Seeking Leave…

It’s hard to imagine that I am coming to the end of my Employment Seeking Leave. It’s a very precise name but an imprecise process. Three months has been ages, but it feels like no time at all.

As I started I had little idea of what to expect, what would happen or even what would be possible. My number one philosophy was to approach Employment Seeking in the same way I approach everything else – with as much energy, optimism, positive thinking and innovation as I can possibly muster. I accepted that I could not control the outcome, but I knew I was going to do everything I possibly could to influence the outcome.

Early on, I wanted to rekindle my external network. And so I have become a ‘super-user’ on LinkedIn. It is the first webpage I connect to every morning; and I stay connected all day. Whatever happens in my future, I know I will stay more ‘LinkedIn’ than I was before. It’s a great way of finding out what people I care about are doing.

An up to date and accurate profile in LinkedIn is essential. There is only up side to this. All recruiters use LinkedIn all the time. This is the first place they (or I) would go to investigate potential candidates.

There is a simple trick to decide if a LinkedIn profile is accurate – I was advised to check the ‘Jobs You May Be Interested In’ section on my LinkedIn page. If the roles listed were the sort I would be interested then my profile was in good shape. If they had little resemblance to what I was doing, or would be interested in doing next, then my profile was in need of an overhaul.

I also thought about the specifics of my network. I knew that referrals by colleagues were of high value in Employment Seeking. Search consultants work by referrals. They have roles they are contracted to fill by specific companies. They use their own network to identify to suitable candidates. I identified the colleagues in my network who I thought would likely be approached by search consultants and I made sure that those colleagues knew I would be grateful if they felt able to refer me if the opportunity arose.

Every opportunity I have seen of genuine interest came to me via a referral from colleagues in my network.

I have organised my time since January as much as possible. Although the focus for my efforts was Employment Seeking…I realised there was only some much I could do in any one day. That having been said, my approach was to ensure that I took at least one action every morning and one every afternoon that would specifically increase the quantity and/or quality of opportunity. That action could be an email. A phone call. A presentation. Or a face to face meeting. Each allowed me to both positively influence the outcome, but also ensured that I kept some structure to my days. I also went to the fitness centre every day…which helped me feel good if nothing else!

I have regularly met with other colleagues who were Employment Seeking. I found it very helpful to share experiences and learning. It felt as good to be helped and supported as it did to offer help and support.

And I applied these strategies as much to Employment Seeking within Pfizer as I did for Employment Seeking outside of Pfizer. I applied them to Employment Seeking within big Pharma as much to small Pharma, Biotech, CROs and academia.

And now I look forward to the moment when I Leave Employment Seeking…




About Steve Street

I have worked in R&D within the Pharmaceutical industry for over 30 years. Up until April 2012 all of my career had been with one company, but that has now changed. I left that company and took up a new role on May 1, 2012 - still very much within the Pharmaceutical industry and again based in the UK. I have been blogging every week now for over 10 years but only on an external site since January 2012. Email updates of the blogs can be requested using the ‘follow’ option within Wordpress. The blogs are only ever my personal view of what I see, think and feel. I am delighted if you agree and find value; happy if you disagree with my views and overjoyed if you feel motivated to comment. Most of all I am simply grateful that you read. Cheers Steve
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18 Responses to Seeking Leave…

  1. Graham Baker says:

    I had not heard that you were leaving. I guess like many I felt that Mr Pfizer would find a place for such a faithful sevant of the company. I wish you well in your search for a new role. What amazed me more was how much stress built up in me over my period of ESL and after. I knew this would be a stressful time but I did not spot it creeping up on me to the extent that it did. It was only once I had secured something that I understood how much had piled up on top of me. For those still looking to secure their future take time each day to tend to your own needs. Don’t feel guilty about me time – you can’t work at getting a new role 24/7 no matter how hard you try. So make space for yourself. If you can keep feeling OK then those nearest and dearest to you will benefit too. Good luck one and all and good luck to you too Steve.
    All the best

  2. Leslie Sloan says:

    Well said!

  3. John Davis says:

    Hi Steve
    good luck in your new career, whatever you chose to do next. From experience the best thing about moving to a new job outside the place we knew so well is the fact that there are so many new people to meet with great ideas and different approaches. I recognize the comments about stress – however much you think you’re coping, it is hard. But a change is as good as a rest and it’ll come good in the end.
    Have fun ‘shopping around’ for the next career enhancing opportunity !

    best wishes


    • Steve Street says:


      Many thanks for taking the time to comment and pass on excellent advice based on what sounds like some very exciting experiences you have had…and are having…yourself.



  4. Lori says:

    I did not know you were departing from Pfizer. I am sorry to hear this. You are innovative and enegergetic leader. Your next employer will be fortunate to catch you while you are SEEKING.

    Best Wishes!!!

    • Steve Street says:


      You are too kind but very many thanks for your kind words. Hopefully my next steps – steps that I am very excited and energised about – will become clear soon.



  5. stephenmjordan says:


    I’m just starting my 60 day notice and appreciate you sharing your thoughts on your own experience. I’m looking forward to keeping tabs on you as you keep going on what I’m sure will be an adventure post Pfizer. All the best!


  6. stephenmjordan says:


    I’m just starting my own 60-day notice period and appreciate you sharing your thoughts on what your experience was like and the specifics on LinkedIn. I’m thankful for tools like this one that let our often amorphous networks stay congealed and reform over time as our badges change and our paychecks come from new sources. I’m looking forward to following you on your next adventure…my own path took a turn for the better and set me on the trail I’m currently following when I got the chance to work with you and Rob S. in the innovation space and for that I’ll be forever grateful.

    Best of luck!


    • Steve Street says:


      We did some great work with IdeaFarm didn’t we…and it was so much fun. Another learning for me is that recruiters out there care much more about what you have done and what you have delivered and how you did and delivered those things than they do who you reported to, what your title was and how big your team was.



  7. Betsy Kluber says:

    I really like your writing style, great information, appreciate it for posting : D.

  8. Chris Barber says:

    What brilliant writing – have just forwarded this link to a ‘friend in need’. I could imagine seeing your face in a airport bookstore covering a best-selling book on the power of positive thinking and on taking intentional actions. Keep it coming!

    • Steve Street says:


      Your comments made my day – actually they made my whole week! Very many thanks – you are far too kind. I always get so much out of thinking things through and writing it all down…but it is always great to hear that the blogs resonate.

      Cheers, and thanks again


  9. Thank you for this blog! I’ve been doing a lot of research. Will it be permitted to refer to your post so long as I link it from my blog?

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