15 Key Skills for a Successful Career in Lab Management
Are you considering a career in laboratory management? Here are 15 different skills that will help you be successful in your career.
Take a look at the top 15 skills that you should develop to become a top-flight laboratory manager.
Let's assume you have already obtained the requisite education credentials (typically a four-year BS in science, although some employers would prefer candidates with a Master's degree), and you have been honing your skills as a lab technician for several years.
How does one make the leap from lab technician to lab manager?
For the majority of lab managers, their career break came as a result of finding a mentor within the organization where they work.
Someone who could help them grow into the management role by slowly allowing them to take on new responsibilities commensurate with their aptitude and developing skills.
If you're fortunate enough to find someone who can help you up the career ladder in this way, don't forget to pay it forward. As you advance in your position, be sure to identify a candidate working in your team for whom you can provide the same kind of mentoring skills for their career development.
2. Chief Problem Solver
From the perspective of many bench scientists and lab technicians, the role of lab manager can seem attractive for several reasons, including increased flexibility in the job, ability to control available resources, and, if we're honest, increased compensation and future career opportunities.
As problems arise in the laboratory, no matter how big or how small, lab managers have to come up with practical solutions quickly. This can make the role quite stressful, whether it's due to malfunctioning lab equipment, vendors who fail to deliver reagents on time, or staff members who are away due to illness or other personal matters.
When faced with obstacles such as these, lab managers need to find answers without becoming overwhelmed by stress.
That's why lab managers must develop the ability to prioritize and address more than one issue at a time (e.g. multitasking)
3. Attention To Detail.
Details matter. A lot.
In the case of clinical testing laboratories, doctors make life or death patient medical decisions based on the results provided by the laboratory.