Ep 261 Breaking Into Neuromodulation
Join me today as I talk about breaking into Neuromodulation. I have been talking to a number of folks recently with these common areas of conversation. Be sure to listen even if you are not looking for the medical device field – the tools and concepts I discuss can always be applied to your life in some way.
In This Episode:
- Breaking into neuromodulation industry with tips for success. 0:00
- Adapting to the demands of medical sales work. 4:55
- Work-life balance and neuromodulation jobs. 10:29
- Medical device sales and patient interactions. 16:12
- Breaking into neuromodulation industry with insights on skills and tools. 21:1
- On the socials: @michellebourquecoaching
Episode Transcript: (Transcribed by OtterAI with minimal edits)
You are listening to the it’s your time podcast, and I’m your host certified life coach Michelle Arnold Bourque. In today’s episode I’m discussing breaking into neuromodulation.
Welcome to the it’s your time Podcast, the podcast, we’re busy professionals, like you get the practical solutions and support you need to gain control of your schedule. So you can strive to be the best in your career, but without the stress and overwhelm. If you’re looking to increase your energy and decrease your stress, you are in the right place.
Hello, hello, hello, welcome back to the podcast friends, how’s everyone doing today on this last Thursday in October, what in the actual heck, it’s your time. And it seems like it’s flying by, in my opinion, holy smokes. And it’s the end of our quarter, you know, the most important quarter in history. So there’s always an added bit of energy that goes with that. It’s always so much fun. But what I wanted to do today was talk to you about breaking into neuromodulation, I have been talking to a number of folks who are interested in getting started in medical device sales and or a clinical specialist role. And we just completed our interview process and have a new, amazing teammate that we will be adding soon. And I thought it might just be fun to kind of recap some of the things that we encountered during our process and also share with you some tips and tools and ideas that I have been sharing with a lot of different people. And this way, we can just have it all in one space. And what I want you to do, if you are not interested in breaking into neuromodulation is to keep listening, because I am going to talk about some of the tools and concepts that we use as far as my management and energy. And then I want you to think about how you can apply it to your job because there are definitely going to be parallels. So number one, it’s so interesting, when I start talking to people and ask if they know anybody who’s interested in the job, one of the first things they usually will say is that person has a good personality, to which I kind of think in my mind, there’s a lot of people who have really good personalities, and I think would also probably hate the job. And I will say as a side note, one of the things that I always kind of chuckle about is I had a manager years ago who would have people reach out to me who are interested in applying for positions as they came up, which they often do. So stay tuned. And as we talked, the people would never end up calling back. And so he was like, What are you saying to them? I’m telling them the truth, right? I mean, in all fairness to everyone involved in this situation, we want people who know what they’re getting into. And of course, you look at, you know, the socials and all of the media that you see it talks about how great medical devices and get into the industry and make the money and help the patients and this company is great. And that company is great, which is all true. And remember, I talked about the use of and, and last week’s episode and many others, but there is always an and there are parts to the job that just aren’t for everyone. And so that’s kind of where I like to lead the conversation. I feel like if you’ve gotten to the point of reaching out to want to talk about getting into the industry, you know all the good things, right? That’s what you’re excited about. So I just like to ensure that we have the full picture. Now when we were looking for our person, and I think this is going to be across the board, right? People want people on their team who are going to be hard workers. Now I talk about the idea around hustle, and how Listen, I love the energy of hustle. But I don’t want us hustling with the idea that that makes you any more or less worthy. Hustle does not equate to worthiness, just like your sales numbers do not equate to your worthiness, you are worthy. Now what? Right, you get to work. And so we need to have somebody that is willing to put in the work. In fact, I was talking to one of my doctors about this. And he was telling me a story how someone he knew was in the interview process. And the person coming to the interview, asked them what the minimum amount of work was that would be needed in order to hold the position. Are you kidding me people? I mean, listen, I am all about slowing down in order to speed up. But when I talk about that, I’m talking about it from like a strategic standpoint, right? Oftentimes, especially in this industry, people like to be busy, busy, busy and say they just don’t have time for anything because they’re so busy and overwhelmed. Which is not always the case. Busyness does not always mean productive. It does not always mean strategic. So I want us to have someone who is willing to put in the work meaning, I mean, just from the start right the training process can be like a fire hose. I think that first year can be totally crazy. And although been in this for a while I do remember the first year, I was ready to leave because I thought this job is crazy. Because I didn’t know some of the important things I didn’t know the ideas around time, and not knowing your schedule until the day before. So if you are someone who loves and needs structure around time, probably not necessarily the best option for you, you find out your schedule the afternoon before. And I will tell you, even when you wake up on that morning, and you think you are doing XYZ, it could definitely change in an instant. In fact, things such as people calling you saying, Hey, we put on another case. And then I will say great, when is it at two? Which they reply now? Like what? Okay, so what do you need to have as another skill set, you need to be able to reprioritize. So in that moment, you need to shift the day and figure out as a team who is going where, and who is doing what this is where your mindset comes into play, because for so many new people, including myself, listen, everything I talked about is because it probably has been something that I’ve gone through thinking, I can’t believe this happen. I should know about this, why didn’t anybody tell me like none of that matters, you get to work on figuring out how you’re going to get it taken care of. Because at the end of the day, it’s a patient that’s looking to have something done, that will make them better in some manner, right. So the drama is not necessary. And there can be so much drama in this job specific to even keeping in line with the idea of time, you may think that you are leaving your house at 5am to get to a case that starts at seven 730. And then you arrive and find out that your elective case has been bumped. And so now you’re not starting until 1112. One, and guess what, you have to stick around like you don’t get to just say, oh, sorry, that doesn’t work schedule. So in that time that you’re sitting there waiting, what can you do, one of the things that I often see people do is get super frustrated and start texting the team about how they can’t believe that they’re delayed, and this shouldn’t be happening. And they should have had a warning. And on and on. That doesn’t serve any purpose, right? This is where your mindset is so important where it comes into play. Because in those hours that you’re waiting, guess what, instead of texting, you could also be doing expense reports, reaching out to other doctors, planning dinner meetings, doing tests, anything that is going to move the needle in the direction of a the life you want to create and be maybe hitting your numbers and actually enjoying your job a little bit more. So thinking about that, as far as time sometimes, you know, people will also come to me and say, I’m looking for a job where I can have good work life balance. Number one, you know, I do not subscribe to the idea of work life balance. To me, that means that there’s like a 5050 right balance is kind of it’s even an I think it’s more work life integration. Michelle Bourque 8:12 And if you can come to the table with that idea that you know, there are going to be days that are 1415 hours long. And there are days that maybe you don’t have that many patients on the schedule, maybe it’s five or six or seven hours that you’re actually out, you need to be able to recognize and those moments, right on those days when it’s not quite busy. Pay attention to that because our brain likes to focus on the I had to work late last night. And you don’t necessarily always immediately go to the reminder of I had a really light day the other day, that is where we need to be intentional. So time, if I do not tell it to you over and over and over again, please hear me now, knowing that the time is not like any other job as far as nine to five as far as being able to just leave whenever you want to. That is super important because that is a big thing that gets many people initially. Okay, next thing kind of in line with that is the ability to be flexible. The ability to change, change, change, change is the one constant and this job. A lot of times people will say like how are you still doing that same role to which I say it’s never the same role. Literally day to day is always different, which can for some people be a challenge, but it can also be the beauty of the job. Being able to have that flexibility is so important. And it is kind of hysterical because back to like the ideas that you get on the socials. I remember seeing this one person posting about how great medical device sales was and how he was able to to go home and play with his dog every day, and I’m thinking, what, what, what kind of device are you doing that you just have time to go home and play with your dog. I mean, sometimes, sometimes people think that this is like your home most of the time, sometimes you’re out that is not true. So for anyone getting into it, know that you are in the field a lot, and you need to be flexible. In addition to that, I also discuss the idea around being solutions oriented. And I think this is for so many jobs, right? The both the flexibility, the time, the work life balance concepts being solutions oriented, this is for so many jobs. And I think, if I might just take a minute here and reiterate again, that work life integration versus work life balance for so many women, especially, is important. Because, you know, through the years, like women back in the day, right, were to stay home and take care of the house and the kids and all that. And then I think it was around World War Two, when the men were out, and then the women actually had to go to work. And then they started making money, right? And then they seem to, I don’t know, enjoy the money, maybe. So now we have women who are working, and somehow still have the tasks of taking care of the house and the kids and everything else. So it is the job of us as individuals to decide where we prioritize not only in the job, but in your life. Where can you if you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed and not thinking like you have that work life integration? Where can you start saying no? Where can you start deciding that you know what, I might have to disappoint someone else for just a little bit of time, in order to stop disappointing myself consistently. So think about where that shows up in your life. Listen, I’m not a mom, of course, I tell you that often. But I’m a dog, mom. But if you’re a mom who’s running around with the soccer practice, and the cheerleading, and the football, and the hockey and all of the things, and you’re feeling like you’re stressed and don’t have time, guess what? Either, you decide to stop doing that, and tell the kids that that’s just not what the film is going to be doing moving forward, or try dropping the extra shooting on yourself, like I shouldn’t be doing something else I should be doing more work I should be doing whatever it is, or I shouldn’t be doing. No, if you are taking the kids to do all those things. If you’re taking the Furbabies to go further walks, whatever it is, own, that you are choosing that in the moment, stop telling yourself, you should be doing something different than what you’re doing. And I will tell you, your life will change that alone, the stopping of the drama in your mind can save you so much time. Okay. That’s for breaking into neuromodulation or not, it’s a very important little skill set. They’re my friends. In addition to all of this stuff I’ve talked about. It’s also any job in this neuromodulation space, which let me just take a moment because this is one thing I often tell people, no modulation is a large umbrella. Right? It’s modulating nerves, it’s altering nerves. And that can look a lot of different ways. It can be used in my area where we do it for pain, it is also for sleep apnea. It is also for deep brain stimulation. It is also for incontinence. So there are a number of both physician subsets that you could be calling on and patients. So it’s important to think about that as well. When you’re looking at these jobs, who do you want to work with? And what position are you actually passionate about? There are all different roles. And so if you’re looking at a sales role, that’s one set of skills, right? If you’re looking to be a clinical specialist, that’s a little bit different. And there are also a lot of the in between skills that both positions share what I think is important, sometimes people will come to the interviews or sometimes when I’m talking to you, I hear I’m open to anything I would like anything which I get I said that as well when I started and thankfully my mentor said, No, Michelle, you’re not going to like a clinical specialist role because you have all of the sales experience in your background. Know what you’re passionate about. And when you go to the interview, say that’s the role you want. You want the person who’s hiring you to know that you are all in on the role that you are applying for. And it sounds lovely to be open to everything and want to do good stuff. But at the end of the day, when you’re interviewing for a specific role, be all in on that role. Okay, driving, driving, driving, driving, driving, there’s so much driving and I probably didn’t realize this until our interview process, I just, you know, listen, there are things that I’ve just done for so long, it just that’s just seems to be the way it is. Right, which I know that seems kind of like could be a whole nother podcast, right? So it was interesting talking to my colleague who has been in it about two years now. And kind of what his take is on things that he didn’t necessarily anticipate and what we wanted to tell people as we were interviewing them, right. And so one of the big things for him was driving and people often respond. Oh, I like to drive. Yes. Okay. So let’s put it in perspective, how about 50 to 60,000 miles, and it’s not even a full year yet with his car. That puts it in perspective, there is a lot of drive time. And where I see people sometimes get frustrated with this is also thinking that it should be different. So if you’re driving two hours, you get to the case, and it cancels, and nobody told you thinking that that was a waste of time. There is no upside to that. That was part of the job. You drove there, you found out now what, think about this in any other job you’re doing right? Where are there places and opportunities that may be in your brain, you waste a lot of time because you’re thinking it should be done different? It shouldn’t be like this. Maybe here’s the thing, right? Like, get curious. If it shouldn’t be different than let’s go back to one of the skill sets that I talked about earlier? Are you solutions oriented? Are you just going to complain about it? Or are you going to start thinking of ways that maybe it can be a little bit more efficient? I’m up for both. I think both are great. I think it’s important to try to be proactive, I think it’s important to be strategic, I think it’s important to not run your business, like you’re a fire, you know, truck driver and always running around putting out the flames. Sure, that seems like a great dopamine hit at the time, because here I am to save the day. And again, I say this not even really tongue in cheek, I don’t think that would be appropriate, because it’s something that I have done in the past, right. But it does not make for a life that is less stressed and overwhelmed. So where can you either No, it is part of the job and stop fighting against the reality of what it is? Or where can you maybe come up with a solution that could help the team. Michelle Bourque 17:18 Another thing that I want to talk about here is the idea of patient interactions, because there are a number of different companies and therapies that you can get into when you’re looking again to device sales. But neuromodulation is probably an ampion specifically is probably one of the most patient oriented. So I always tell people, patients have your cell phone, they will call you, they will text you. It could be nights, it could be weekends, it could be holidays, and guess what it is your job to respond to them. So if that doesn’t seem like it’s an area for you, then maybe consider a different, it doesn’t mean that you can’t be a medical device, right? It just means that maybe this is not the division for you. Maybe you’re something more along the lines of spine where you go in, you take care of the case, and then you get out. But remember, everything right pick your poison, everything has its pros and cons. A spine rep is going to be more on call, then a pain rep. Spine rep probably makes more money than the pain rep. But where are your priorities in life? Where are your core values? And how are they aligned to the jobs that you want? That is probably one of the biggest things that I want people to hear? Where is your passion? What are your core values? And I have podcasts on this where we talk about the importance of knowing your core values? Where would you be in alignment with the job that it is you are looking for? Sometimes I’ll also have people say like I’m I’m willing to move. Okay, but have you ever even been to this town? Like, think about it, not just for the team, like think about for your life? I have people who reach out and say, Well, I would consider moving their book considered doesn’t seem like a very strong word. Right? So do you want to take the time to be going through the interview process? If you’re not really doing the research on? Would this be the right fit for you? So knowing the amount of patient interaction, I would say, you know, listen, during the interview process, it seems totally appropriate to ask, how does the team communicate? How is this schedule set up? What does it look like as far as patient interaction? What are the expectations of my role from the first year? Please do not ask what is a typical day like? There is no typical day. I had someone ask a great question the other day she said, can you just tell me a little bit about what going into the O R would look like on a day where I was going to just be in the O R? That’s a great question because it’s way more specific. Then tell me a little bit about the average day. There is no average day Thank goodness right? Might not still be here then you wouldn’t have to listen to me. You guys would miss To me, I think, Okay, one more thing I want to talk about this idea that, you know, people should be able to get into the medical device world without any experience, because sometimes there are positions that say, No experience necessary, which is true. However, if someone comes to the table and has more experience, guess what, they’re probably going to get the job. And that should not be a hit on the company, or the folks that are interviewing. It’s just what it is, when people are entering in each team kind of talks about what it is they’re looking for. So some teams might want somebody who’s entirely green, and is able to just be trained right from the start as we want, right, as the team wants. Others, however, might want to have some sort of experience. So knowing what it is they’re looking for were in your past, whether it be college or sports, or volunteer opportunities, what whoever it is, listen, especially if you want to get into sales, right? You’re selling yourself, where can you spin your experience to match what it is they’re looking for. And oftentimes, these questions in the interview process will come in the star format. So think about situations that you could use for questions that maybe relate to teamwork, conflict resolution, where can you maybe use the same story that you would use 14, and also as an example of diversity, inclusion, equity, like think about the stories that you can use in multiple ways? Okay, that was, that was a bit of a lot. I feel like I could just keep talking fact, I probably could. But I always like to keep this short. So that is the general overview of some of the things that I want you to think about when you’re looking at breaking into neuromodulation. Number one, but also number two, all of the tools and skills and concepts that I’ve touched on throughout, like this is stuff that can be applied to any job, it can be applied to your life, it is the idea of finding a job that works for you creating the life that you want to live. Your job does not give you anything just free willy nilly, right. Like you have to work for it. Yes, there is luck involved. I think there’s karma involved. I totally believe I got this job through karma. I’ll just tell you quickly how it went. Stick with me. Okay. So I had worked for a pharmaceutical company for about five years. And at that time, we were going through this realignment, and there was a woman and the same sales force in a different area who had some issues, I think with daycare. And again, I didn’t have kids. So I said, Hey, if you want to switch territories, like we’re the same sales force, it’s totally fine with me, she ended up leaving the company. Fast forward a couple years, we were at the local restaurant that we just love and adore so so very much and started talking to this guy. Where do you work? Where do you work? Oh, my gosh, we find out his wife used to work at Glaxo with me. And as it turns out, his wife was the one that I offered to switch sales territory. To which he said, we couldn’t believe anybody would do that. We thought that was so nice. I would love to help you in your career, we have this opportunity. And so that’s what started the process of me breaking in to medical device. I will tell you at that time, I had no idea. This job even existed. I did not even know what it was. And I will also tell you, I think most of my family members still don’t know exactly what it is that I do. And that’s totally okay. So, think about what it is that you are doing on a daily basis that is going to get you closer to having the career having the life having both of them in a way that works for you. Okay, now listen, if you are interested in learning more, I have an interview guide. So just go to Michelle Bourque coaching.com, forward slash interview guide, that will give you some easy steps as far as the interview process. And of course, you can always reach out to me on the socials. Don’t forget, as far as the tools and concepts go around. Confidence time management, prioritizing impostor syndrome. Holy smokes for sure. That’s another one. I remember this. You know, I’m just so chatty today, huh? Marc made this amazing coffee. And so I’m just going to keep on going here. So specific to the imposter syndrome story. It was when I first started I remember there was a surgeon in the case. The case was going a little sideways. And the surgeon looked at me and said, Michelle, what do you think? And in my brain, thank goodness, I learned to filter. I thought you’re the surgeon. I have my Master’s Degree in Public Communication. If you’re the smart, smart, smart one, so also friends, when you’re looking to break into this, know that you have to know your stuff, right? Know that you need to be thinking ahead of every step in the process. If this goes wrong, I’ll do this. If this goes wrong, I’ll do this and really be on top of getting it all to gather quickly. Okay, enough of that. I hope you all have an amazing end to this month. We have a couple more months and some great topics coming up. Please again, feel free to reach out to me on the socials. Otherwise, that’s what I have for you today. Let’s touch base again next week but for now, make it a great day take care
Michelle Bourque 25:49 Did you know you can take this work to a deeper level with me one on one, go to MichelleBourquecoaching.com and click on get started to begin