Enjoy the heck out of your job

September 1, 1998
Pharmaceutical Representative

Little stress-relievers help you have fun in the field everyday.

With the constant change and accompanying stress involved in our jobs, it is especially important to focus on really enjoying our chosen careers. When you are happy, you radiate a glow that your customers and coworkers readily see and pass on. Here are some suggestions on how to make each and every day a fun-filled experience.

Start your day on an enjoyable note. Turn the radio on while you take your shower in the morning. Take 10 minutes before you attack the pile of work on your desk to read some inspiration material. You'll find that by giving something back to yourself, it will give you new ideas on how to attack your day. Instead of a pile of problems on your desk, you might instead find a stack of challenges.

If you need a break during the day, call a friend. Five minutes chatting with someone you want to talk to can restore your will to again make small talk with the nurse who thinks your sole purpose in life is to provide her with an endless supply of bagels. This will restore your faith in human communication and give you a good chance to have a laugh or two.

For a change, do your paperwork in a coffee shop instead of at home at your desk. Variety spices things up and frees you from feeling overwhelmed. Most of us now have laptops and cellular phones. Enjoying a latté while figuring out how to target that new physician not only makes you more inspired but makes your day a lot nicer. It also gets you out of your regular routine, and this alone can provide you with some new ideas.

Take up a hobby that you can share with your customers. Find something that both you and your physician can enjoy. The possibilities are endless and it will give you common ground and build trust. Golf is the ideal thing in our industry to pursue. You can have a much larger presence on the golf course than you can have in the office. If you lack skill, take lessons or classes to get better. It will give you and your physicians two to four hours with nothing else to do but get to know each other better.

Some other suggestions are tennis, bicycling, cooking, photography, literature and wines. You will be surprised at how much your physicians are also looking for a break, and the benefits to your professional relationship are countless. You'll make contacts and friends that you wouldn't make in 50 office calls.

Listen to tapes in the car. Try to listen to at least one side of a tape per day. As corny as it sounds, with a solitary job like ours, you need a cheerleader to remain inspired and give you new ideas.

Think of the time per day that you spend in your car. Most of us spend as much time in the car as we spent in our classes during college. Think of all the things you could learn during that time. Speaker Tony Robbins might not have all the answers, but he probably has more to offer than Michael Bolton.

Use your expense account. Make use of the tools you are given. It is a heck of a lot easier to convince someone to give your product a try after they have stuffed their face with good food you brought. When was the last time you were thrown out of an office while being pelted with the doughnuts you brought? If this happens to you often, lay off the jelly-filled.

Learn four jokes. Hone them until you are comfortable. Everybody likes a good joke. Once somebody laughs, they let their guard down and ingest some of the information you are giving them. In addition, laughter makes you feel good and gives you confidence that will show throughout the call.

Make sure that your jokes are not offensive or dirty in any way. As much as a good joke can help you, a bad one can get you thrown out of an office forever. Try jokes on your colleagues first if you are uncertain. For example, here is a joke I had some success with:

"St. Peter is at the gates of Heaven deciding who is worthy to be let in. In front of him are three individuals - a doctor, a lawyer and a health maintenance organization administrator. St. Peter asks the doctor, "Why should I let you into Heaven?" The doctor replies, "Well, I've spent my life trying to help people and cure the sick and that's why I should be let into Heaven." St. Peter replies, "Well that's a good reason. You can come into Heaven." St. Peter then asks the lawyer, "Why should I let you into Heaven?" The lawyer replies, "Well I admit that earlier in my life I wasn't that good of a person but later on in life, I donated all my money to charity and gave free legal advice to the poor so that's why I think I should be let into Heaven." St. Peter replies, "Well, that's a good reason, you can come into Heaven." Next, St. Peter asks the HMO administrator, "Why should I let you into Heaven?" The HMO administrator replies, "I tried to do the best I could at my job and worked hard everyday." St. Peter replies, "Well you can come into Heaven too, but you can only stay for three days."

Share your personal life. Even if you look perfect, act perfect and live a perfect life, let doctors and nurses see your not-so-perfect side. It's important to let them know that your dog Barney is sick and puked all over your comforter. It humanizes you and makes your customer a little more willing to tell you that's what happens to patients when they take your drug.

Relax and have fun

Take to heart some of these suggestions and you will find your job becomes a joy. Jobs that are fun make you and your customers happier. Sit back and think about how good we have it: We aren't stuck at desks all day long, we get to eat good food for free, we drive free cars and our boss isn't with us all day long. Enjoy it! Be good to yourself, have fun and watch your sales and spirit grow. PR