The Pros and Cons of a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Job
I currently work in the pharmaceutical industry as a salesperson. I have two years of experience in this job. The job I do is actually rather simple. I travel to doctor's offices and pharmacies to distribute the latest medications. I leave samples with the doctor so they can look it over and decide whether it is something they would like to use in their office. Some people think that all I do is sit during the day, however, this couldn't be farther from the truth as I am driving from location to location and then walking to each office.
On a scale of one to ten, I would rate my job as an eight for satisfaction. In order for me to fully enjoy my job, I would like to be able to have more offices in one location instead of having to drive across a particular county each day.
There are days when I see doctors who are looking for new medicines to try for their patients. This warms my heart because I am introducing them to other options. While I am moved by this at times, this is not the job I see myself doing for the rest of my life because I would like to get my nursing degree.
One thing that is unique about my life is that I am a single mother. I have to spend hours away from my children in the afternoon if I do not get my job done in time. This makes me want a different job where I can work hours that are steadier. My children are the reason I get up and go to work each day. When I see the look on their faces when I get those clothes or shoes or toys that they want, it makes my job all worth it.
I got started in this line of work through a friend of mine. She was delivering medication samples to an office I was at and she said her company was hiring. I filled out the application and was hired on soon after. One thing I would change is that I would have researched what the job entailed more before I applied. If I knew I would be using my own vehicle and traveling all day, I might have changed my mind.
One of the things I have learned the hard way in this job is doctors do not keep a strict schedule. There was one office I delivered to that was an hour behind schedule, which made me wait as well. This in turn made me late for all the other appointments that I had that day. Another thing that can be a challenge is that I have to sit in traffic at some points during the day. If I do not know the way around an interstate, I may have to sit in traffic that is backed up due to a wreck or because it is rush hour. I am not patient so this is hard for me to do. This is definitely something I would tell my friend if they were considering this job, think about whether or not you would want to drive all day.
Something I have learned about the working world is that there are people who will talk to you in a friendly way, and then there are people who could care less if you are there. Everyone is not as friendly as they could be.
The strangest thing that has ever happened to me was when I was delivering medications to an obstetrics office. There was a woman there waiting while I was waiting to see the doctor. We were talking to each other and she was almost at her due date. The next thing I know she is telling me her water broke and she was in labor! I rushed to tell the nurse and they transported her to the hospital.
My job is not really that stressful because I can spend a lot of time by myself. However, I would like to other people to talk to so my day would go by faster. I am able to get outside and walk after I get home so I remain healthy on my job.
Making almost $40,000 a year on my job, I would say that yes, I am paid enough for what I do. However, I would like to drive a company car so I would not have to drive my personal vehicle. I take about a week's vacation in the summer and I'm also off on holidays. This allows me to spend time with my children and not have to find a babysitter when they are out of school.
When I started this job, I did not have any special skills or education. I had just completed my Associate's degree in general education and this was enough to get me the job.
In five years, I would like to be completed with my nursing degree and working in a hospital.
This is a true story as told to DiversityJobs Street Smarts which houses career interviews and job search advice for professionals in any industry. Visit to read about how to find the perfect job by researching the company before applying like this sales and marketing professional did, among others.
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