August 26, 2022

The Science of Career Success

career success

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Career success and achievement can mean something different to everyone. But there are a few essential “ingredients” that stand out. 

What are they? 

We spoke with scientist Karine Enesa, Director of Cell Line Development Platform at Abcam to find out. 

Karine began her career in academia, completing her research placement, PhD and post-doctoral. She then worked as Principal Scientist in a start-up, leading the molecular biology platform to build Cytomine®, and at AstraZeneca in the Discovery Sciences department. After a parental leave break, Karine joined Abcam as head of the Cell Engineering Team, and is now leading the Cell Line Development Platform

“The goal of the platform is to generate multiple gene-edited cell lines. It’s run by three teams. The first is responsible for implementing new cutting-edge technologies and building novel processes. The second manages the generation of our catalogue of cell lines. And the third is our custom solutions team who deliver more complex, tailored products to customers.” 

We asked Karine to share the key ingredients she’s found have contributed to her career success, to guide and inspire you in your work no matter what field you’re in. 

#1. Excitement 

When choosing a new role or organization, excitement can be a telling indication you’ve made the right choice. It’s a good thing then that Karine was excited to work for Abcam from the get-go! 

“During my first interview, I spoke to my future manager who shared the vision for the role and the project strategy. I was so excited by it! When I was given the opportunity to lead the platform, I knew my work would be making a meaningful contribution. I feel honored to be trusted with such high responsibilities and am thrilled by the challenge.” 

#2. Diversity 

Having the opportunity to work with diverse teams can help you discover new solutions, make effective decisions, and gain different perspectives. As Karine shares, Abcam is the most diverse workplace she’s experienced so far. 

“We get to collaborate and learn about so many different areas. By working with diverse teams, I feel like I’ve increased my empathy and understanding of others. As a scientist, I feel like I’ve been trained in a rigid way. But at Abcam, you’re always presented with alternative ideas and perspectives – which is incredibly stimulating.” 

In addition to this, she shares that while it’s important to develop your expertise and experience in the field to perform well, it’s impossible to know everything. 

“Surrounding yourself with talented, skilled, and reliable people, is the key to achieving career success.”  

#3. Impact 

For many of us, the ability to have an impact can be a key factor that excites and motivates you in your work. At least, that’s the case for Karine. 

“I hope I can have an impact on the teams in my program by sharing our vision and spreading my passion. We have such a unique opportunity to accomplish something amazing. Yes, it’s challenging. But it’s extremely rewarding.” 

She hopes her journey, passion for science, and multifaceted leadership style can inspire her peers and the next generation of scientists. 

#4. Pride 

Do you experience moments of pride and achievement in your role? Taking pride in your work ensures you’re feeling satisfied and motivated by your contributions. 

For Karine, she’s proud to have secured funding to build Abcam’s semi-automated platform – and build it from scratch! 

“It’s an ongoing journey, which is both exciting and challenging. It involves some imagination to add products to our catalogues efficiently. Creating a semi-automated platform has been my biggest achievement at Abcam (so far!)” 

#5. People 

Working in a positive culture with great people is another way you can achieve better career outcomes. 

Interestingly, Karine wears multiple “hats” – so she gets to work with lots of people throughout Abcam. 

“I love working with people closely, learning from them, and growing with them. I enjoy working with my team so much and seeing their dedication to the program. It’s amazing to see their talent and growth! My team is very diverse, which enables me to lean on multiple resources and use different leadership styles.”

#6. Development

Are you receiving opportunities to grow and develop in your role? As Karine shares, extending your role, responsibilities, and learning on the job have been the best ways she’s achieved development at Abcam

“It’s the best way to grow. Our team’s ambition, with support from our line managers, motivates me to step up as a leader. I spoke with one of my colleagues, who encouraged me to lead – instead of asking for it. That was incredibly empowering.” 

#7. Flexibility 

Organizations with supportive, flexible work policies can be a key factor in your ability to achieve career success – particularly for parents. 

As Karine shares: “Flexible work at Abcam has enabled me to work and care for my three-year-old. It’s incredibly rewarding to be part of a workplace that enables you to perform and prioritize family life.” 

Did you know Abcam has a flexible work policy and is open to discussing flexible work – right from your first interview?

Find out more about this and other benefits.

#8. Challenges 

Roles that challenge you and test your skills can definitely move you forward in your career. 

What challenges motivate Karine? 

“I receive lots of interesting, motivating challenges in my role. The top ones would be maintaining unity between our different global teams, ensuring everyone feels aligned and connected to our goals, and embracing and celebrating each other’s wins.” 

She does so by identifying and understanding the ways different people in her network receive recognition. 

“Some people just need to feel like they’re contributions are seen and appreciated. Others love being able to contribute to more exciting projects or receiving more challenges. As you learn more about the people you work with and what motivates them, it can make a huge difference in ensuring they’re engaged with our vision.” 

Her final lessons to achieve career success are less about the ingredients to add, and more about which ones to leave out: 

career success

“There’s no limit to how far you can go. Stop overthinking, let go of other people’s opinions, and enjoy the journey. There’s no right or straight path! There will always be setbacks, challenges, and lessons from which you can grow. There’s a place for everyone – it’s our job to find it for ourselves.” 

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About the Author
Jacynta Clayton’s career started in recruitment advertising and employer branding, working with global clients to create and deploy strategic and creative content. Now she combines her industry experience with the knowledge from her psychology and professional writing degrees to write unique and resounding stories. As a WORK180 storyteller she relishes the opportunity to elevate the voices and experiences of so many amazing people, while also empowering and educating audiences on how to choose a workplace where they can thrive.

Looking for a new opportunity?

Our transparent job board only has vacancies from employers we endorse and lets you see what benefits, policies and perks come with the job. Check out the latest job vacancies with Abcam