Our friend Arundhati Parmar over at MedCity News wrote an interesting article on the recent bout of layoffs in the pharma rep business. The article does a good job of highlighting some key aspects of making the transition from pharma to device sales. Keep on networking. Learn the lingo and be knowledgeable about the products and acronyms. Most importantly, make sure resume highlights your experience in relevant areas, areas that may not have been important to pharma companies that are now very important to device companies.
Are medical device companies the only option for pharma reps?
While the article is helpful in many ways, there is one glaring error. Medical device companies certainly make up a large piece of the medical sales pie, but device isn’t the only game in town. In fact, we’ve seen an increase in biotech sales positions being posted on MedReps.com in recent months. The good news for pharma sales reps is that a lot of those recent positions are looking for sales reps with biotech, life sciences or pharma sales experience.
Did you catch that last part? There are biotech companies looking to hire sales reps with pharma sales experience. In many of these new job postings, the employers are looking for 5-10 years of biological, life sciences or (OR!) pharma sales experience. That means medical device companies, while certainly more prevalent, aren’t the only destination for the recently displaced pharma reps.
What about biopharmaceutical companies?
Pharma reps have gotten the short end of the stick in recent months and some would say the outlook isn’t great. The naysayers are focusing on the big pharmaceutical companies and their bottom-line based layoffs. They’re not looking at the big picture. Biopharamceutical companies have been some of the hottest stocks in recent months, a trend that paints a much prettier picture for displaced pharma reps.
While the smaller biotech and biopharmaceutical companies may not have the ultra-deep pockets associated with big pharma, they are operating in the black. Sure, biotech comes with a bit more risk than big pharma, but it can also mean big rewards. The bottom-line is this:
Keep your options open and look to companies or niches you may not have previously considered. You’ll find the job you’re looking for. It may just be in a different spot than you originally thought it might be.