Inventing your future

February 1, 1999
K. C. Warner
K. C. Warner

K.C. Warner is a market impact specialist who works with pharmaceutical sales training departments to increase market share and management performance. She can be reached at Warner Development at (800) 845-6108 or via e-mail at KCWarner@ WarnerDevelopment.com.

Pharmaceutical Representative

Define your success.

As an experienced pharmaceutical representative, do you feel challenged to manage ongoing change while predicting the future in your territory? Do you sometimes feel that your work is worthwhile and other times feel that it is a waste of time? Do you wonder about your company's corporate and district goals and how they fit with your personal goals?

High achievers consistently say that one key indicator is a proactive stance toward planning the future. They do not let outside influences get in the way of their desired endpoint. Achievers define, plan and reinforce their success.

This article is the first in a series of three articles that will outline how to invent your future in pharmaceutical sales. In this first article, we will discuss how to define your success. In the next two articles, we will outline how to plan for and how to reinforce your future in pharmaceutical sales. Let's get started with the definition.

We define the future for ourselves. We define our preferred future because we use our values to set the foundation. We step outside of mediocrity and decide that we don't have to be in the middle of quota. We lead.

You outline your future when you define what success means to you. What are you attempting to accomplish? Why should one activity take priority over another? Ask yourself, "Is this the direction that I want to take my career and my personal life?" and "What will my future look like?"

The Future

We are all intrigued with the future and what we think it will look like, especially in today's dynamic pharmaceutical environment. Wouldn't it be nice if you could predict the future of your products? Wouldn't it be nice to be able to predict what it requires to succeed in the future health care environment?

You can define your future in pharmaceutical sales. You can decide what you want your career to be next week and 10 years from now.

Does this sound impossible? We hear so much about the future of health care in the news, at district meetings and from our customers. Capitation, re-engineering, integration, expansion and technology all make the future sound uncertain. It's easy to feel discouraged. But what if we are about to embark on an entirely new and exciting time in the field? Everyone has predictions, but no one knows exactly what will happen. This is the exciting part. The possibilities are endless.

What is your vision of your future career? What is it that you value so much that it will cause you to step out of your comfort zone and reach beyond what you know? These are your dreams, your definition of the future. This is why you are here. Your future can be anything that you define through your values.

Values

Values align us and encourage us to work for common goals. They define our purpose. They explain what we stand for and what we stand against. When we use values to clearly define what we stand for, our attention focuses on these values. Our reality changes when our attention changes. By changing our attention, therefore, we change our reality.

What are your core values? Integrity? Courage? Excellence? Customer focus? Read the sidebar if you need help selecting your personal values.

The practical way to define your future is to select two words that represent your career now and two words that represent your career in the future. Begin by defining the ideal three values that are important to you. When you apply these values to your career, then the picture of your future becomes clear. You have defined the type of workplace that you value.

You have taken this initiative before. You defined a project and drove it to completion. For example, you accomplished this in school. You were able to define a desired endpoint (a great job in pharmaceutical sales) and made plans to achieve the goal. Then you did it. You made it happen, but only after you defined the foundation of the goal.

Values set the foundation for your future. By selecting your core values, you will be able to achieve greater field impact, lead a more balanced life, be recognized for your contributions and feel more fulfilled when you achieve your definition of success.

It takes commitment to define, plan, and reinforce your future in pharmaceutical sales. It is your choice. You can have a future of chance or strategy. Begin by defining it now. PR

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