Mark Watling: The COVID-19 Outbreak – Medical Communications, remote working & everything in between!

I wanted to take this opportunity to say a huge collective hello to my entire Med Comms network. Whilst this is very different to my normal approach to engage with all my extremely talented connections and amazing clients, with the current COVID-19 situation, I wanted to make sure you still get to hear my thoughts and experiences working within our Industry. As we all navigate our journey to the “new normal” I decided to stick to a conventional blog as I am currently alike Tom Hanks in Cast Away, with his big bushy beard and long hair. 

In 2014, I completed a Professional Certificate in Sales with the Chartered Institute of Marketing which was amazing for an eager professional starting out in the world of work. At this time, I had no idea I would end up working in recruitment or have as many grey hairs and wrinkles as a result. In this course we covered how to engage with clients, pitch for new business and everything in between. The last assessment on this course involved me attending and leading a filmed client meeting. This gave me the confidence to meet a large amount of you in person which was always one of my favourite parts of working in recruitment.

57 days ago, our CEO decided to send us all home to work remotely. 50 days ago, the government put us into lockdown. At that time, I was like a deer in headlights and was certain that this “lockdown” would only last a few weeks. I struggled to understand the severity of the situation we found ourselves in. I would like to add this is the reason I leave the Science to you.

Job flow within Med Comms had slowed down with the uncertainty; events being postponed, cancelled, trials being temporarily stopped and so much more. But then as quickly as the market slowed it seemed make a resurgence, starting with the business-critical roles then onto new hires for newly won accounts which is amazing.

I have been astonished with how resilient this market is and have noticed there does not seem to be a slowdown in the demand for Medical Writers across all levels and have taken 3 new client services roles this week which I thought was a fantastic sign of things to come.

Personally, I have now come to terms with that fact that I will be working remotely in the future and that in the coming months the way we all work will change. Will I be able to use what I learnt and meet with candidates and clients again? I hope so, but now it is unclear. In the meantime as we all await to see what the “new normal” looks like I want to make it clear to those looking for new opportunities, or clients looking to bring on board new team members, I am here to help.

And if the last few weeks are a sign of things to come within med comms, I certainly am not as worried as I was walking into my last assessment a few years back. There is a feeling of excitement to see how we will adapt, work with each other and learn new skills in the future. 

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