Linda Hertz Group

My Medical Device Sales Career

Is The New Job LOADED With Landmines For Your Career? 19 Things YOU MUST UNDERSTAND!

It happened again this week! I interviewed two people whose resumes WERE solid for a long time early in their career and then recently 5 years of hurt!  UGH, OUCH, BOOM and finally a THUD; multiple jobs within the last 5 years with a couple of job gaps added in as well!  “Yikes”, I thought to myself, “Duck and cover”!   I began to reflect upon this all too familiar story and the high quality of individuals that find themselves within it; many are veteran, award winning, medical device sales people who worked for excellent companies BEFORE their missteps. 

They tell me that they are still wondering what happened to their once wonderful career; they started out VERY solid (5 and 10 years of successful sales with one company) and then a misstep that led to another misstep…BOOM!   They are at risk of having a career that never gets back on track.  People who once made 150K to 200K 5 years ago are now trying to land the 100K job; how does one avoid these landmines?  Knowing where to step is a start! 

I wrote an earlier article on Career Strategy and how important it is to set goals and weigh each decision as it relates to obtaining those goals.  Many found that earlier article helpful, but requested specific metrics to help them evaluate a company and the job opportunity it presents.  Interestingly enough, many of these top people who hit landmines DID know their goals and thought they were making smart decisions that would lead to exceeding them!  The larger problem is that they had a very limited understanding about the job and sometimes even about themselves!

So how does one minimize the risk of landmines? By acquiring the skill sets that increase your chances of avoiding them:

Knowing how to measure the Reward and Risk of an opportunity by understanding business fundamentals and personal desires will reduce the overall risk of your career decisions.”

We cannot deny that some people just seem to have the Midas touch in life but trust me, after reviewing thousands of resumes, there are VERY FEW people in this category!  So let’s look at the foundation of making sound career decisions for the rest of us; it’s all about extrapolating and understanding the variables.


*Having an Understanding of…….

  1. Your current job security accurately and the health of your current employer.
  2. A startup companies true reward to risk (usually most people over calculate the reward and underestimate the risk)
  3. The health of a company’s Market Segment within an Industry (i.e.; down trodden pharma vs. medical device)
  4. The company’s overall financial strength (earnings, sales, R&D Investment, growth and etc.)
  5. Where the company has been (their past)
  6. Where the company is headed (the future)
  7. The Players (influencers within the company)
  8. The Company Culture (management style, turnover, stability, hunters, farmers and etc.)
  9. The current product and future products (the product pipeline)
  10. The new companies current Market Position and Competition
  11. Regulatory Risk (What, you don’t think government laws and reimbursement can’t put you out of business?)
  12. The Job being offered (territory size, travel, reason for opening, current billings and etc.)
  13. The Commission Plan and how it reflects corporate philosophy (they do go hand in hand!)
  14. Career growth opportunities within the company
  15. How this job will position you for future outside advancement with other companies if needed
  16. Your Direct Report Manager (all about your new future boss!)
  17. Thyself (the biggest landmine of all)
  18. Your significant other (if you have one)
  19. How to maneuver quickly out of a new situation if it blows up on you (have an out-plan)


The successful seem to have an acute understanding of measuring and understanding an opportunity as it relates to their goals and picking the winners and side stepping trouble.  That is not to say that they may call it wrong once in awhile, BUT if they do, they use these same skills to get themselves back in play and heading in the right direction.

When you look at the long laundry list of what you should understand to make a well informed decision on a job opportunity, no wonder so many people get it wrong!  Take the time to gain an understanding of the land before you quickly step out and take a new job; doing so may just prevent it from blowing up in your face! 

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Tags: career advice, company for you?, measure company strength


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Started by Devin Hanson in Ask Linda Jun 14, 2020. 0 Replies


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