To celebrate today, not only did I buy myself flowers, I also have chosen and pondered three quotes from notable women: quotes about perfection, decision-making and laughter and I feel these three are relevant to the Clinical Research Associate (CRA) role.
“Have no fear of perfection; you’ll never reach it.” – Marie Curie
In the role of a CRA, we often strive for perfection to the point where we are focusing our efforts and energy on everything equally. One of the highly valued skills of a CRA is being very thorough and detail-oriented. That skill is very sought after for certain tasks, such as an SDV. However should we spend the same amount of energy on all CRA tasks? For example, do our expense reports require the same amount of detail and perfection? Think about where you should invest your energy strategically. Spend the prime hours of your day on the important stuff, not on admin that needs to be “just done”. Marie Curie’s quote of “Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it” resonates with me in that a CRA will never have everything done to perfection and definitely never right away. Sometimes you have to prioritise what to do now and what can wait a little longer. You will never finish your day having everything completed. The trick is to prioritise and make decisions on what deserves your attention at the time. This brings me to my second quote for the day.
“Don’t ever make decisions based on fear. Make decisions based on hope and possibility. Make decisions based on what should happen, not what shouldn’t.” – Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama’s quote is life advice, but I want to consider it in the context of a CRA role. Decision making is a process I talk a lot about in my online courses for CRAs because I strongly believe that it is essential for being successful in meeting all your deadlines and managing sometimes conflicting priorities. The “fear” from Michelle’s quote is a lack of assertiveness. You fear that you will make the wrong decision and will not be able to defend it when someone questions it.
Conversely, if you are assertive, you will trust that you made the right decision, you will know why you chose this priority over another and you will be able to defend your line of thinking if needed. You need assertiveness in order to have a robust decision making process. In a CRA role you have to prioritise every day. You have to see and understand the bigger picture of all of your allocations and responsibilities, in order to make correct decisions. And the correct decisions are correct at the time, because they were made with all the information available to you at the time. If in hindsight it turns out you prioritised wrongly, then all you can do is take lessons learned and not make that same decision next time in a similar circumstance. But the decision you made was still the correct one at the time.
“Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light.” – Frida Kahlo
To end on a positive note, I want to look at Frida Kahlo’s quote “Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light.” Remember to keep it light and don’t forget to laugh. When you are up against some aggressive deadline and have been working very intensely for days in a row, you need to keep some perspective or outlet and laughter is perfect for that. This role is very demanding. You are doing a great job and you should be proud of yourself. However, remember to look after yourself and laugh from time to time. In other words, take time to stop and smell the roses. I have a virtual bouquet of roses for you in my stories today.
Let me know if any of this resonated with you. I would love to hear from you!