Keeping an eye on the bigger picture in your field of research will enable you to see potential new avenues for research. If they line up with a company’s mission, then there’s nothing stopping you from pursuing them.
In the Careers in Industry panel at the 2015 London Naturejobs Career Expo, Steve Martin from GSK says that big pharma hires people with deep specialisms all the time, but after five or so years, many have moved into fields they haven’t experienced before. Simon Mosey from the University of Nottingham has made a living in moving between departments, and his advice is to keep an eye on the bigger picture.
In industry, as long as you keep the main vision of the company in mind, then there is a considerable amount of latitude to move fields within a company.
1) Express interest as soon as you come across an idea that is interesting.
2) Keep an eye on the bigger picture.
3) Network: You might meet someone who can be a great collaborator.
4) Find out if a company offers secondments to try a different area.