Would You Recommend Pharmaceutical or Medical Sales to a Friend?

Would You Recommend Pharmaceutical or Medical Sales to a Friend?

Feburary 15, 2016

What Was, Is No More…

So, where do you go from here?

You’ve been laid off from a drug company, or possibly your company is facing layoffs.  What once was considered the job to have, is now a memory.  People approached me asking for help in getting in the industry, and likely you as well.  I even had one grandmother approach me in the parking lot of a “Bob Evans” parking lot while carrying food out, and asked what type of work I did.  When I told her she spent the next 15 minutes trying to convince me why her grand daughter, who lived about two hours away, would be perfect for this type of work.  “She is young! Very pretty and outgoing! She graduated from college and is working in a field she doesn’t enjoy, and the money is not great.”

Grandma gave me her contact information and I did reach out to her.  My recommendation, even back several years ago, was to pursue another field.  Yes, pharmaceutical sales can be lucrative, it can be rewarding.  But, more companies are firing, not hiring.  Look into medical device, or other sales I suggested.

This conversation played over and over to probably over a hundred interested persons, family members, friends, and even the reps themselves.  One even approached me outside of a physician office and gave me her resume and pleaded for me to help her…

We are often defined by our careers and accomplishments
But what happens when your career doesn’t really exist any longer?  Pharmaceutical and even some medical sales is the dinosaur of our age.  We’re not completely extinct, but for the most part it’s a dying profession.  Many companies have outsourced their sales force to contract companies.  So much the easier to say goodbye and move on, right?  It’s not us, it’s the contract company.

Don’t get me wrong, there still are pharma reps.  But when you look at the numbers, it’s almost laughable.  At the heyday in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, there were literally over 100,000 professional pharmaceutical sales people.  I even remember trying to get into offices before other reps otherwise you’d be waiting for hours, just to get a “quick signature” for samples.  Or to meet the daily quota to see the doctor. Wow, how’s that for crazy?

Now estimates suggest there are between 50 – 60,000 sales reps.  To have an industry, your career, your livelihood cut back by over 50% is astounding to say the least!  Without getting into a discussion of the value of pharmaceutical sales representatives (there are many arguments both for and against), point is you may be out of a job, even out of a career.

If you are defined by your career, what are you then?
You may have gone into another sales role, in another industry.  You may have entered another profession entirely.  You are absolutely an “xpharmarep” though if laid off or about to be laid off!


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