45,000 Pharmaceutical Sales Jobs Cut in 2010. Now What?
Pharmaceutical sales jobs have gone from being the way into the middle class or even upper middle class to the unemployment line. This year isn't over and already more than 45,000 sales representatives in the pharmaceutical industry have been cut, reports Shareen Pathak in Sales-jobs.fins.com.
Primarily the layoffs result because of two developmenents. One is a shift in focus in the industry from marketing back to research. Patents are expiring. The next blockbuster has to be found. Secondly, medical doctors have been shutting their doors to sales reps, preferring to educate themselves about medications as a more objective route.
The good news is that sales is a binary sort of track. Either you can sell or you can't. Those who can will be able to reinvent themselves in other industries related to medicine, science, or technology. The first step is to conduct informational interviews, which can take place online, with sales representatives and sales managers in other fields. The goal is to elicit candid input on whether, given your specific background, you can make the transition. Eventually you'll nail down possibilities, both as a rep in the field or for a position in sales management.
When you do, immerse yourself in that new area of expertise. That might entail doing your own research, requesting to shadow a salesperson in that sector, and taking courses or seminars in the basics of that business, ranging from the technical to the operational side. You may also have to learn new technologies for making sales calls online.
Jane Genova http://janegenova.com began focusing on transitions when the academic market collapsed as she was writing her dissertation in linguistics and literature at the University of Michigan. After re-establishing herself in the public relations industry, she gradually published on the subject. Her first piece was on The Professional Woman in THE WALL STREET JOURNAL. Since then, she co-authored the book THE CRITICAL 14 YEARS OF YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE and myriad e-books and articles on career subjects ranging from emotional intelligence to aging. In the 1980s she attempted another change by attending Harvard Law School. She didn’t complete the degree but channeled that experience into maintaining a legal blog [http://lawandmore.typepad.com] housed at the Library of Congress.