If you are a nurse who is thinking about a career change, you’re not alone. There’s a recent ANM Health Care survey that says over 40% of nurses are seeking a career change. Job satisfaction for nurses is low, for a lot of reasons: the hours, the pay, and a lack of respect from doctors are a few of them. Or maybe you just need a change. That’s not unusual. Many people make several major career changes over their lifetimes, just because their current job no longer fits into the life they want.

But if you got into nursing because you like science and you love helping people by making a difference in one of the most important areas of their lives and you’re not ready to make a 180-degree turn into show business or basket-weaving, what will you do? How can you transition the skills you’ve learned as a nurse into another career? What kinds of careers can utilize your particular skill set? Medical sales. Medical sales reps often have high job satisfaction, generous pay and benefits, and a more varied wardrobe (no more scrubs for you).

Nurses can often make a smooth, natural transition into medical sales jobs: medical device sales, hospital equipment sales, imaging sales, pharma sales, pathology sales, biotech sales, laboratory sales, or clinical diagnostics. Why?

* You have a science background–a must for anyone getting into medical sales. You need to understand what you’re selling and how it can meet the needs of your customers.

* You probably have practical, on-the-job experience with the products you’d sell. What better way to be able to demonstrate how your customer can benefit from your product than by having been in their shoes?

* You already know how to deal with difficult doctors. (Enough said.)

However, landing a job in medical sales can be difficult because there’s a lot of competition–because it’s a fantastic career. So what do you need to do to place yourself in the best possible position as a candidate? Even though you have an advantage because of your background, you’re not in the clear yet. You need to do some research on how to land a medical sales job, and make sure you can present yourself as a strong job candidate. Here’s a quick outline of steps you can take:

* Read sales books and get some sales training…there are medical sales training programs, but they’re only one option.

* Job shadow someone in the specific product area you’re interested in. That way, you’ll get a feel for a typical day, and furnish yourself with a resource for your 30/60/90-day plan and your interview conversation.

* Conduct informational interviews with medical sales reps and medical sales managers. It will give you tremendous insight into the job, and make you a more informed candidate.

* Establish a LinkedIn profile that will introduce you as a professional, and find sales-related groups to join so that you can network–get your name out there, and gather industry information.

* Write a killer resume. Hire it out if you need to, and include your job shadowing and sales training on it.

* Polish your interview skills. This is critical. Interviews for sales candidates are difficult, so you must be prepared.

* Learn how to write a 30/60/90-day sales plan to present to the hiring manager. It’s a written outline of what you’ll do in the first 3 months on the job. A 30/60/90-day plan shows the hiring manager that you understand the job, and aren’t going in cold. Plus, it spotlights your initiative, drive, and energy (all desirable qualities for a sales rep).

* Submit your resume to a medical sales recruiter.

* Consider getting custom coaching. A recruiter doesn’t have time to really help you get the job, but a career coach can show you what you need, role play interview questions, fine-tune your resume, and guide you through all the details.

Author's Bio: 

Peggy McKee has over 15 years of experience in sales, management, and recruiting. She is the CEO of PHC Consulting, a nationally-known medical sales recruiting firm. See her website and blog for information on custom career coaching as well as hundreds of articles about the different areas of medical sales, how to break into medical sales and what it takes to be a successful job candidate at => http://www.phcconsulting.com/WordPress.

There are powerful tools and tips for resumes, LinkedIn, 30/60/90-day plans, brag books, and more that will help you succeed in your job search at => http://www.career-confidential.com.