One of the best parts of a medical sales rep’s job, according to our 2019 Medical Sales Job Satisfaction survey, is the opportunity for growth. And while many medical sales reps want to advance their careers, they often wait for a promotion or for a recruiter to reach out with an impressive opportunity.
You don’t have to wait to be invited to the table — pull up a chair and take a seat. You have the power to take charge of your medical sales career. Here’s how to own your career advancement:
Assess your current situation
Before you can take command of your career advancement, you need to take stock of where you are at the moment. Ask yourself these questions:
- -What makes me happy in my current role?
- -What would I want to change about it?
- -What do I want my career to look like in five years? In 10?
Knowing what you want from your job now and from your career in the future will help guide your next steps. Take charge by searching for jobs that will set you on a path toward your long-term goals. Thoroughly read job descriptions and only apply to those that are aligned with the qualities that make you happy in your position, and ideally, don’t have any of the qualities you’d like to change about your current role.
Open up about your career aspirations
Career advancement can be internal or external, depending on what makes sense for you right now. It can mean a promotion within your team, a new job somewhere else in your current company, or finding a new company entirely.
The possibilities are limitless for your next step, so if you’re not satisfied in your current role or feel it’s time to expand your horizons, let people know. You’ll never grow if you don’t ask for what you want.
If you love your company, but are ready for more responsibilities, new challenges, or just need a change, sit down with your manager. While you don’t want to harp on the negatives, you should be open about what you want from your position and your ambitions. Discuss where you want to be within the next year and make a plan together to get there.
If a new company feels like the right change, start discussing your aspirations with recruiters. Don’t wait for them to reach out with positions you’re only half-interested in. When you’re open with recruiters about what you want, they can speed up the process by hunting down opportunities that are a good fit for your goals.
Network with medical sales influencers
Networking is one of the best ways to take charge of your future. In fact, nearly half of job seekers hear about jobs by word of mouth from their friends, and 37 percent learn through professional networks, according to a 2019 survey from Jobvite.
From people in your current workplace to more notable medical sales influencers, there are plenty of options to expand your circle. Any one of them could give you a referral, let you know about an open role, introduce you to the right person, or even give you insight into where you want your career to go next.
Keep in touch with contacts you’ve made throughout your career so when you’re ready for each next step, you won’t feel shy about reaching out about an opportunity or asking for a favor that could get you closer to your goals.
Don’t be afraid of opportunities
Career advancement isn’t always a straightforward, easy path. Nothing is guaranteed. If you move into a new role or completely leave a company, there is a chance that you won’t be satisfied with the change. A new opportunity may not help you reach your goals like you thought it would.
But that doesn’t mean you should let doubt or the possibility of failure hold you back. You’ll never know what could have been if you are too afraid to take that next step. You may even miss future opportunities to grow.
There’s only so much preparation you can do before you need to take a leap of faith. So, take it!