What You Missed – Moving Forward in Transition

Have you ever navigated through a transition while striking harmony between professional and personal priorities? A powerful panel of executive women from across the Boston life sciences scene shared insights, advice and stories from their own journeys to a full room at the 1 November HBA Boston program, “Moving Forward in Transition” sponsored by Blueprint Medicines.


Moderated by Kate Haviland (CBO, Blueprint Medicines), panelists — Katharine Beattie (partner, Mintz), Geralyn Burke Gray (SVP, executive coach, ClearRock Inc.), Patricia Manning (Sr. human resources director, Genocea Biosciences) and Nancy Simonian (CEO, Syros Pharmaceuticals) — discussed practices to manage transitions effectively while capitalizing on these times as opportunities for personal and professional growth. Top tips included:

  • Self-awareness is essential: Be clear about your priorities and deliberately make trade-offs. Don’t apologize when asking for what you need or saying “no”. Create space for personal priorities and commit to taking breaks. This supports achieving better integration between your own professional and personal lives and also serves as a model for others who look to you for leadership. 
  • Nurture your network: surround yourself with those who will encourage and challenge you. Trusted mentors can help deepen your self-awareness and push you to explore opportunities that are daunting or for which you may not think you are qualified.
  • “Bet on yourself” and go for it: Take risks even when it’s uncomfortable. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do one thing every day that scares you”. Do something every week that pushes you and celebrate it — even if you don’t get what you had hoped for, you’ve learned and grown.

Times of transition – whether they are voluntary or involuntary – can be difficult yet are a natural part of one’s career.  Being clear about what you need and want, surrounding yourself with a strong network and having the confidence to “go for it” are critical success factors to navigating through transitions in both a successful and fulfilling way.

Watch this space for upcoming events to network with and learn from others who are in the Boston life sciences community!





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