Finding a job sometimes requires some lateral thinking. In that spirit this week we look at a site that at first glance seems to have nothing to do with jobs but which is nevertheless a great career resource.

The BioIndustry Association (BIA) is a trade organization that aims to "encourage and promote the biotechnology sector of the U.K. economy." Their Web site offers a mixture of information on the association's activities, the latest biotech-related news, and a database of member companies. So how can the Next Wave reader use this information for their benefit?

The "News from the Net" section provides a useful collection of biotech news articles from a variety of sources. Although far from comprehensive, this list is a good way to catch up on what's happening in the industry. Such information could prove to be essential in an interview situation when you may be called upon to show that you've got a good working knowledge of the latest industry comings and goings.

"BIA Bulletin" provides the latest news on the activities of the organization. Here you can find details on a number of meetings, some of which are open to nonmembers. The two Intellectual Property conferences being held this summer, for example, could provide someone interested in a career in IP with valuable training and networking opportunities. The BIA also has produced a number of reports, some of which are available online, for example, the executive summary of the BIA's survey of the U.K. biotech market.

Possibly the most useful resource available here is the database of the over 200 members of the BIA. The basic details available here are the addresses and contact details for the companies, but several members have taken the time to post more comprehensive profiles of their companies. This could be valuable when you are looking for companies to apply to.

Soon to come is a listing of biotech links; this will include a category of employment links. Keep an eye out for some more directly career-related resources.

Although the BIA site is a corporate association, we think you'll find that if you are looking for employment in the U.K. biotech industry, you'll find plenty of information here to help you along.