Mental Health Awareness in the Life Sciences Industry

Posted 3 days ago

The life sciences industry stands as one of the most vibrant and bustling markets in existence. While the industry offers immense rewards, it also presents its fair share of challenges. As this week marks Europe’s mental health awareness week, we want to stress the importance of your well-being and why taking care of your mental health should be your number one priority.

Understanding the Challenges Faced by Contractors

Those who choose contracting as a career path often do so with the aim of attaining an improved balance between their professional and personal lives, enjoying the flexibility to manage their work hours, and seizing the chance to travel or take breaks in between contracts. While contracting has many perks, it can also come with its challenges.

Perhaps the biggest stressor for contractors is the uncertainty surrounding continuity of work. Unlike permanent positions, where the job is more stable and long-term, contractors often find themselves navigating the challenge of securing their next contract before the current one ends. Additionally, integration into project teams can be difficult for some, leading to feelings of isolation.

Very often contracting lacks clear guidance, defined job descriptions, and clarity on expected deliverables. Contractors need to be comfortable figuring out not just the answer to a problem, but finding where the information is to start understanding the problem.

Contractors may also encounter the challenge of allocating time for upskilling. They bear the sole responsibility of investing their time and effort to improve their skills and technical prowess in line with market demands. Read more on why continuous professional development is so important for contractors.

Looking after your Mental Health & Well-being

To overcome some of these challenges, it’s important that contractors engage in the below activities to look after their mental health and ensure satisfaction in their role.

Open lines of communication: As the famous saying goes, “A problem shared is a problem halved.” By keeping the lines of communication open between yourself and your colleagues, you can effectively address challenges and find solutions. At LSC we promote open and transparent communication. When you contract with LSC, we will regularly touch base with you at different stages throughout your contract. This provides us with an opportunity to gauge how you are getting on in your role and if there is additional support you may need from LSC. Our contractor’s success is paramount to us, and we are committed to supporting our contractors for the long term!

Stay Connected: Make an effort to stay connected with colleagues, friends, and family members. Join professional networks, attend industry events, or simply schedule regular catch-ups with peers to combat feelings of loneliness and maintain a sense of community. At LSC, we recognise the importance of fostering connections, which is why we’ve implemented initiatives like our buddy program. Designed to support new contractors as they navigate their roles, this program pairs them with an existing LSC contractor who can offer guidance, share insights, and help them feel at home in their new environment.

Take time out: Sometimes contractors feel as if they aren’t able to take time off, especially if they are on a short-term contract. Plus, if contractors are operating under a limited company and are paid by the hour, it can be difficult to make the decision to take unpaid leave. However, planning annual leave and taking time off is essential to help recharge the batteries and ensure you can return to work feeling refreshed. Make sure to take regular breaks during work hours even if it’s as simple as getting out for some fresh air or getting up from your desk to move around.

Keep an eye on the market: The workload for contractors can vary from time to time, so make sure to keep the lines of communication with your employer to regularly check-in on the status of your contract. Keep a watchful eye on the market to identify major projects and anticipate upcoming opportunities. At LSC, we specialise solely in the Life Sciences sector – it’s not just what we do, it’s who we are. Our industry knowledge and expertise make us your ideal partner in navigating the market and seizing the right opportunities. With 60% of our consultants having remained with LSC for over three years, our dedication extends beyond just this current contract; we are here for your future contracts as well.