Career Growth Featured On The Job

Trust the Process: Embrace Missed Opportunities in Your Career Journey

Medical sales is a competitive, fast-paced, and demanding profession. Finding your footing in a role that makes you feel like you’re thriving may take some time and effort. If you’ve applied to new roles without successfully landing an offer, you might start to feel like reaching your goals isn’t realistic.

Missing out on seemingly-perfect opportunities isn’t an uncommon occurrence in any profession. When that exciting career move doesn’t pan out, people often become depressed or caught up in what might have been. And while wallowing in disappointment is ok for a few minutes, taking advantage of the opportunities that come after the ones you’ve missed can often lead to even greater growth, success, and fulfillment.

These stories of real professionals who capitalized on the unexpected missed opportunities that led them to positive career change will inspire you to keep going. Regardless of the circumstances that are holding you in place, trust that your drive and determination will lead you down the path intended for you.

It’s what you do with the experience that makes the difference.

I began as a freelance writer 30 years ago. It was my original hope to become successful as an author. When I became a family man, I had to put those dreams on hold and go into public school teaching. My family and my teaching career had a lot of gravity and kept me from being able to build any kind of life as an author. I was supplying most of the money and the insurance for my five kids. In some ways, I felt very trapped.

In reality, I gained a huge number of skills on the job that I did not have before, including organization, presentation, and subject expertise. Even better, I found I was able to write books about the things I was learning so other people could improve as well. Over the course of my teaching career, I met lots of friends who came to know me as someone who could offer well-written resources and was willing and able to spread the word.

Today I am known as the author of a number of books and articles, none of which I would have written had I not missed my career opportunities.

It might take a hard kick in the pants to take the big step.

I was fired from a job that was a terrible fit. At the time, I was too paralyzed to make a move and leave because I didn’t know what I wanted to do next. Deep down I knew I wanted to start a business, but I was really scared — I had no idea how to start.

And then I was fired. This forced me to start my own consulting business and teach others how to do the same (and avoid situations like my previous one!).

Holly Knoll, Business Coach and Creator of The Consultant Code

Moves made out of desperation are likely the wrong move.

I was trying to make an internal move from a job in operations/technical support to a job in personnel development, and I got to the final round of interviews but didn’t end up with the offer. I was devastated because I had been trying to get out of my current role for about a year.

The failure actually allowed me to find another internal role that was an incredible opportunity to do personnel development within the technical support org. It was a brand-new role, never been done before, and I was the perfect person for the job.

That move was a big factor in eventually leaving my full-time role and starting my own coaching business.

Opportunity may come when and from where you least expect.

I first worked in regulatory finance with the hopes that the experience would lead me to a role as a financial planning & analysis (FP&A) analyst. But, despite my efforts, the timing never worked out for an opening. I ended up moving into a fast-paced and demanding investor relations role.  

When family obligations intervened and pushed me to pursue work in my wife’s hometown, I began applying to financial analyst jobs. After several gut-wrenching interviews turned into non-offers, or unattractive offers, I didn’t expect to be satisfied with my career move heading west. However, that’s when the most unexpected development occurred and turned out to be my dream job at my dream company.

Out of nowhere, Google reached out to me directly. They noted my time in investor relations as desirable work experience for a new role they were creating in their ads finance division. Had I moved into the FP&A role I originally wanted, I never would have had the career path which led me to my current role.

Riley Adams, Senior Financial Analyst at Google and financial independence blogger at Young and the Invested

Sometimes, it’s best to just trust the universe.

I applied to several positions at once while job-hunting last year and was on my way to a second-round interview for a job in Business Development when the train I was on completely stopped running, leaving me and other passengers stranded for upwards of 40 minutes. As I kept looking down to check the time, I realized I was not going to make it to the interview. 

My Wifi connection was lost underground, and I was unable to contact the hiring manager until finally getting off the train. When I did, I received his voicemail. Despite leaving a sincere and apologetic voicemail and sending an email, I never heard back from the company.

But the following day, I received an offer for a job as a Content Manager and Copywriter for a website, a position that offered more growth in a field I was truly excited about. It’s a position I still hold today, and in retrospect, I wouldn’t have changed anything. 

Beverly Friedmann, Content Manager at ReviewingThis

Ultimately, remember that you have the power to make the changes that will lead you to career fulfillment.

I chose to quit my job and become a stay-at-home mom after 15 years of working in advertising and incentives. Typically, this would be seen as a career dive, but it ended up being the best thing I ever did. 

After I quit my full-time job, I taught as an adjunct professor for two nights a week, teaching Strategic Marketing and Management at a local college. I also had the ability to tutor my son who had dyslexia and was struggling with reading. 

When it was time to go back to work, I didn’t want to return to marketing. So, I used my sharp business skills and experience teaching my son to start three different dyslexia organizations — a non-profit parent advocacy group called Decoding Dyslexia Iowa, and two dyslexia tutoring centers who now tutor over 150 children.

I could not be the entrepreneur I am today without my step off the career ladder that allowed me to delve into other things.

Heidi Kroner, Executive Director at Aspire Academy

BIO: Karyn Mullins is the President at MedReps, a job board that gives members access to the most sought after medical sales jobs and pharmaceutical sales jobs on the Web. Connect with Karyn on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.