IPhO Coach's Corner!

Welcome to the IPhO Coach's Corner

This column will examine some of the most challenging and intriguing professional development issues and opportunities that arise in the pharmaceutical industry. Our industry-savvy coaches will tackle some of the toughest topics from the perspective of both the employer and employee. We are committed to addressing each article in a professional and balanced way, and to providing our members with practical and valuable professional advice.

I am pleased to be serving as a regular contributor to the IPhO Coach's Corner. On behalf of my fellow contributors, we look forward to starting a meaningful dialogue with you as trusted advocates for your career.

For me this will be an opportunity to continue doing what I love most -- supporting the development and advancement of pharmacists in this exciting industry of which I am so fortunate to be a part!

Please read the articles below designated as "Coach's Corner" and be sure to "join the conversation" by commenting and engaging in the dialogue that follows each article.

Jerry E. Silverman, RPh, CCP
IPhO VP, Professional Development and Coaching

Coach's Corner!
Getting the Most From a Professional Coach!

Jerry Silverman, RPh, CCP, IPhO VP, Professional Development & Coaching

Recently, I had the pleasure of coaching a young highly motivated and committed professional industry pharmacist who wanted to change industry tracks to eventually pursue opportunities in marketing.

For me, it’s always important to take the necessary time to thoroughly understand my clients’ professional background and history before moving on to establish appropriate short, medium, and long term career goals. He had strong clinical and analytical experiences throughout his pharmacy rotations and was able to secure a 24-month contracted position in drug safety upon graduation. Now as he began to explore new industry opportunities, it became clear that he was drawn to job positions in marketing and where there was significant scientific, clinical, and creative collaboration. In discussing this with him, I impressed upon him that going directly from a clinical position to marketing would require a step wise approach encompassing one or two progressions to make it possible.

I recommended that he open his search to medical communications and pharma advertising companies who are built around developing scientifically accurate, clinically appropriate creative messages that support the marketing of pharmaceutical products. Being a part of this type of organization in any function would be an important step in building his foundation in healthcare marketing.

Next, we re-worked his CV/ Resume, as it was not generating any leads. We customized, and translated his key experiences and skills to specific language and likely responsibilities within an agency's organization.

This required a few sessions together online and a lot of back and forth e-mail. But the results were worth it as he got a lot of traction from prospective employers in a short period of time.

Everything came together at one time as phone and online interviews occurred that led to onsite interviews and multiple offers. We prepared for his interviews and reviewed multiple offers with regards to their quantitative benefits and more importantly which offer would best put him on the right track to achieve his longer-term professional goals.

Often times my coaching will begin and end with revising a CV/Resume, but in this case and to my pleasure, the client wanted my help to also target specific types of companies, prepare for interviews, and evaluate job offers.

While there are never guarantees when using any type of service, I am committed to providing expert and thoughtful one-on-one attention and appreciation for my client’s hopes and dreams every step of the way!

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Coach's Corner!
Having A Resume With You At MidYear Can Be Very Beneficial!

While most student pharmacists applying for Fellowships are required to provide their CV, that doesn't mean that they should not have a 1-2 page resume and bring it with them to midyear.

Midyear interviews are usually no more than 30-45 minutes and often shorter. Industry sponsor companies are interviewing non-stop from 9am-5pm throughout midyear. This results in both interviewees and interviewers getting fatigued. If you bring copies of your resume to midyear and offer it to the interviewer initially and ask them if it would be easier for to conduct the interview with the shorter resume version, they are very likely to say yes! This will make the interview easier for them and easier for you. The benefit of a 2-page resume over a multi-page CV is that it allows you to include only the most industry-relevant information. Inclusion of every single pharmacy practice experience no matter how irrelevant it may be to industry is not necessary in a resume.

While use of CVs is common in academia, it is less often used by industry employers. Therefore I recommend having both.

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Coach's Corner!
The New “Virtual” Reality: It's Friday…Where Are My Co-Workers?

If you can’t work with others remotely, you can’t perform your job well. Not withstanding the growing legions of employees who work from home on a consistent basis, every company, every employee, every project team has staff from time-to-time that is working remotely.

Why has this become so commonplace? Because technology has enabled it and employers are allowing it! Employers may not be embracing it on a full-time basis, but if it means that an employee can make a significant contribution rather than missing all or part of a work day, then it is considered acceptable.

However, there are many challenges on both sides of this equation that take careful practice in order to maintain individual, team and project productivity.

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Coach's Corner!
Five Common E-Mail Mistakes

We’ve all made them. It can be very embarrassing to make mistakes in your email communications. At a minimum, you can appear sloppy and unprofessional. At a maximum, you can expend some hard earned professional capital. Unfortunately, since we spend an ever-increasing amount of time emailing our peers, supervisors, and staff, the odds of mistakes happening are significant.

Recent data from a 2011-2015 E-mail Statistics Report by The Radicati Group, a technology market research firm, states that on average, the corporate employees send and receive105 e-mail messages per day.

E-mail mistakes can hurt your reputation and upset customer and peer relationships. In this column, we'll look at 5 of the most common e-mail mistakes, and provide some practical tips to avoid them.

Mistake 1: Not Editing Your Work

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Coach's Corner!
Have You Done a SWOT Analysis on Your Professional Career?

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.

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Coach's Corner!
Company Politics: Observe and be careful; don't get distracted from the work at hand

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.

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