Linda Hertz Group

My Medical Device Sales Career

The new year brought new jobs and also many people who were laid off in January and February.  I guess some companies now wait until after the holidays to lower the boom!  I actually was surprised at the number of calls from those laid off and they came from an array of different medical companies.  At first, I felt very badly for the callers and they all said the same thing in a very quiet and somber voice;

"I was laid off earlier this week and I was just shocked, in fact too shocked to call you right away.  I still feel shocked and I guess I just feel numb.  I have never been unemployed let alone laid off, fired or whatever you want to call it.  I just worked so hard and for so long for this company.  I did not see this coming.  I was doing well and I thought I was a valued employee or at least I use to be."

As the calls poured in I could hear what I could not see in their faces.  One person, I'll call him Tom, simply said this when I picked up the phone,

"Linda, I just lost my job and I'm scared.  I'm over 50 years old and I have been at the same job for 15 years.  I won sales awards, even up through last year, I was doing well.  Now, I am just scared and I don't know what to do or where to start. I never thought I would be doing this at this age."

I quickly replied,

"Well I do."

Tom paused,

"What?"

I continued,

"I know what you need to do now, tomorrow, the next week and the next month and frankly what you should never stop doing until you are retired or perhaps even thereafter. Are you interested in finding out?"

That at least evoked a small chuckle from Tom and an affirmative reply.

I then went on to tell him the first thing he must do.  He must go ahead and not push away the feelings of shock, numbness, regret or whatever he is feeling on an emotional level.  This is a loss, a real loss on every level.  It's ok to feel terrible about this situation.  In his situation of long term employ, his co-workers were like family to him.  In fact, he spent more time at work with them than with his family, especially after eliminating sleep time from his agenda.  So of course he must acknowledge the loss and let it run its course, but HE MUST NOT LET THE LOSS RUN HIM OVER. I told him, please Don't let a job loss define you now and certainly not forever!

I shared with Tom what I know from my own personal experience and working with others.  Now I will share it with you, my readers.

A job loss can be freeing.  The handcuffs or what we use to called the golden handcuffs, especially if you had a defined pension plan, are now gone.  Yes, those handcuffs of any variety or strength have fallen off your wrists.  You have been rendered a free agent with nothing to lose and everything to gain as you venture forth to a new company or career. The loss has already been defined by your FORMER company.  Now begin to accept and embrace the job loss as a gateway to your future regardless of your station in life.  

Whether your are young, mid-career or late career, take a deep breath and begin the adventure of finding a job that will be better than the one you had before.

It is time to place yourself on the path to a brighter future or a lifestyle that is more conducive to your current needs vs. the needs you had at the time you picked that last company as your employer.  

Chances are, in hindsight, you may never have selected that company or job if you could turn back the hands of time. So take the knowledge you have accumulated during your employ and, with that wisdom, direct yourself to your future.

As I concluded my call with Tom, he reminded me that I was going to tell him what he should always do and never stop until his last breath.

I laughed as I replied that I thought I had, but I would try to summarize,

You need to stop being scared about a job loss, this most recent job loss or possible future ones.  Being afraid of a job loss usually means a person is looking backwards clinging to what he fears he will lose instead of looking ahead at the possibilities of career growth and embracing the adventures of what is new.

The silence on the other end of the phone gave me the permission to continue,

So Tom, you will find a new job, this I know.  So every day in that new job embrace it, learn what you can from it and challenge yourself to do the best you can while you work it, but don't cling to it like you are hanging on to it by the tips of your fingers dangling from a cliff.  

Approach your job and life as a springboard to the next opportunity.  Be willing to make the jump forward.

Now it was Tom's turn to laugh as he replied,

This time I was forced to make the jump, no that's not true, I was pushed out because, I guess, when one is jumping they have their sight on where they will land.  I may have been pushed out, but I am going to make the most of it.  I get it.  I need to adjust the way I am looking at this job loss.  I was afraid to leave and frankly, I should have left long ago.  I could see the writing on the wall.  If I used the approach you suggested I would have spring boarded long ago to a better opportunity. Those opportunities were there, but I was too afraid to make the jump.  

I repeated his earlier statement, "You were too afraid to leave."  He quietly said, "Yes."  So at least that fearful decision is gone, they made it for you.  He stepped right in, "Yes, and I won't ever allow myself to feel that way again with any company."  I simply replied, "Then perhaps you need to send your former manager a thank you note!"  We ended the conversation with a good laugh.  Tom will be fine and in fact, better than he ever has been.

©Linda Hertz, All Rights Reserved  

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Comment by Linda Hertz on April 16, 2015 at 10:07am

  • Susan Schardt
    Susan Schardt 1st
    RN CWCN CWS
    I'm there right now & couldn't agree more! I see this as a new adventure...the perfect job is out there for me (all of us)...never give up! I believe in the saying everything happens for a reason...
    2 months ago
  • Keith Clark
    Keith Clark 1st
    Senior Sales & Management Professional. Business Owner. Self-Employed.
    I have been there a few times in my life.
    2 months ago
  • Susan Koosha
    Susan Koosha 1st
    Nestle Infant Nutrition/ Gerber Medical Delgate
    Thanks Linda Hertz- it happens to all of us, until it happens to you, it is tough to understand.
    2 months ago
    • Linda Hertz
      Linda Hertz AUTHOR YOU
      Medical Sales Recruiter|Medical Device Sales Recruiter|Healthcare Recruiter|Nurse Recruiter|Medical Sales|Medical Resume
      Yes! You are right Susan and it happened to me 10 years ago. I am where I am today due to a Job Loss that became the best thing that ever happened to me; once I got over being scared!
      2 months ago
  • Marta Merlo
    Marta Merlo 1st
    Cardiovascular Sales Specialist at Covis Pharmaceuticals
    Well said Linda ! Embrace the change and look forward to new opportunities ! I have been laid off from Pharma several times and totally agree with your perspective ! A book I can recommend is "Our Iceberg is Melting" by John Kotter.
    2 months ago
  • Michael Koory
    Michael Koory 1st
    Senior Business Development Director at Sodexo
    If you need some career advice. Linda is one you can count on!
    2 months ago
Comment by Linda Hertz on April 16, 2015 at 10:06am

  • Jorell Allison
    Jorell Allison 2nd
    Vice President of Sales at California Family Fitness
    Most lose their positions/ careers for political reasons or budgeting purposes, and as some descibe it as "consolidating." As humans we get stuck in a rut and routine within business, that we all build our personal lives around it and when that business routine is disrupted, our personal life becomes a disarray. The remedy is canitations. Making the most of your personal and physical attributes will claim your success and mind. Most attempt to conquer their mindset with an affirmation, however, imagine one that controls and obtains a physical attribute admired by themselves and others. What would your physical being say to your mind? Bottom line is, you taking over your body then mind will take over your goals. If you want to know more, then contact me and I guarantee I will change your future to be so promising and profitable. I love proving optimistic people right; not proving pestimists correct. The indiviaduals who are to be proved wrong are probably a waste of time and money. I have and guarantee a recipe for profitability to anyone that is looking for a new path and career. All you have to do is contact me and I will guide you with such simple direction and fun. Sharing is success is equivalent to making money. Let's do this!
    2 months ago
  • Vincent Anderson
    Vincent Anderson 1st
    account manager/polk county,fl
    So motivating. Will definitely keep this in mind. Thank you
    2 months ago
  • Dave Rodigo
    Dave Rodigo 1st
    Regional Vice President- Olympus Endoscopy, Medical Systems Group
    Linda: Very nice article. Keep this type of information coming.
    2 months ago
  • Jennifer Foreman
    Jennifer Foreman 1st
    Medial Device Sales
    Great post Linda! I'm sure you have helped a lot of people with your great advice. I will keep that in mind if I ever face that situation. Thank you Linda!!!
    2 months ago
  • Adam Roberts
    Adam Roberts 1st
    Long Term Care Associate Sales Representative at Avanir Pharmaceuticals
    Great Post Linda!! If it had not been for my lay off I had endured in 2009 I would not be where I am today.
    2 months ago
  • Sean Moore
    Sean Moore 1st
    Vice President Sales / Vice President Marketing / Blogger (www.medexec.org) / Passionate about developing S&M leaders
    Great read Linda! I've always beleived you need to focus on the entrance of change not the exit of change. Keep writing! Best, Sean
    2 months ago
Comment by Linda Hertz on April 16, 2015 at 10:06am
  • Weaver Matt
    Weaver Matt 2nd
    Physical Therapist at Gentiva Home Care
    Fantastic article. I just went through this for the first time and it turned out to be a tremendous blessing for me and my family. Even though it was a very difficult process, I learned a lot about myself.....what truly is important to me, and how miserable I was when I HAD the job. For me it was a life-changing event that I was very fortunate to go through; but going through it is tough nonetheless.
    1 month ago
  • Chuck Williams
    Chuck Williams 1st
    Professional Medical Sales
    Thanks Linda! Spot on about basically looking forward instead of backwards-which at times has leaked into my usually positive mindset. Since being laid off, the challenge of finding my next job sometimes was hindered at "beating myself up" over the recent past job dismissal. Your inspiration had me feeling very optimistic!
    1 month ago
  • Rich Roppa
    Rich Roppa 1st
    Account Specialist Health Systems
    If you spoke to me recently you will agree that this is been my view for a long time. Take a deep breath and enjoy the pursuit of a great new career.
    1 month ago
  • Barbara Folb
    Barbara Folb 2nd
    Regional Director of Sales Northeast at Manukamed USA
    Very good advice. It's completely "normal" to feel sad about the loss of a job. It is a loss, but very often, it turns out to be the best thing that happens to a person. As a former recruiter and executive coach, I've personally experienced the pain of job loss. I can tell you that once the shock wears off you will get busy with your search. Approach your search like the job that it is. Build your network, and reach out to them. Don't be afraid. Create the best resume and cover letter you can. Most of all, realize that being laid off is not an indictment of you and your work. You will eventually work again, and it may very well be the best thing that ever happened to you!
    1 month ago
Comment by Linda Hertz on April 16, 2015 at 10:01am
  • Jill C. Schmidt

    Jill C.

    Jill C. Schmidt

    Medical Field Sales Professional Advancing Cutting-Edge Technology

    What great insight, support & compassion you have, Linda. Thanks for sharing these ideas in such a touching way & providing positive, kind, meaningful manners with which to handle this very difficult challenge. Life is a process, depicted so well by you in this post.

     Linda Hertz likes this
  • Jill C. Schmidt

    Jill C.

    Jill C. Schmidt

    Medical Field Sales Professional Advancing Cutting-Edge Technology

    Linda, I am sincerely in awe of your post. Your insight, kindness, compassion & support are so valuable to those in need! 
    You shine your light brightly to follow, as a gem in the midst of the murk, encouraging others to seek a silver lining in every cloud. Grateful for you & your post!!!

     Linda Hertz likes this
  • Linda Hertz

    Linda Hertz

    Medical Sales Recruiter|Medical Device Sales Recruiter|Healthcare Recruiter|Nurse Recruiter|Medical Sales|Medical Resume

    Top Contributor

    You are welcome Jill and I appreciate feedback! It helps me direct my future articles.

  • Denise LaGrange

    Denise

    Denise LaGrange

    Ocular Specialty Representative at Valeant Pharmaceuticals

    What an insightful article!

     Linda Hertz likes this

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