After a decade of riding the ups and downs of pharmaceutical industry, having choosing a sales rep job, recently I came across a very intriguing question: Will a pharmaceutical sales representative be a job to try to get into or will it become extinct? Clearly, this question got mixed up and I will use my own personal experience to explain why.
The Thin Line Between a Career and a Job
Remember the all time favorite quotes, “Give someone a fish and you feed for a day. Teach someone to fish and you feed for a lifetime.” And that exactly separates a career from a job. Right now, I work for a pharmaceutical company promoting their brand of Diagnostics equipment. That is my job. But if I got people working for me selling my brand of equipments – that is a career.
My point here is simply this: A job is a stepping stone to a career. A job prepares you to move ahead to your career; which bring us to the next point.
Is Pharmaceutical Sales Representative a Dream Job?
I got a friend (let us call him Adam for example sake) and he used to work for a Pharmaceutical company selling Orthopedics implant. One day, a mutual friend asked him, “Adam, how long will you work like this, carry that big bag around, and begging for sales?” Even though Adam was making close to USD 30,000.00 in incentive alone at that point of time, he was dumbfounded. He did not seem to have the right answer.
But today, I am happy to report that Adam is the Regional Sales Manager for a local generics company, promoting Antihypertensive product range throughout the country. He got people reporting to him, and his main task is to penetrate, develop and maintain account, especially Government Hospital sectors.
He could not have such a flying color pharmaceutical sales career without the sweat and blood as a sales representative beforehand. He still carry bag but with different content, style and purpose. He got himself a career – for now. Knowing him, I know this is just another job before he moves forward.
So, if I was asked the question whether a pharmaceutical sales representative is a dream job or another dead end job, my answer is simply depending on what you want to make out of it. You can stick in that job; carrying detailing bags and begging for sales all your working life or you can decide to move ahead and make a career out of it. It is totally up to you.