Are you considering a leap to medical sales from another industry, a switch from pharma to medical device, or simply a jump to sales of a new disease state or product? While the old saying “No Risk No Reward” is likely true, I am a personal fan of more cautious, calculated risks.

The steps below will help you answer those nagging questions:

“How hard is it to break in?”, “What are my chances of succeeding?”, “How much work will this require?” and “Is it worth it?”

Let’s discuss where to get started when making the decision to move into the competitive market:

#1 Start a Conversation

There’s no better way to find out first-hand what you need to succeed than to ask someone who has been there, done that. Those in the industry/role to which you aspire are uniquely qualified to give you the inside scoop including pros and cons.

Begin with a list of those in your inner circle — friends, families, peers, etc. — and then go a step further to include those whom you often cross paths with (the parent next to you at your kid’s soccer game each week? The person on the bike next to you during your weekend spin class?).

Finally, move on to the people who you don’t know but work in the industry or roles you’re considering. Utilize LinkedIn’s search functions to identify a few names. Then reach out via a connection request, telling them you’d love to learn about the industry/role from them.

Although many will not respond, remember that some insight from just one or two will answer many key questions. An extra benefit of this tactic? You’ll have the beginnings of a solid network from which to launch your medical sales job search.

#2 Do Your Research

Part of researching careers in the world of medical sales involves researching companies to get intel about everything from their history to their profitability.

Google searches and company websites can provide you with details about benefits, press releases, and media mentions (good and bad).

While it’s easy enough to get info on public healthcare sales or manufacturing companies, private ones are a bit tougher. I recommend looking to Forbes and Inc.com which regularly publish lists of privately held companies in the U.S.  

#3 Align your Aspirations with Your Reality

Another precursor to making a leap should be to identify your deal-breakers. How do you feel about working with a healthcare startup with limited funding?

You should also consider how you feel about working for a big company with lots of rules and regulations. And does the idea of a territory turnaround, a high-priced product, or an unknown device terrify or excite you?

There’s no right or wrong answer, however it’s key to figure out what you can and can’t tolerate. Everyone’s reality is unique. Figuring out yours are will help you determine if the jump makes sense for you.

A career 180 to or within the world of medical sales, while challenging, can certainly be overcome. With a bit of research, networking and reflection, you’ll have a clearer sense for your next move.

How did you decide to make the move into medical sales?


– By Virginia Franco, NCRW, CPRW, the founder and chief writer at Virginia Franco Resumes, offering customized executive resume and LinkedIn profile writing services for the 21st century job seeker.

VAFrancoResumes@gmail.com | http://www.virginiafrancoresumes.com | Call/text 704-771-8572

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