7 Myths About Finding Your Purpose

by Amy Steinberg Published Jan 23, 2018 Last updated Jan 23, 2018

7 Myths About Finding Your Purpose

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Mark Twain said, “The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you figure out why.” Some of us find our purpose very young, while others spend years obsessing about what we were meant to do. Our longing for something more, a larger sense of direction, a purpose, can aid in pursuing our dreams, or can be exactly what stands in our way toward achieving goals.

Purpose, defined as the underlying reasons behind our choices, our goals, and our behaviors, drives much of what we do. However, it is important that we don’t mistake burning passion or inspired mission for our purpose. Think about these myths and make sure you aren’t letting any of them get in the way of your success.

  1. Purpose is destiny, decided when you are young.

You may feel called to do something when you are very young and stick with it, or you might change your mind ten times throughout your life. The important thing is that you use your purpose to discover who you truly are and use it to redirect yourself when you feel you have lost your way.

  1. You can make a mistake that means you cannot find your purpose.

There are big mistakes and big failures that are worth acknowledging as such. That being said, they shouldn’t be seen as moments we have broken our purpose. If anything, those who have experienced mistakes and failures have a better understanding of their purpose and the best way to leverage it for success.

  1. You have only one purpose.

As humans it is innate that we will change, we will evolve. Our life is fluid and we should embrace it. This isn’t inconsistent, but rather a sign of how beautifully dynamic and interesting human beings are. If you change courses after having pursued a purpose headlong, it does not negate anything you have accomplished so far.

  1. People “just know” what their purpose is.

Some people seem to just know what their purpose is, but many of us aren’t always sure. We have doubts, and because of those doubts, we sometimes change. However, knowing that there are many people out there still waiting, wanting, searching, and hoping for their purpose to reveal itself makes us feel less alone in the journey.

  1. My purpose is insignificant compared to the important ones.

We know this isn’t true, even if we feel it so acutely when we feel as though we are having a small impact. The truth is, you must think about this myth the way you would think about a close friend or a child: would you ever call someone else’s purposes and plans insignificant? Never. We cannot know how one small thing will impact many large things, and to shut all the doors on the future by calling someone’s purpose insignificant is to assume we can see the future.

  1. Knowing your purpose makes hard work easy.

Hard work, unfortunately, remains hard work even if it is exactly what you were meant to do. People talk about finding their “sweet spot” or their purpose in life and act as if things were smooth sailing after that. The reality is that there will be highs and lows, especially if you’ve found the challenge that most excites you.

  1. Your purpose and your career goals are the same thing.

We talk about purpose in regards to work a lot, but having career goals and having a life purpose aren’t always the same thing. Ideally, they overlap in some ways, but you can choose a practical and rewarding career and still pursue things you find even more valuable on the side.

Escaping Burnout

by Amy Steinberg Published Jan 16, 2018 Last updated Jan 16, 2018

Escaping Burnout

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Have you ever felt as though you’re only going through the motions? Maybe you love what you do, but you’ve found yourself struggling to find the energy or motivation to be productive in your day-to-day. You might be tempted to battle through the physical or emotional exhaustion it brings, but doing so can be dangerous and lead you to burn out. It’s far better to change your mindset for better mental and physical health in the long term.

Burnout is a state of chronic stress that presents itself as extreme exhaustion, both physically and mentally. On one hand, you feel frustrated, but at the same time, you also feel disconnected.

Recognizing Burnout

Feeling burned out can steal your enthusiasm and sense of value. You can’t escape it until you recognize the symptoms. Feelings of detachment or isolation are signs of burnout, as are a cynical or negative attitude. A constant feeling of irritability, with seemingly no explanation, may also be a sign. Of course, it’s important to remember that you might feel all or none of these.

Creating Your Burnout Escape Plan

Before you let these feelings overtake you, create a plan to fight back and regain focus on your purpose.

1. Separate yourself from your work. When you care about the work you’re doing and you’re passionate about it, it’s easy to lose yourself in it.

2. Unplug from what causes stress. Be it friends, social media, the television, or even your family, sometimes it’s necessary to walk away from the things that bring you the most stress. Communicating that you need some downtime away from them for 30 minutes or an hour each night can be helpful for establishing “me time.”

3. Learn to slow down. You know the phrase, “stop and smell the flowers”? It’s not just a line from the ‘80s classic Ferris Bueller; it’s a mantra for living in the moment, for learning to say no. We often overbook ourselves and put ourselves into circumstances that we don’t enjoy or stress us out. Slowing down and learning to say no will allow you to avoid those situations.

4. Adopt a new routine for yourself. We all experience the grind of the day-to-day and know that it often contributes to burnout, but what if you could change up your day-to-day? Think about adopting a new routine so you’re not bogged down with doing the same old, same old day in and day out. Find five minutes to meditate, or take five minutes to simply appreciate the aroma and taste of your first morning coffee, tea, or other beverage instead of grabbing it and sipping on the run. Take a brisk walk outside to get some fresh air when you feel you need a break. Even a simple shake up in the order of your day can give you a new perspective.

If you truly want to prevent yourself from getting burned out, strive for a more balanced life; too much work and not enough downtime is harmful. Look for ways to delegate tasks and obligations to others in your family or job. Be mindful of the basics too: eat healthy, exercise, and get plenty of sleep. Your mental and physical wellbeing is far more important than overextending yourself.

BioBridges Promotes Mary Bielefeld to Senior Financial Analyst

by Amy Steinberg Published Jan 8, 2018 Last updated Jan 8, 2018

BioBridges Promotes Mary Bielefeld to Senior Financial Analyst

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Location: Boston, MA
Date: Tuesday, January 9, 2018

BioBridges, a Career Portfolio® Management company providing integrated services to the life sciences community, proudly announces the promotion of Mary Bielefeld to Senior Financial Analyst. Mary joined the BioBridges community as an Accounting Assistant in 2014 and most recently held the position of Financial Analyst.

“Mary’s combined financial experience, commitment to customer service, passion for learning, and dedication to her work are as impressive as the many contributions she has made over the years,” said Jason Falchuk. “We look forward to her continued success as she helps us better understand the data that supports the growth of our business.”

As Senior Financial Analyst, Mary will continue to work directly with clients, professionals, and internal staff to ensure that we are using modern, innovative tools that streamline payroll processing, accounts receivables, and contract management. She will develop and enhance financial reports comparing current actual and year-to-date performance with prior year, forecast, and budget results. Mary will research and analyze current trends to help better understand the successes of our business and enable the development and deployment of short and long-term growth plans.

“I am extremely proud to be part of an organization that is dedicated and committed to the growth of its employees,” said Mary Bielefeld. “I look forward to leveraging my current skills while continuing to expand my knowledge base and support the advancement and expansion of the BioBridges community.”

About BioBridges
BioBridges helps exceptional pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device professionals pursue the work about which they are inspired. The company’s scalable Career Portfolio® Management model allows highly skilled professionals to focus on the work about which they are passionate while collaborating with clients to advance science and produce therapies for patients who need them. For more information, please visit www.biobridges.com.

Resolutions Are No Solution

by Amy Steinberg Published Jan 2, 2018 Last updated Jan 2, 2018

Resolutions Are No Solution

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Let’s take another look at the blog article we posted at this time last year. Setting New Year’s resolutions is a tradition for many, but are they worth it? Have you framed your goals in a realistic and achievable manner?

Originally posted in 2017 by Jason Falchuk:

“3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . . Happy New Year!” We’re all familiar with the countdown, as we celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of the next.

We’re wired to regard the calendar change as a fresh start, a cleaning of the slate. Many people use this time to organize their goals for the coming year, in the form of New Year’s resolutions. “This year I will: start, lose, move…”

Sadly, research shows that short-term fixes, diets, and goals set as New Year’s resolutions end up being thrown out.

Wide awake one night, I began to research New Year’s resolutions.  I wanted an answer– are they as fruitless as I’ve always suspected? Here is what I discovered:

  1. A University of Bristol study of 3,000 people showed that 88% of those who set New Year resolutions fail. Only half of the participants were confident at the outset that they would be successful. Interestingly, there were noted differences between the sexes. Men achieved their objective more often when they set small measurable goals, i.e. “I will lose one pound a week” vs.  “I will lose weight.”   Women succeeded more when they made their plans public and got support from their friends.
  2. According to Amanda Richardson of the Huffington Post, there are “7 Reasons Why Your New Year’s Resolutions Are Failing.” She lists them as follows: “It’s not what you really want, you’re not ready to change, your confidence is low, the goal was too ambitious, the goal was an outcome, not a behavior, you never made a public commitment, and you have no social support.”
  3. In “5 Common Mistakes That Cause New Habits to Fail (and What to Do About Them),” business analyst James Clear identifies the following problems as dealbreakers in forming habits. They include “trying to change everything at once, starting with a habit that is too big, seeking a result- not a ritual, not changing your environment, and assuming small changes don’t add up.”

My research was enlightening.  If approximately 85% of New Year’s resolutions fail, why do we keep making them? The answer is simple—we strive for positive change, for an upgrade, for the next level.  To aim for these things is not useless, even though the New Year’s resolution model is flawed.

I have identified three key concepts to help reframe resolution setting:

  • we need not wait for the New Year to set goals or strive for change; we should be doing this throughout the year as the need arises
  • we need to be ready for change and committed to making it a regular practice
  • when we set goals they need to be measurable and public

If you connect with these concepts, join me in raising a glass. Let’s toast to remaining true to our core values, living each day authentically, learning from our failures, and appreciating our accomplishments.

As in previous years, my resolution this year is not to have any. Resolutions are a nice idea, but they just don’t work.

Have you had success setting New Year’s resolutions? Have you discovered a reliable way to achieve your goals? 

BioBridges Promotes Christopher DeMaina to Vice President of Client Services

by Amy Steinberg Published Nov 30, 2017 Last updated Nov 30, 2017

BioBridges Promotes Christopher DeMaina to Vice President of Client Services

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Location: Boston, MA
Date: Thursday, November 30, 2017

BioBridges, a Career Portfolio® Management company providing integrated services to the life sciences community, proudly announces the promotion of Christopher DeMaina to Vice President of Client Services. Chris has served as BioBridges’ Director of Client Services for the past four years and works to successfully collaborate with emerging and established pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device companies to engage highly skilled professionals who are focused on the work at hand and can move clinical programs forward.

“Chris brings passion and proven business experience to his role in supporting our Career Portfolio® Management model. He delivers strong service to his clients and professionals and practical advice to his peers. Chris is a critical component of the future of BioBridges and I am confident that his innovative thinking will continue to enhance the strategic direction and growth of the company,” said Jeff Souza, BioBridges’ Senior Vice President of Client Services and Career Management.

As Vice President of Client Services, Chris will continue to work with BioBridges’ clients to evaluate, understand and strategically plan their program objectives. He will also act as a resource to BioBridges’ professionals and internal employees to ensure that our model is communicated effectively and leveraged completely.

“I am incredibly honored to take the next step in my career with BioBridges. In the past four years, I have experienced firsthand the ability to customize solutions that successfully impact client programs. I am committed to ensuring that all BioBridges’ clients, professionals, and internal employees fully understand the most valuable ways to utilize our model and get the most out of their experience,” said Chris DeMaina.

About BioBridges

BioBridges helps exceptional pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device professionals pursue the work about which they are inspired. The company’s scalable Career Portfolio® Management model allows highly skilled professionals to focus on the work about which they are passionate while collaborating with clients to advance science and produce therapies for patients who need them. For more information, please visit www.biobridges.com.

 

Reflection: A focus on what’s important

by Amy Steinberg Published Nov 21, 2017 Last updated Nov 21, 2017

Reflection: A focus on what’s important

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As the holiday season begins, many of us use this opportunity to take a break from our everyday routine and spend time with family and friends. With this much-needed break often comes reflection of the year that lays behind us and our lives in general. If you find yourself asking yourself if you are making a difference in the world and what kind of legacy you are leaving, don’t forget to evaluate your career.

At BioBridges, we have always believed that the origin of a successful career lies in the work that inspires us. Many are initially drawn to the life sciences industry because of a passion for the science, interest in the work, and a belief in the impact they can make. Through the years, however, careers can veer off course and become less satisfying and mired in work that leaves us feeling disconnected. You may find yourself wondering where the spark went and yearn for the bright-eyed, innocent go-getter you were when you first began your career.

As we sit around the Thanksgiving table, it’s easy to say that we are thankful for our work, but do you feel the same excitement and anticipation about a new project as you did when you first started your career? Are you pursuing a path that allows you to express your motivation to do work that makes an impact and a valuable contribution?

Imagine, if you will, the inside of a watch. It’s really quite fascinating to see how the watch can keep time with all of the tiny gears. The tiny teeth on the gears, known as cogs, help the watch to keep proper time. If one of the cogs or gears get damaged the watch may work for a bit, but not without affecting the way that the watch performs. It won’t keep proper time and eventually, the watch may seize up completely. Each of those tiny cogs keeps that watch working in perfect time.

Are you maintaining the cogs of your career? In this season of reflection, ponder what inspires you to accomplish the work at hand. What are you passionate about? What skills do you excel at and where do you add value? Where do you have room to grow?

Reflect on the possibilities that only this time of year can bring. Use this time to create lists for the upcoming year that help you to focus your skillset and what it means to remain marketable in the industry. If you aren’t sure where to focus, talk with trusted colleagues, or your career manager and ask if there is something you should be bringing to the table. And no, we aren’t talking about your amazing seven-layer dip.

This holiday, focus on what’s important: reflect on your career, how you work hard to make a difference, and where you want to be next year.  Creating a list of completed accomplishments and upcoming goals for the year is a great place to start.

We wish you a happy Thanksgiving and hope that you will find meaning and balance as you celebrate the holiday!

In Reality, Failure Should Always Be an Option

by Amy Steinberg Published Nov 14, 2017 Last updated Nov 14, 2017

In Reality, Failure Should Always Be an Option

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How many times have you heard someone reference the quote “Failure is not an option” from the movie Apollo 13?

Last week at a staff meeting, one of our company leaders brought up the idea that while nobody wants to fail, failing is inevitable on the way to successful innovation. In an effort to sustain a creative culture that thrives on new and progressive ideas, we cannot be held back by the mindset that failure is synonymous with the end.

If we aren’t going to permit ourselves to fail and in turn learn from our failures, then we may be better off not trying at all. Ralph Heath, author of Celebrating Failure: The Power of Takings Risks, Making Mistakes and Thinking Big says, “Failure and defeat are life’s greatest teachers.”

So, why is failure good for success and innovation, and what can we learn from our defeat?

Increased knowledge and experience

Each perceived failure is a new experience and provides an opportunity to continue learning. Failing multiple times is okay, but you should fail differently each time you fail. If we take the time to fully understand why something failed we can take that newly learned knowledge and revise our approach or even step back and reevaluate our goal.

Opportunity for growth

When we fail, we grow and mature as human beings, as a team, and as a company. Growth is a fundamental part of us, without growth we wouldn’t be able to innovate. Having the ability to reflect and take our failures into perspective can help us to better understand the defeat and reposition ourselves for success.

Revised approach

R.L. Adams often “talks about the necessity for creating a plan in order to succeed. But not just creating one plan and never changing it. You have to constantly revise your approach, measuring and adjusting things as you go.”

He gives an airplane as an example. “A plane takes off from LAX, flying to JFK. It plans to arrive 5.5 hours later by traveling at a particular speed, altitude, and direction. But what happens when there are interruptions along the way? Turbulence? Air-traffic congestion? The plane adjusts its plan. It doesn’t change the goal.”*

Increased motivation

According to Laura Hutton, “With resilience comes increased motivation, and this can be one of the best things that we can gain from failure. When we don’t succeed the first time, many of us use this failure as drive to do better the next time. This is one of the best ways you can embrace failure, and will be a great credit to your character. Remember, failure is inevitable, and it is those who rise above it with increased drive who will succeed.”

Final Thoughts

As J.K. Rowling says, “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.”

In a world of innovation, it is important that we accept failure is an option, provided that we are committed to learning from our defeats and using them as a stepping stone to success.

 

*More information on R.L. Adams opinions on failure can be found here.

What is Community, and Why is it Important?

by Amy Steinberg Published Nov 7, 2017 Last updated Nov 7, 2017

What is Community, and Why is it Important?

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Every day we hear the word community used by businesses, schools and news anchors. But what does it really mean? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, community can have many meanings, but the one that most closely defines the way we use it at BioBridges is, “a unified body of individuals, such as a body of persons of common and especially professional interests scattered through a larger society.”

Your neighborhood is a community, your gym or your professional organization could also be a community. It makes sense that the communities we gravitate toward, both personally and professionally, are made up of like-minded people who make us feel uplifted, encouraged, inspired, and supported.

Let’s concentrate on professional communities. A true sense of belonging can come when we make the conscious decision to join the professional community that is right for us.

So, why take the time to find the right professional community for you?

Having a community is having a support network.

As research has proven, our environment has a serious impact on who we are as a person. Motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said, “We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.” Having a strong support network in place can influence your thinking and make you more likely to achieve your goals.

Communities are a safe space to share knowledge and can foster collective creativity and innovation.

Theodore Zeldin said, “Conversation is a meeting of minds with different memories and habits. When minds meet, they don’t just exchange facts: they transform them, reshape them, draw different implications from them, engage in new trains of thought. Conversation doesn’t just reshuffle the cards: it creates new cards.”

Communities made up of like-minded individuals can be a safe space to share and build upon knowledge and experience. In fact, many of us feel a deeper sense of satisfaction and more passion and commitment toward an idea when we are able to connect with people who have similar backgrounds. Today’s technology enables knowledge to flow freely, empowering collaboration, creativity, and innovation.

Communities offer valuable networking opportunities.

Some people feel a sense of discomfort when they think about the act of networking. Think, forced small talk with complete strangers, but networking doesn’t have to take place at an awkward mixer. Networking is simply the act of connecting with people. Bill Nye said, “Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.” Networking inside your community can help you build relationships, develop your current career, and even stay up-to-date on industry trends.

Opportunity for authentic mentoring relationships.

The right mentor can empower you to open new doors, enable you to focus on your goals, and help you realize your capabilities regardless of the challenges you foresee. On the other hand, having the opportunity to mentor someone can help re-energize your career, strengthen your skills and broaden your experience. It is not surprising that some of the most influential people in today’s world tie their success back to a strong mentoring relationship.

Do you have a professional community that you belong to? Has it had an impact on your career or your professional well-being? Have you experienced other benefits of being part of a professional community?

BioBridges Professional Spotlight: Jill Goddard

by Amy Steinberg Published Oct 31, 2017 Last updated Oct 31, 2017

BioBridges Professional Spotlight: Jill Goddard

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Jill has worked in Clinical Development for over 25 years. Previous to joining BioBridges, she worked for emerging start-ups where she assisted with the launch of clinical departments and subsequent clinical studies. “The early phase of clinical development has always been my focus because I am exposed to all aspects of the process and the position constantly presents new challenges,” said Jill. She initially began her career at Tufts New England Medical Center working in the Phase I unit of the Psychopharmacology Department, and has since worked for five other Cambridge area biotech companies.

Jill was originally introduced to BioBridges in 2007 as a client when she collaborated with Cindy Steinberg to engage several professionals within her department; physicians, data managers and statisticians, to name a few. BioBridges became an important resource in the success of her programs over time, and today she remains friends with many of the professionals with whom she engaged.

In 2012, Jill thought she had retired. However, she was intrigued by a new program and returned to work full-time for another start-up in the downtown Boston area. After 3 months, Jill decided the program was not a good fit for how she wanted to spend her time, and she made the difficult decision to leave. Shortly thereafter, Jill met Cindy for lunch and although she was initially hesitant that she could commit to a part-time position, without a familiar career path and a department to run, she decided to give a BioBridges engagement a try. “Here I am 4 years later, working on an exciting program where my experience is respected and many of my long-honed skills are put to use. Others in the clinical department often remark that I am ‘living the dream.’ They are right, this is the perfect fit for me,” said Jill.

Today, Jill is engaged with a client that was a start-up and is experiencing tremendous growth. She has been involved in protocol writing and development, SOP writing, review of CRO plans, budgets and reports, management of other professionals, and has the opportunity to work with many different members of the program team. Jill has regained control of her time and schedule and is about to continue traveling while still making an impact and feeling valued for her experience. She notes that “building a good relationship with a client team, setting clear expectations and having good work habits are quickly recognized and rewarded.”

“BioBridges has allowed me to really think about the fact that if you truly have a passion for your profession, which I clearly do, perhaps you continue to work and retirement is an afterthought.  Possibly you can ‘have your cake and eat it too,’ work part-time, make a contribution, be appreciated, mentor others, enjoy your personal time and spend your free time and extra income traveling,” says Jill.

Cindy Steinberg adds, “When I first met Jill, it was at a client meeting where she was the Director of Clinical Operations.  There were about 10 people in the room.  Her boss who was the CMO was shooting questions at me, testing my knowledge of clinical development.  I was in a cold sweat when I left the meeting, figuring we will never support their programs.   Well, 10 years later, I see that we had 30 engagements with that client.  Jill has become a good friend and we are thrilled to have her as part of the BioBridges community.  The client with whom she is engaged, recognizes the experience and value she brings to their programs.  They continue to utilize her expertise even as they grow their internal personnel.  There is something to be said about breadth of knowledge and experience.”

BioBridges | Experience That Works®

by Amy Steinberg Published Oct 16, 2017 Last updated Oct 16, 2017

BioBridges | Experience That Works®

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BioBridges has been engaged by an established pharmaceutical company to integrate with their clinical operations team and oversee the preparation of the Trial Master File (TMF) for two upcoming studies.