Recently, I received a note from a vendor after giving him some critical feedback. He wrote: “I take a lot of pride in my work and in my business, and even though it is difficult to hear negative comments upon completion of a job, I respect and appreciate your honesty. Your feedback will go a long way in helping me grow my business.” What a great response to my comments. Would you respond in a similar manner if you heard criticism about your work?
“The last few decades have belonged to a certain kind of person with a certain kind of mind — computer programmers who could crank code, lawyers who could craft contracts, MBAs who could crunch numbers. But the keys to the kingdom are changing hands.” - A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future by Daniel Pink
Maintaining an up-to-date professional action plan can be the difference between moving forward, languishing, or falling behind. Regardless of whether you have had the same industry position for a short or a long time, it can be very useful to apply a well-known business process, the “SWOT” analysis, to your own career. It can help put you on the right course for continued professional and financial rewards.
When each of us were in pharmacy school, we burned the midnight oil to learn molecular structures, drug interactions and medical therapeutics (how could we ever forget Goodman and Gilman!). We relied on our intelligence ("IQ") to pull us through those challenges so that we might earn the title of R.Ph. or Pharm.D.
Virtually all employees of small, medium, and large business have at one point or another been involved in a poorly run meeting. Maybe it was the location - a room designed to seat 10 comfortably for a meeting of 30 people. Maybe it was an inappropriate group of attendees - a key participant being left off the invite or several unnecessary invitees. Or maybe it was something more subtle - the meeting organizer not taking charge of the meeting, allowing side conversations to dominate. The list of items that can spoil a meeting is long indeed. And the list of consequences is even longer.
Networking isn't something you do. It's part of everything you do.
Too often we neglect our network because we view it as an independent "to-do" and as such it usually falls lower on the list of priorities. A better way to think of it is that building relationships is at the core of all business interactions and processes. You can only accomplish so much on your own without the help of others. You might get your first promotion or two because you were technically skilled at what you do, but what about promotion to leadership roles or securing responsibility for the department's key project? Approach it by asking yourself, how do you motivate someone to help you complete your projects and deliverables? At the core of this is building and proactively maintaining relationships with your colleagues. For best results, take a customer service approach to daily interactions with your colleagues. Focus on detecting your internal customer's needs, and exceed them one conversation at a time.
Being able to present in front of a group of people is a skill we begin developing from an early age. If you think back, your first experience "presenting" may have been in front of a group of elementary school classmates for "show and tell." As we grow and learn and ultimately enter the workforce, it seems that for many us our presentation skills have lagged behind other areas of growth and development. For professionals in the pharmaceutical industry, presenting information to a group of people is part of the fabric of our business. From clinical study results, to investigator meetings, to sales force training, to business plan presentations, the list goes on and on. People who embrace the art of presenting are able to leverage this strength to help move up the career ladder. In this article we'll provide some common issues that presenters face and some tips for overcoming them.
Corporate management is much more than making the bottom line more attractive to customers and investors. It means creating an atmosphere in which employees are motivated and unified with doing their part in taking the company forward. There are endless programs out there that are designed to help companies reach this goal, but the simple truth of the matter is that if corporate management is not promoting, encouraging and fostering this kind of environment, then it will never succeed. Leadership starts at the top, and it is important that they have their act together if they hope their employees will follow suit.
Do you have a sense of how other people view you when they first meet you? Do you really know what others in your professional world think of you, even after years of being in a relationship with them? Do you realize what messages, spoken and unspoken, you are sending every single day? Have you thought about this? If you haven't already done so, it's time to pay attention to the direct and indirect messages you send. Your promotion may depend on it.
You can't ignore company politics. It's really hard to get the hang of it, regardless of the stage of your career. Whether you are just starting your industry career, changing positions, or somewhere in between, mastering this particular professional development skill is very challenging. There are many competent and experienced industry professionals who have difficulty with company politics. So for everyone reading this, take a deep breath and prepare to get on a roller coaster ride as we explore the topic of all topics that can either undermine or propel your industry career several times over.