When Duane Burnett lost his job in big pharma at the end of last year, he initially focused close to home in his search for a new position. After all, he had put down deep roots in Kenilworth, N.J., where he had worked for more than 23 years at Schering-Plough and later at Merck & Co. after the companies’ 2009 merger.
He finally landed the perfect position—one that “checked all his boxes”—as director of chemistry at EnVivo Pharmaceuticals. The downside? It was in Watertown, Mass., some 250 miles from his home and family.
Burnett feels fortunate to have found a position that allows him to pursue his passion for discovering central nervous system drugs. However, accepting the job has meant that he has had to live apart from his family for eight months so far. As a result, “I have a profound sense of loss,” he says. “You can’t replace the time that you share over a meal or over other activities that keep you close as a family,” says Burnett. “I truly miss that time. It is the biggest sacrifice I have had to make, and I think about it a lot.”The sacrifices we make to stay in this field can be costly.