Turbo-Charging your Career Beyond 2023


Pharmaceutical Marketing: Basic Concepts and Principles (2)
Pharm. Tunde Oyeniran

The wheel of 2023 is already running and we are in the third month. It is still appropriate to continue to look into making the most of our career.

Last time, we had these highlights:

  • You should be in the driver’s seat as far as managing and running your career is concerned.
  • Though growing your career requires patience, it doesn’t mean passive ‘waiting’ and “doing  nothing”
  • You need to develop a career development plan
  • There are three elements of a basic career development plan: The currents state/situation, the ideal future and the journey plan

We also listed strategies and tactics you can employ. Let’s examine some of these in detail:

  • Know yourself:

You probably already know the abilities, skills, capabilities and competences required for success now and in the next eight to ten years. You need a frank analysis and assessment of what you possess now and how you measure, compared to what you need on your way and when you get there. A good framework is SWOT analysis with respect to yourself and the requirement of the target role(s) in the pharma industry. Do this regularly, especially after each of your milestones and not later than one year, to uncover the gaps and double down on your areas of weakness.

  • Keep a record of your achievements:

As you progress through your career and start meeting your goals, it would be a useful idea to keep a record of all your achievements. Keeping a record of your achievements can be a handy way to stay focused on your goals as you have a clear idea of what goals have been achieved and which ones are next. This will be useful to you, if and when you present to your  boss as they will clearly see what you have achieved and will likely be impressed by your commitment and determination. Although the record of your achievements should be comprehensive, it doesn’t necessarily need to be complex. Something as simple as an excel spreadsheet will be more than enough to keep track.

  • Build and invest in your personal career capacity and competence:
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Nobody owes you your career, and not many people are overly concerned about your progress – except maybe your mentor or your immediate family. Even then, you are the most impacted, and should take responsibility for making it a reality.

First, focus on mastery. This is described as comprehensive knowledge or skill in a particular subject or activity, achieved by seeking a better version of yourself and aspiring to be as good, or better than the best in the field or role. It requires adopting a continuous self-development and improvement philosophy.

Mastery, according to Robert Greene, can be thought of as the unique way each of us can fully actualise our potential for greatness and enjoy a fulfilling life. It means everyday learning, attending relevant courses (free and paid for, online and offline), getting necessary degrees and certification, etc.

Second, look at your inventory of skills and abilities from perspective of economics—supply and demand: What are your skills? How valuable are those skills to employers? How rare are those skills in the workforce? Focus on skills that are both valuable, rare and in high demand. For the pharma industry, these understanding drugs and how they work, body systems, knowledge of big-segment and emerging diseases, pharmaceutical product knowledge,  drug systems, pharmaceutical marketing/branding, personal selling skills, relationship marketing, etc. These, by the way, are just the hard skills. Soft skills, such as communication and leadership, are in high demand too but increasingly in short supply.

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This cannot be left for your company to do for you. Be prepared to invest in yourself.

  • Get your motivation from inside

In the long run, external motivation won’t be enough to keep you going. You are the best person, from the inside of you, that can provide the necessary motivation for the achievement of your objectives. You get help from your focus on mastery, your intermediate objectives and the final prize. This way, you will not be distracted by your environment, your boss, your company and its policies, inadequate resources, or other inconveniences.

  • Create a visible personal brand of value

Though it may make you uncomfortable if you are hearing it for the first time, I have something you need to bear in mind: you are not employed for things you will benefit from the company but for your contribution towards value creation for the company.

So, a critical way to grow and keep growing is to be been seen to create value for the firm, continuously and continually. Make suggestions, take initiatives, and support your boss and other executives to achieve their mandate, even if it may be outside your expected role.

Turbo-Charging your Career in 2023


You can also do any of these:

  • Set and surpass higher-than-expected productivity targets.
  • Push new products harder than the rest.
  • Sell short-dated/difficult product(s) better than other MSRs.
  • Find new ways to make existing sales/marketing processes more efficient.
  • Become the go-to person for something – product knowledge, recruitment of KOL, online/social media marketing, or industry/competitor news and information.
  • Generate ideas every time on how the corporate plans, direction, and  policies will work well or better.
  • Volunteer for assignments outside your typical responsibilities.

Each of these examples offers a way for you to differentiate yourself and demonstrate your value. When the time comes to apply for a promotion, either internally or externally, you’ll stand above the rest of the competition.

By the way, an intrinsic part of your brand is the way you dress, how you talk and what you talk about in the work environment. Poor dressing, bad attitude, lousy talk, too much talking, constantly leading opposition to company ideas, directives and policies, etc. will only hurt your career progression.

Tunde Oyeniran, B Pharm. MBA, a Sales/Marketing Strategist, Selling/Sales Management Trainer and Personal Sales Coach is the Lead Consultant, Ekini White Tulip Consulting Limited, Lagos; and President, The Society for Pharmaceutical Sales and Marketing of Nigeria. 

We deliver Training, Recruitment and Field Force Management Solutions .Feedback Channels: 080-2960-6103 (SMS/WhatsApp) /ekiniwhitetuliptraining@gmail.com or check out https://fb.me/EkiniWhiteTulipConsulting 


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