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Discussion in 'The Darkened Sample Closet' started by anonymous, Feb 23, 2018 at 10:13 PM.
Been in the industry for 20 years. Good advice.
I thought I check in to let you know about my life after pharma. I got a good job in healthcare. Money was good, the work was interesting, but the company was a disaster. At the end of the day, I left that job today because company lied and mis represented the job. I did well in sales (grew my territory by over 50%), I did well with the administration part of the job and I did well establishing connection in a short periods of time. Why did I leave? I was lied to in my interview about several things: 1) cannot take sick days or vacations until you have been with the company 6 months. If you take a sick day before the six month then it is considered an unplanned absence. If you have three unplanned absences, you are written up. 2) Vacation days must be requested a year in advance 3) never received an assigned territory (using me as a floater) 4) never told I would have to work Black Friday, Christmas Eve and New Years Eve 5) never told I would have to work on weekends to cover other people.
I have no regrets leaving pharma, I have no regrets taking the job (learned a lot about Hospital sales), but I will never complain again about working in pharma because it is a piece of cake compared to real sales (sorry, its true). The real world will hire you for one job and ask you to do three. The real world expects you to give up vacations and holidays for the good of the company. The real world wants daily results and you are on your own with no partners, so the next time you complain about pharma read this thread.
Wow you’re a big crybaby. Glad you left you bellyaching weakling. Boo Hoo
Let us know if/when you return to pharma ( as predicted )
I never go back to work with pathetic losers such as yourself. I shared my story to help others that may be transitioning. Everything I said is true. You are the reason everyone hates pharm reps. Loser!!!
So...no luck whatsoever even getting an interview with a contract company? You’ll be lights out at a mall kiosk peddling cell phones.
In Pharma for well over a decade and 3 layoffs over the past 7 years. Periods of unemployment (6 months, 1 month, and 7 months). The last time, after being out of work for so long, I was desperate and returned to a field I worked in prior to pharma. I still had the degree that is required for that job and had experience in the field (Human Services), though my experience was very dated - had been out of that field for over 15 years. I was able to get hired in that field (demand is high, workload is intense, and pay is low). Wages/salaries have not risen in that field in the years since I left for pharma. I was paid less than half what I made in pharma, even with overtime - yes, overtime because the workload is so heavy in that field, and the documentation snowballs, you end up doing at least some overtime every week. But, even with working 50-hour weeks, I still only made around $50K (in my last pharma gig, before I was laid off, I pulled around $120K, plus car allowance ($600/month), plus cell phone allowance, and all the other perks of a typical pharma rep. I'm back in pharma once again. I make less now vs my previous pharma gigs, but elated to be back. The Human Services job is now a side hustle that I occasionally work (evenings/weekends) and that will always be there ready to take me on full-time when I am eventually laid-off again from my pharma job. Had I known, I would have re-connected with my old field during my first layoff (hindsight is 20/20). My side hustle (a profession) is my insurance policy against pharma's volatility. It doesn't pay well, but I can pay my bills with it (if full-time) and there will always be demand, I'll always have a job. And you don't get aged-out in that field - I could work until I'm 75 if I wanted to, but I'd probably drop dead from overwork by then. Lol!
P.S. I don't recommend my old field because it requires a master's degree, but very low ROI because of the low salaries and heavy workloads that I mentioned. And I don't recommend pharma because of the crazy volatility and job instability over the past 10 years. Still, I'm in both of those fields - no matter where you go, there you are.
Interesting post...my guess is you’re a social work/case manager or the like. Pharma is truly a “deal with the devil” given all the appealing perks and “flexibility”. Of course layoffs, lying and lunch delivery are on the business end of things. It’s such a strange existence...not complaining...just some observations.
Accurate observations, indeed!
The side hustle is a great idea, especially if you don't have kids or they are already independent HS/college students/working. Good luck!
If this is all true, why did Barry embrace and finance the MB? Did he know something no one else did..... or....?
At the end of the day your job in pharma won’t last and you will have to reinvent yourself. It happens to all of us.
Amen. I admire the OP for “having the balls” to leave pharma. He has reinvented himself and his future is bright. He’s one tough customer and a little turbulance isn’t going to get him down. Bravo!
Love this thread - I got out about 15 years ago after about 8 years and the only thing I have to show for it is a worse atherosclerosis than I had before joining the industry. I always had side hustles that served a dual purpose - mental health boost and supplemental income (I actually made more on the side for a few years than with my pharma gig).
My true epiphany moment came when I witnessed a rep giving a textbook canned presentation to one of my doctors - it was like I was at training again, watching the most uncomfortable role play session in history. Doc looking at his watch, looking away, the rep oblivious. At one point the rep talked about the drug giving “a 1-2 punch”, and did a Rocky-like motion toward the doctor - he about jumped out of his Dockers it startled him so much. Not to judge presentation styles, but this was beyond embarrassing and just stuck with me. I was mortified, I didn’t want to be this guy.
I have stayed in sales and bounced a bit, became a victim of the Great Recession with an extended stint of unemployment but have survived, although now I’m in a sales position that pays great but pretty much sucks the life out of me daily. I have basically checked out and need to reinvent myself outside of sales. Guess I should have stuck with an engineering degree...
Sales is definitely a career that reaps nice benefits as a younger person, and extracts a huge price when one ages...Pharmaceutical Sales only amplifies that because it is the most youth oriented sales job in America now...There was a reason that Willy Loman was portrayed as old, burned out and depressed in "Death of A Salesman." I flew really high in pharma sales for 23 years, before being targeted for elimination by a boss half my age. Had a better lifestyle than most of my docs as I worked basically party time and made 100K plus every year...Then it all came crashing down...Sales (And specifically pharma) turned out to be an absolutely disastrous "career" choice and my '50s have been a nightmare of trying to cobble together any sort of living, and watching my savings hemorrhage. Haven't had a checkup in years because I can't afford any healthcare...The pharma rep truly did become a bad caricature as you pointed out in your post...
Interesting analogy. I agree “Willy”could be the poster boy for ex pharm reps. I’m in my early 50s and trying to figure things out. I fear I could spend the rest of my 50s in limbo. This career change has been one of the most painful experiences of my life. In the end, I blame myself for taking the easy money and not following a more serious career path.
OP here. Thanks for the kind words (not too many on here as you can seee) but I’m a female with big ovaries AKA balls.
As a Conservative Republican, I believe in personal responsibility and pulling oneself up by the bootstraps. You worked in the industry for 23 years....
The way to do pharma is to have a side hustle and get in the best shape of your life on your down time. Work smart not hard. I have a manger who was a rep peer for years who who spent his time churning not selling. Lunches for offices where docs wouldn't see him, but he would do it anyway. Why? He never was a top rep, because he didn't work smart. He becomes a manager, and the rep who replaced him is top of the rankings because she works smart. Most of us have side hustles and work 2.5-3 days a week for pharma and the other on the side. I have friends who have side hustles including: Rental property, commercial and residential real estate development, storage units, coffee shops, smoothie shops, genetic testing, retail clothing boutiques, retail manufacturing with products in major big box retailers and Amazon, and online widget selling. The stress of a quota or a downsizing announcement is really reduced when you have a side hustle. Timing when to leave and go for the side hustle full time is the key. I have 2 other ventures I want to launch and pharma is getting in the way. I'm probably out of the business after 20 years in the summer of 2019 as the side hustle is doing well and I want to launch the other two ventures.