It's the Intangibles that Matter

Published on: 
BioPharm International, BioPharm International-01-01-2008, Volume 21, Issue 1

The number one source of job satisfaction? A sense of accomplishment from a job well done.

BioPharm International's 2007 salary survey didn't just show that industry professionals are well paid. It showed that biopharmaceutical professionals love doing good work, and enjoy the challenges inherent in what they do.

When we asked readers "What is your greatest source of job satisfaction?" the results poured in—almost 75% took the time to write in a comment. The number one answer? A sense of accomplishment from a job well done.

Readers talked about improving processes, ensuring quality, meeting deadlines, and serving internal and external customers. Examples of what gives them satisfaction include: "Developing new and more effective production processes;" "completed batches without any deviations and exceptions;" "completing a project that delivers what we promised on time and on budget;" and "producing quality work for companies to obtain FDA approvals."

Laura Bush

Some combined this sense of accomplishment with the thrill of advancing science: "Being at the forefront of technology in developing a gene therapy product," was one such comment.


Many also take pride from the ultimate purpose of their work: helping patients. "Developing and supporting products that are used to manufacture biopharmaceuticals that improve the quality of life through the treatment or prevention of life threatening diseases," said one.

Our readers don't want to rest on their laurels, either. They like challenges, problem solving, and the opportunity to keep learning. "Technical challenges and problem solving;" "creativity and on-the-job learning;" and "exposure to recent advances in technologies and science," were a few examples.

The survey also showed that industry professionals don't just want to shine as individuals; they believe in teamwork. "Working with a great group of people to produce a product that meets our quality standards and customer expectations," was a typical answer. Many also said they enjoy mentoring others.

Many respondents also said they gain a lot of satisfaction because they feel appreciated for what they do. Of course, being appreciated matters to almost everyone, in all professions, but the number of BioPharm readers who mentioned this gives the impression that appreciation levels are high in biotech. This reinforces the conclusion that their is a lot of positive energy going around this industry.

One respondent eloquently summed this combination of factors:

"It is difficult to pick a single aspect of my job as the greatest source of my job satisfaction. Here are the big three:

1) the opportunity to positively influence technology based decisions that improve the company's manufacturing capabilities for biopharmaceuticals;

2) the knowledge that my contributions have been instrumental in bringing biopharmaceuticals to market where they can benefit patients;

3) positive recognition from my managers and other colleagues for my contributions."

As the editor in chief of BioPharm International, I like my own job for a lot of reasons, many of which are similar to those our readers mentioned. My work, though, comes with an added benefit. By covering the biopharmaceutical industry, I am constantly in contact with people who are passionate about what they do. That puts me in a very lucky place.

Laura Bush is the editor in chief of BioPharm International,