the first 50 does not mean you wont get the 51st.
Hope some of these tips helps someone out there in the middle of their jobs search. if you have any tips please comment below.
Hi and thank you for your valuable insight. I have been a pharmaceutical rep for over 10 years and have always wanted to be a CRA but could never get that mentor to assist me. Is it at all possible for a pharmaceutical representative to transition into a CRA role?
Hi Shannon. Thanks for commenting. simple answer: definitely! Please see my How to get a CRA Job Series. Since you are already occupied in the pharma industry you should have no problem at all.
Absolutely, The same requirements apply.
I read your blog a find it useful. I have approximately five years of experience in Clinical Research. I would like to go for ACRP-CCRA certification. Do you have any info on ACRP CCRA certification. My plan is to complete this certification and then apply for the jobs abroad.