As i am sat here typing this, i'm still in such shock and disbelief that i'm even lucky enough to be typing this at 21 years old, having only graduated a month ago. I basically got one of the best phone calls of my life yesterday, telling me that i'd landed my dream job as a Pharmaceutical/Medical Sales Representative (think the film: love and other drugs), and even though i am still so young and fresh out of uni, it has still felt like a long time coming as i've dreamt about landing this kind of role since i was 17. I thought i'd write this blog post to inspire you to never give up on your dreams, be it a job or a destination you really want to visit etc. and so i am going to share my personal story with you on basically how i achieved this role and how damned hard i worked for it and how hard work and determination will pay off. So please take a seat with a hot cuppa as this is going to be a loooooong ass post!
It basically started when I was in sixth form and everyone was pressured into choosing their degree choices within a matter of months for final, no matter how ready or not you were. I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do and definitely went into a mini panic about having to choose something so final that it would potentially impact the whole of my career. I looked at the subjects i was strong in and took a step back to think what it was particularly about those subjects that interested me, and it came to me that i loved studying how the body works but also had an interest in illness that affect the body and i became fascinated by how medicines can actually go from reliving a headache... to killing cancer in a person's body. That lead me to study Pharmacology at uni: the study of how drugs interact with our body and the development of new drugs.
However even after choosing this, i knew that i didn't want a career in a lab, studying and experimenting with drugs to treat incurable diseases, and that i actually wanted a role where i can talk to people and be more the face of a company that can really help people. That lead me to researching into a pharmaceutical representative, where you are the face of a drugs company and you travel constantly around the country to present to doctors, pharmacists, nurses etc about your drug/medical product and how amazing it is...basically. So at 17 i decided that i wanted to do just that, i wanted to travel for my job as to me there was no worse idea than sitting in an office all day being bored out of my mind and i wanted to be constantly meeting and talking to new people, but also selling them something which could really benefit someone's life and also have the drug/medical knowledge to be able to talk about the product.
So i went to uni with what i wanted to do exactly in my mind and i worked damn hard for 3 years to achieve a 2:1. it took dedicating my whole life to labs and the library and having to learn ridiculously hard chemistry and biology to get there. I even got a job in sales part time during my degree, not really for the money but mostly for the experience with talking to customers with a persuasive manner and to learn the techniques of selling and acting professionally.
When i was finishing up uni and i had my operation where i was in hospital for a week, i very nearly had to postpone my exams a whole year as no one thought i would be well enough to resit them, however i took it as an obstacle i simply had to overcome. I imagined myself in my dream job and sitting those exams as soon as possible was how i knew i had to get there, so i worked my ass off revising for my exams before i could even stand up and walk properly and i felt such a wave of relief and pure happiness when i heard it had all paid off.
After graduating a whole new struggle had began that i was completely unfamiliar with: the job hunt. I, along with millions of other graduates now found ourselves in exactly the same position, all competing for the same jobs. Before all this, i was pretty cocky as i had actually never failed an interview or anything similar in my whole life, so i thought this kind of thing would be a doddle. Oh how wrong i was! I went to countless assessment days where you are assessed on your selling skills, group workshop assessments and competency based interviews (not your typical questions) as the role i was going for was extremely hard and specialised to break into and i had no idea that it wouldnt just be a simple interview. My very worst interview was spending a day with 30 other graduates, all competing for general sales jobs, so not even the job i wanted and we were basically assessed on the stupidest group circumstances and they cut people and send you home part way through the day, which happened to me. Usually i wouldn't want to bash a company on my blog as its somewhere where i want to spread positivity but i also want to warn you of companies who do this as it makes you feel so little and insignificant and a failure and i didn't even get to be interviewed! So please, if you have an interview at BMS recruitment company, be prepared for that sort of unfair treatment. However i picked myself up and went to countless more interviews and stages, as it takes around 4 intense stages of interviews to even land one role. So sometimes i'd find myself getting so far at the 3rd stage and then getting a call saying i hadn't made it to the last stage. This feels extremely frustrating and even left me questioning whether i was even cut out for the role as i was struggling to feel confident in interviews anymore.
However i thought to myself 'this is what you've wanted since you were 17, nothing that means a lot ever comes easy' and for some reason, all the rejection and sadness i felt i suddenly converted to drive and i used all the rejection and constructive criticism and i used it to drive myself, suddenly feeling super competitive that every company i interviewed for NEEDED me and i used every interview as an opportunity to really make myself heard and remembered. This was such a powerful change and i think it definitely came across in my interviews, as a few days after i was actually offered 2 roles at the same time! And this literally came out of nowhere. I even had one interviewer ring me a few hours after my interview and he rambled on for a good 15mins about how amazing i was in the interview and that he needed to have me work for them! I couldn't believe it. So here i sit, with my company car, phone and laptop arriving tomorrow and my hotel booked and paid for by my company for training next week and i suddenly feel very grown up and super proud that i worked and never gave up to get to this point, and i'm only 21!
What i'm really trying to say is never give up on your dreams, sounds corny but life is for living and to always be striving to be a better version of yourself and use every obstacle, hurdle and rejection to fuel and drive you even more towards your goal.
I hope i haven't rambled on too long but good luck and i hope this helped some of you in a similar situation to not give up!