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3 reasons the ikigai concept is an opportunity for pharma

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If you’ve ever experienced the crushing disappointment of having an excellent candidate turn down a job offer, you might be wondering where you went wrong.

You offered a competitive salary, great career trajectory, and a good work culture – what else could you have done?

One thing you may have overlooked is tapping into the Japanese concept of ikigai. This term refers to the ‘reason for being’ or the purpose and meaning of life. In Japanese culture, nurturing one’s ikigai is about finding deep fulfillment and longevity in a strong sense of purpose.

Finding your true calling

The concept of ikigai is directly connected to a person’s work, where they spend the majority of their time and energy. If a person feels their work is their true calling, not only will their happiness increase but so will their productivity, creativity, efficiency and loyalty.

Pharmaceutical companies must not overlook ikigai during the recruitment process and have a big opportunity to stand out in this space. Organizations that invite candidates into the life-changing and world-changing mission to improve healthcare are nurturing the concept of ikigai. This leads to better candidates and more engaged workers.

Here are 3 reasons ikigai is an opportunity for pharma:

1. Make a real impact

One of the most compelling reasons to work in the pharmaceutical industry is the potential to contribute to improving people’s lives and public health. Make sure you highlight this throughout your recruitment process. Show real life case studies or examples of how you’re impacting the lives of patients. Provide a vision for the future impact of the company and explain how the candidate will play an important role in achieving this vision.

2. Pioneer pharmaceutical innovation

The pharmaceutical industry is critical to the advancement of medical care, allowing people to live longer and better. Explain to your candidates how your research, development, marketing and distribution plays a vital role in this. Being part of a team that brings new therapies and life-saving drugs to market can be incredibly gratifying for a candidate’s sense of purpose.

3. Global scale

Many pharmaceutical companies operate on an international scale, which means the work you do can have a global impact. Innovations may reach patients all around the world, making a difference in numerous communities. Invite candidates into this global vision and mission.


In your search for top talent, make sure to position your company as offering a fulfilling and impactful career choice. For more help standing out in the Japanese labor market, book a discovery call with Morunda.

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