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Female.

One simple word evokes a myriad of emotions and imagery.

What adjectives crossed your mind after reading that powerful first word? Who popped into your mind — are they famous by definition or only in your world?

This year, we reflect on this word more than ever as Women’s History Month arrives directly in the middle of an ignited female empowerment movement. And for women in the medical sales industry, this inspiration and power is crucial for continued momentum toward equality.

Unfortunately, in our 2017 Medical Sales Salary Report, we found only 30 percent of the respondents were female and those female reps earn a mere 83 percent of men’s average total compensation.

Let those stats sink in for a moment.

Then, direct your focus toward these glass ceiling breakers. Let their words and example inspire you to take your medical job search by storm:

Rosalind Franklin

“Science and everyday life cannot and should not be separated.”

Thanks to Franklin’s connection of science and everyday life, we now understand DNA and viruses. As a medical sales rep, it’s your job to ensure this connection doesn’t end with research and development.

Keep the momentum moving. Post research, your own personal experiences, and customer success stories to your social media and portfolios. Use them to show how you tie each product you sell into everyday life.

Elizabeth Blackburn

“This idea that ‘science needs women’ is right on target… the ability to solve complex problems is greatly enriched by having different viewpoints.”

This winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine understands the very basis of diversity. It isn’t about showing a representation on paper to make HR happy. Instead, it’s representing real people. Which means you bring more than experience and sales numbers to the table.

As an individual, you’re bringing life experiences, new ideas and thought processes, and problem-solving approaches to companies. Use this to your advantage during your medical job search.

During interviews, explain how you’re not afraid to speak up and share your viewpoint. Show how even if it isn’t a popular opinion, your interest is in bettering the team and helping the company move forward.

Also, share your personal experiences. Tell recruiters your story and connect it back to how you relate to their diverse customer base.  

Marie Curie

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

Marie Curie’s accomplishments reach far beyond the expectations of women in her time period. But that didn’t stop her from winning two Nobel Prizes and becoming the first female professor at the University of Paris in 1906.

Her quote relates to those understanding new developments in medicine and women in the medical job search. The key to both is: knowledge without fear.

As a woman in a medical sales job search, it’s natural to feel you have something to prove. To storm in, head held high, ready to show them what you’ve got. While strength is important, so is vulnerability. And, in most cases, in order to learn, we must be vulnerable.

Open up to recruiters. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to learn more about the products and the art of sales. The more you ask and understand, the greater force you’ll have behind you when giving it your all in the interview.

Marie M. Daly

“Courage is like — it’s a habitus, a habit, a virtue: you get it by courageous acts. It’s like you learn to swim by swimming. You learn courage by couraging.”

Courage is exactly what Daly showed when she became the first female African-American to earn a PhD in chemistry. Her advice truly shines a light on the habitual trait every female medical sales rep needs to bring to the table.

This requires you to know exactly what you want from your career. Once you’ve made that clear, map out a plan. Make daily attempts to go outside of your comfort zone. Connect with fellow sales reps, recruiters, and company leaders to find inspiration and advice for reaching your goals. You can even try cold calling a recruiter to show you have initiative and drive.

These four women knew exactly what to bring into their careers — themselves. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves.” Draw the contour of your medical sales career. Then, begin filling in more content and color as you discover who you want to be and where you want your career to go.  

Who inspires you the most in your career? Share your inspiration below!

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