Is Job Security Throwing You Off Balance? - Pharmaceutical Technology

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PharmTech Europe

Is Job Security Throwing You Off Balance?
Results from Pharmaceutical Technology's Annual Employment Survey


Pharmaceutical Technology
Volume 32, Issue 12, pp. 38-44

Attitudes toward current employment


Table IV: Opinions toward current employment.
Survey participants indicated how strongly they agreed or disagreed with the following statements:
  • I believe my work is fully valued by my employer.
  • I believe my present job is secure.
  • In my present job, I use my skills and training to the fullest extent.
  • Given the opportunity, I would leave my present job.


Retrospective
Results are shown in Table IV. Of note is that the percentage of respondents who agreed or strongly agreed that their job was secure is the lowest (55%) since 2000, (see sidebar, "Retrospective" and Table IV).

Income, intellectual challenge, the work–personal life balance, and the opportunity for professional advancement were the four most important factors that would be taken into consideration for making a change in employment. Scientific opportunities were the least important factor for making a job change, followed by vacation time, pension or retirement benefits, and geographic location.

Survey participants were asked to anonymously describe what they enjoy most and least in their jobs. Some of these comments are listed in the "Viewpoint" column on page 74. In general, although employees enjoyed the scientific challenge and, in some cases, the flexible work hours of their jobs, complaints regarding the worry over job security, "overwhelming numbers of initiatives," and "unrealistic" timelines were prominent.

Preferred employer. Pharmaceutical industry employees were less certain that they would stay in their current position next year. About 52% (compared with 67% and 64% in 2007 and 2006, respectively) said it was unlikely or very unlikely that they would change employment within the next year. If they were to make job changes, however, 68% of respondents would prefer to work in private industry.


Table V: Importance of various skills in performing daily tasks.
Essential skills and knowledge. Participants provided their opinion of the importance of knowledge and skills in various areas (see Table V). Not surprisingly, knowledge of good manufacturing practice related issues and process validation continue to be most important. What is surprising, however, is the 77% of respondents, a significant increase over last year, who indicated that skills in computer-based systems, including database management was important.


Table VI: Influence of regulatory guidelines.
Skills in automation and statistical process control are also desired, which can be attributed to a need for employees knowledgeable about the US Food and Drug Administration's initiatives (see Table VI).


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