Getting Pharmaceutical Sales Jobs During a Tough Economy Or Recession

Getting Pharmaceutical Sales Jobs During a Tough Economy Or Recession

Sometimes I’m asked whether it is worth trying to get a pharmaceutical sales job during a tough economy or recession when some drug companies are in fact laying off sales forces. My answer is, it depends. It depends on how you are trying to apply for pharmaceutical sales jobs in the first place.

If all you do in terms of trying to land your first pharmaceutical sales job is to send in your resume to human resources departments, recruiters or through a resume ‘blasting’ service, then your efforts may not become fruitful during tough times of a recession. Even in good times, blindly sending in your resume is not the most effective way of getting a pharmaceutical sales position. Ironically, this is probably the most often used method among job seekers out there.

If you are one of the more savvy job seekers taking the time to network with industry people like current pharmaceutical sales representatives, sales managers and other folks who are connected with the industry in your local area, then these efforts will have a higher chance of getting you results.

First of all, you could have less competition during a tough economy since many people out there will simply wait for a better times before restarting their job search efforts again, at least in pharmaceutical sales. Second, if you do your networking properly and if the industry people you network with like you as a high potential sales rep, then they will remember you. If you take the time to develop some sort of business relationship with these people, you will keep your name at the top of their minds.

Even if there are no openings during tougher times, there will be again eventually since economic slumps are usually part of business cycles. When companies are in a position to hire again due to better economic conditions, your name will be at the top of their candidate list.

Your competition, who just apply during healthy economic periods, will be at a major disadvantage to you since they are unknown entities to the companies but you are already known as a serious candidate for a pharmaceutical sales position. Companies may not even bother to advertise for openings if they already know that you are available to fill in a spot in their sales force.

The other factor is that for many companies in pharmaceuticals and health care, there could be some business units that seem to be recession proof. No matter how the economy is doing, sales of some pharmaceutical and health care products are pretty stable since people still need health care as well as medications all the time.

In fact, it is said that we could see even more people in need of health care during tough times because of increased stress levels for individuals trying to make ends meet. So some companies in the health care sector may be doing just fine during recessions.

The bottom line, is that if you choose to network wisely with pharmaceutical industry people and not expect that sales positions will be open right at the moment, then doing so during a recession is as good as any other times. In fact, being active in networking during recessions may give you a definite edge over your competition in the job market for pharmaceutical sales.


Sales Jobs

Sales jobs encompass a wide range of positions and industries, all focused on generating revenue for a company by selling its products or services. Here are some common sales job roles:

  1. Sales Representative: Sales representatives are responsible for selling products or services directly to customers. They often work in a specific territory and build relationships with potential clients, present product information, negotiate contracts, and close deals.
  2. Account Manager: Account managers are responsible for managing and developing relationships with existing clients. They work closely with clients to understand their needs, address any issues, and identify opportunities for upselling or cross-selling.
  3. Business Development Manager: Business development managers are focused on identifying new business opportunities and expanding the customer base. They research potential clients, create sales strategies, and negotiate contracts to secure new accounts.
  4. Sales Manager: Sales managers oversee a team of sales representatives and are responsible for setting sales targets, training and motivating the team, monitoring performance, and implementing sales strategies to achieve company goals.
  5. Key Account Manager: Key account managers are responsible for managing relationships with the company’s most important clients. They work closely with key stakeholders, understand their specific needs, and ensure customer satisfaction and retention.
  6. Sales Engineer: Sales engineers combine technical knowledge with sales skills to sell complex or technical products. They assist in product demonstrations, provide technical support, and offer solutions to customers’ technical challenges.
  7. Inside Sales Representative: Inside sales representatives conduct sales remotely, often through phone calls, emails, or online presentations. They generate leads, qualify prospects, and close sales remotely without face-to-face interactions.
  8. Retail Sales Associate: Retail sales associates work in stores or showrooms, assisting customers in making purchases. They provide product information, handle transactions, and maintain store displays.
  9. Pharmaceutical Sales Representative: Pharmaceutical sales representatives promote and sell prescription drugs and medical products to healthcare professionals. They educate doctors, pharmacists, and other healthcare providers about their products and secure product placements.
  10. Real Estate Agent: Real estate agents facilitate property sales or rentals on behalf of clients. They list properties, conduct property showings, negotiate deals, and guide clients through the entire sales process.

These are just a few examples of sales jobs, and there are many other specialized sales roles in various industries such as technology, finance, insurance, and manufacturing. The specific requirements and responsibilities can vary depending on the industry and company.


Tough Economy

Yes, the state of the economy can be challenging at times. A tough economy typically refers to a period of economic downturn or recession when there is a decrease in overall economic activity, high unemployment rates, reduced consumer spending, and slow business growth.

During tough economic times, individuals and businesses often face financial difficulties. Some common challenges include job losses, reduced income, increased competition for available jobs, declining business revenues, reduced access to credit, and a general sense of uncertainty about the future.

In such situations, it is important for individuals and businesses to adapt and make necessary adjustments to navigate through the tough economic conditions. Here are a few strategies that can help:

  1. Budgeting: Create a budget and prioritize essential expenses. Cut back on discretionary spending and focus on needs rather than wants.
  2. Save and Invest Wisely: Build an emergency fund to provide a financial cushion during tough times. Consider investing in stable assets or diversify your investment portfolio to protect against market volatility.
  3. Enhance Skills and Education: Invest in personal and professional development to improve your job prospects or make yourself more valuable in the job market.
  4. Explore New Opportunities: During economic downturns, certain industries may be more resilient or even experience growth. Consider retraining or exploring new sectors that offer better prospects.
  5. Network and Collaborate: Maintain and expand your professional network. Collaborate with others to share resources and find new business opportunities.
  6. Seek Financial Assistance: Look for available financial assistance programs or government initiatives that can provide temporary relief or support for individuals and businesses facing economic challenges.
  7. Focus on Customer Value: If you run a business, emphasize the value you provide to customers. Identify their needs and find ways to meet them effectively, even during tough economic conditions.

Remember, tough economic times are usually temporary, and the economy tends to recover eventually. By adopting a proactive and resilient approach, individuals and businesses can increase their chances of weathering the storm and emerging stronger in the long run.



A recession refers to a significant decline in economic activity that lasts for an extended period. It is typically characterized by a contraction in gross domestic product (GDP), a decline in industrial production, rising unemployment rates, and a decrease in consumer spending.

During a recession, businesses often experience reduced demand for their products or services, leading to layoffs and a decrease in investment. This decline in economic activity can create a negative cycle, as reduced consumer spending further dampens business activity, resulting in more job losses and reduced income.

Several factors can contribute to the onset of a recession, including:

  1. Economic imbalances: Imbalances in areas such as trade, government debt, or housing markets can create vulnerabilities that can trigger a recession when they unravel.
  2. Financial crises: A severe financial crisis, such as the subprime mortgage crisis in 2008, can have far-reaching effects on the economy and lead to a recession.
  3. Tight monetary policy: Central banks raising interest rates to combat inflation can reduce consumer spending and investment, potentially causing a slowdown in the economy.
  4. External shocks: Major events like natural disasters, geopolitical conflicts, or pandemics (such as the COVID-19 pandemic) can disrupt global supply chains, decrease consumer confidence, and trigger a recession.

Governments and central banks often respond to recessions by implementing various measures to stimulate the economy, such as fiscal stimulus packages, lowering interest rates, and implementing expansionary monetary policies. These measures aim to boost consumer and business spending, encourage investment, and restore confidence in the economy.

It’s important to note that as an AI, my responses are based on historical knowledge up until September 2021. Economic conditions can change rapidly, so it’s always advisable to consult up-to-date sources and expert opinions for the most current information on recessions or any other economic topics.

Prepare and write by:

Author: Mohammed A Bazzoun

If you have any more specific questions, feel free to ask in comments.


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