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3 Ways to Avoid Having a “Groundhog Day” MSL Career

Great MSL Career paths include being proactive, learning new skills, and not repeating past missteps.

The unfortunate reality is that many workers throughout the world end up with careers akin to the movie “Groundhog Day.”  A few career missteps and before you know it seems like you’re living the same nightmare over and over again. We’ll help you skip the nightmare with 3 ways to avoid having a Groundhog Day MSL career.

1. Be Proactive

At the foundation of this topic is the mindset of taking matters into your own hands. Be proactive and create your career rather than letting it create you. Many people are currently working at companies in subpar situations. Perhaps the company doesn’t utilize the MSL team appropriately or perhaps there is nothing but bad signs for the company’s stability. Yet you’d be surprised how often people take the “I’ll wait and see” approach. Why waste precious days of your career watching things go south?

By being proactive, you can find yourself a better position quickly and you won’t let a potential dream position slip by you because the timing didn’t feel right.

If the problem isn’t so much the company itself but more related to something like your career path at the company, or your job description not being fulfilling enough, you can still be proactive by seeking out projects or by asking your supervisor for unique ways to contribute. There are various ways you can make things happen rather than wait for them to happen.

2. Seek out new skillsets

One of the topics that always intrigues me is hearing about MSLs’ personal preferences for specializing versus diversifying in the therapeutic areas they work in. Some MSLs want to be as proficient in an area, like neurology, as possible while others will want to hit on as many therapeutic areas as they can throughout their career. Neither side is wrong in this spectrum, but if you’re feeling like your career is in a rut, perhaps it’s time to change things up!

Other ways to try out new skillsets would take a position that requires you to present to managed care audiences more often.

Or take a position with a different territory. Bigger, smaller, or with new states.

Or you could take a position that finally will allow you to launch a product. Conversely, maybe you’ve launched enough product for three lifetimes and now it’s time to pick up more pre-launch experience.

3. Don’t fall for the same traps over and over again

Lastly, and perhaps most obviously, learn from past mistakes and don’t force yourself into the same problems repeatedly. Have you learned that big pharma isn’t for you? Have you taken one too many chances on start-up companies, have now experienced your third layoff in three years? Or maybe you thought oncology was the direction you needed you needed to take your career, but it’s just not feeling like the right fit now? Life is too short to let an inadequate career bring you down. It might be worth it to take a calculated risk or two in your career. You just might stumble into a situation that you’ll love more than you realized you would.

Let us know if you found 3 Ways to Avoid Having a Groundhog Day MSL Career helpful, and please share!

Author: Lawrence Beck, CPC

Lawrence joined SEMbio in 2011 and is a team leader in recruiting and business development. He attended Texas Tech University on a path that led him to obtain his Master’s degree in Sports Management which provides Lawrence a unique perspective as a recruiter.


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