Wondering how to start looking for a nonclinical career? Many doctors are interested in pursuing nonclinical careers but literally don’t know how to begin. If you’re wondering where to look, what to look for, and what really works, this episode is for you! Warning – this advice is not for the unmotivated, the excuse-maker, or those who expect opportunities to fall out of the sky. But if you’re action-oriented and ready to commit to the work, join me…

In this episode of The Career Rx we’ll discuss:

  • How to learn about your professional options
  • What you need to present yourself as an attractive candidate
  • Where exactly to look for the right people and opportunities

Today, I’m going to break down how to get started in the nonclinical pharma job search. Getting your foot in the door leads to even more opportunities in industry but you must approach it correctly. Listen for resources to help you find the job you want, tailor your resume and cover letter to show your most transferable skills, and meet the people that will help you get there.

If you’re a regular listener of this podcast, you know I have lots of episodes with more details on networking strategy, nonclinical options, nonclinical resumes, and more. Be sure to check those out, since I won’t repeat it all here today!

In this Episode:

[2:25] What to do before you start blindly applying for jobs
[4:00] Connecting the dots for those who can hire you into nonclinical jobs
[6:15] Building the right network is easier than you think
[8:00] A common mistake you should never make
[10:50] The difference between those who try vs those who succeed in nonclinical careers

Ready to learn more about exactly how to find those kinds of jobs, or how to critically evaluate your own skills and experience for transferability? Watch this free one-hour webinar on physician jobs in pharma. When you’re ready to get serious, join my course Industry Insider to get you the results you want, faster.

Links and Resources:

Look through the episode archives here

Industry Insider – learn exactly how to land a rewarding nonclinical career without a new degree, connections on the inside, prior experience, or a pay cut

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Thanks for joining me on this episode of The Career Rx!

TRANSCRIPT: Episode 87 – How to Get Started Finding a Nonclinical Job in Pharma

Hey there. I’m Marjorie Stiegler and you’re listening to The Career Rx Podcast, where we tackle the important things they don’t teach you in medical school. Like how to treat your career, like the business it really is, with strategies to accelerate the kind of success that you want, because you deserve a career you love, and a career that loves you back. Are you ready?

Let’s get into it.

Hey, there today I’m going to be answering again, one of the most common most popular questions that I am asked, in fact, so commonly that I’ve actually had to put together sort of a copy and paste response that I send people in my DMs, if I even have the time to respond at all, because it is just so common, and also so very broad. And the question is just like the title of this podcast, you know, people will say, I’m very interested in having a non clinical career, how do I get started?

That’s so, so, so, so broad, but I’m gonna break it down for you here, obviously, within the the context of, you know, 15 minute podcast, you won’t be able to learn everything that you need to know, to go get an you know, secure your non clinical career, I strongly advise you to get help, because of the people who are not getting the jobs are just going about it the wrong way. And you can get help from a coach, you can get help in my course, you can get help in many, many ways. So that’s number one is to consider getting some help. But let me break it down for you sort of in a stepwise fashion, what I think is the most important for you, when you’re just in that exploration phase, and you’re thinking about how do I get started finding a non clinical job?

Okay, step number one involves figuring out all of the possibilities, and determining which of these you might like. And that sounds perhaps pretty obvious, but a lot of people have not done that work. And so, you know, when they come to me specifically asking about careers in pharma, they don’t know what types of jobs physicians do in pharma. So I’ll be doing an entire series on that coming up, they also have no idea what that day to day is like, and whether or not they would enjoy it, or they wouldn’t enjoy it is really, really critical.

And again, this applies to everything, not just careers in pharma, you have to do some work to figure out what the potential options are and meet people who have those jobs so that you can talk to them and get to understand you know, not for them to get you have a job, but for you to understand what the job is, and whether you would like it. Because if you know what the job is, and you know that you would like it, then it’s very likely that you would like it because it would utilize some of your strengths.

And so that means even if you don’t have prior experience within that industry, you’ll have some transferable skills that will work really well. So that leads me to the next thing you have to do, which is to develop your own content and delivery, about why you’re a good fit for that role. So again, you have to understand the roll first, in order to be able to position yourself for it.

Even if you don’t have prior experience, we talk about that all the time. That’s never a deal breaker. But you have to be able to connect the dots for people not only for the computer, the AI that’s going to screen you out, but also for the HR professionals who might call you for a screening interview. And for the hiring manager that is your eventual new boss, you have to connect the dots for them, they have no idea what it is that you can bring to the table and you are going to need to do the work. So you’re going to need to reformat your CV, make a great resume and cover letter out of it, it’s going to need to be personalized.

This is something that a lot of people don’t want to do. They don’t bother to do it. And they get a lot of rejections. So you’re going to need to take that content, write the content that is your professional experience, and convert it into the kind of delivery that is appropriate for an industry role so that you can be recognized by all of the different steps and all the different filters in the hiring system as an attractive candidate.

Then the next thing you need to do, which is really a very literal answer to this question, you know, how do I get started finding non clinical jobs is to know where the jobs are posted. So first and foremost, LinkedIn is probably the best place to be. All the jobs are posted on LinkedIn. And so you can search by title. And you can search by company.

And you can, of course, search by your geographical region. So LinkedIn is excellent. And most companies do post most of their roles on LinkedIn. So that’s a great place to find jobs. Another really good website is called glassdoor.com. That also will help you to find the jobs, you should probably by now, be familiar with the kinds of companies that you might want to work for, because now you understand the job and you’ve done some of that homework. So you know what the companies are, and each company is highly likely to have a job board on their website, so you can go to their websites.

And then finally, working with a trusted executive recruiter is a great idea, because they will know where some good jobs are. Now, I’ll put a caveat around that and to say that most of the time, those folks are retained for higher level positions, not usually the entry level positions. But nonetheless, they can be very helpful relationships to develop. So I don’t want to leave them out. But you know, how do you find the job, you literally go find it by searching on these websites, either by the companies that you’ve identified, or by you know Glassdoor and LinkedIn by doing these searches. That’s, that’s how you find them.

I cannot complete this podcast without emphasizing the importance of networking, I mentioned really, in the very beginning of the very first tip, right, in terms of understanding the job and knowing whether you like it really involves growing a network that you probably don’t have today, and network of people who work in the industry that you hope to join. I know that seems to a lot of people like an impossible thing to do. But it really is not, there’s, I mean, very methodical way that you can grow this, it’s, it’s, it’s actually pretty simple. But it’s not short to explain. So that’s something that we go into, in my course, it’s something that you can try to figure out for yourself, but really, really important to grow the network.

And I also want to emphasize that the network is is not really, for the purpose of getting you a job, or at least that’s never the first step, when you reach out to people that you don’t know, and you have an opportunity to speak to people in industry, it is a bad idea to ask them to help you get a job, I can’t tell you how many messages I get like this as well, you know, people will send me unsolicited their, their CVs, or you know, a couple lines about them, and their various credentials, and they’ll ask me, if I have any openings, you know, to like, send it their way or to you know, put forth their resume, I cannot do that for anybody.

And the reason is, I don’t know that person, I can’t vouch for that person, I cannot make an assessment. And I’m not going to put my own professional capital on the line by suggesting, you know, to other people that I might know, who are hiring, that they should take a look at this particular candidate, that person hasn’t done their homework, they are really not prepared. And if they get a phone call for a screening interview, or they get brought in for an actual interview, they’re likely to not do very well, because they’re not prepared. So when you and also this is not somebody that I have followed up with, right,

I get a lot, a lot of questions that people ask, and a lot of people do want to connect with me and talk to me and I have to be very deliberate about who I can say yes to because I can’t say yes to everybody. I’ll tell you, you know, one of the immediate “no” for me is somebody who reaches out and directly asks me to help them get a job.

Obviously, I don’t mean that in the context of, you know, via coaching, or via one of my programs, you know, can I help them get a non clinical job? Via us working together? Yes. Can I help them get a non clinical job by just emailing me their CV, and saying, you know, please put me forth, if you know of any openings, that’s absolutely not going to happen. And you know, it’s, I’m not unusual in that respect, nobody is going to do that.

So very important for you while you are developing your network and getting to know people getting to understand the job, getting to understand whether or not you would like it, what kind of strengths do have to bring to the table, packaging that up into an industry appropriate resume and cover letter that’s personalized for the jobs that you find on LinkedIn, and Glassdoor, and on the company websites. While you’re doing all of that.

Don’t reach out to people and directly ask them to help you get a job. Instead, spend that time building relationships and getting to know people, this may eventually lead to them feeling like they know you well enough that they wouldn’t put you forth.

If you haven’t already looked back in the history of this podcast, I have several episodes about how to network properly, how to get the most out of your networking, and how to build a network from scratch. So go check out those episodes, they will show you how to begin to do this kind of thing. It’s the most important step. absolutely hands down your qualifications, and you know your interest and your enthusiasm and the way in which you present yourself that professional brand that you put forth.

These are elements of whether or not you are likely to land a job But the single most important is, is a person a personal recommendation. And that’s important because the person who’s doing the hiring, if they get told by a trusted colleague and friend, hey, you should really check out this person, they would be worth, you know, investing and developing, bringing them on the team that carries a lot of professional capital. That goes a very long way.

The other thing is that many of the people that you meet will eventually, if they aren’t already, be in a position to hire people. And so I think a lot of folks forget this on some of the chat boards, some of the social media groups. And so they ask questions and kind of put themselves out there in a way that makes me wonder if they realize that other people who are answering them are also in a position to hire them or not. So you really need to always be putting sort of that best most professional version of yourself forward.

Sometimes when I give people this kind of advice that’s here in this episode, they feel let down somehow, like it’s either too basic or something that they already knew, or that they can’t action on, because they don’t know how and for you, if people are having that reaction, right now, as I’m about to wrap up, I will say this, it’s not rocket science.

But most people don’t do it, or they don’t do it, right. And that is the difference between the person who landed the job. And the person who searches for three years or five years and does not have a job in a non clinical role is the difference between a person who lands a non clinical job quickly, and with just a few applications and interviews. And the person who has blanketed the market time and again, applying for dozens or even hundreds of jobs without success. It is a matter of going through these steps, doing them thoroughly, and doing them right. And frankly, just putting forth the work that’s required.

So it’s not rocket science, not a big mystery. This is how you go about finding and landing that first non clinical job. And obviously, of course, once you have one, then you’re then you’re on the inside and then many many opportunities will open wide for you.

If you are interested in some further help understanding how to operationalize these steps which you know, again, are not hard, but somehow they seem so foreign and difficult to execute that a lot of people really do get stuck. If you want some help with that come check out Industry Insider, it’s my course and it will explain in great detail and give you a full framework for how to do each of these things successfully, so that you don’t have to guess you don’t have to DIY it, you can get really practical, very strategic, streamlined advice to get results. That’s it for today. Bye for now.

Please be sure to leave me a review on Apple and don’t forget to send me your questions so I can answer them and give you a shout out on a future episode.

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