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HELP!!! Career Change: Job Offer on table At 1 Co, Final Interviews At Another

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hey Guys, just wanted your opinion on what I should do in the predicament I am in. Your opinions would be greatly appreciated. I'm a former Clinical Scientist that for the last year has been looking for a different career track. I just got bored with my job and the daily grind of being in a lab everyday and decided I wanted to do something where I interacted more with people and more importantly, where I could make more money without having to get a PhD and wait my turn for all the other department heads to retire. That naturally led me to look for jobs in Medical Device/Pharm Sales and even just sales (copiers, software etc, just to get my foot in the door as many industry contacts I made told me the most important thing was to have successful sales experience). After not getting a sniff from anyone for the past year, I found a position with a medical equipment sales company (one of the biggest and most respected in the industry) that fit my skill set for the position they were hiring for. The day after I applied they called for a phone interview, then the next week I had a phone interview with the regional manager before having a face to face a couple days later. It went pretty well IMO but a few weeks went by with nothing. Finally they called to schedule the final stage panel interview. Great right? Except in that time I have gotten a job offer with one of the largest insurers in the industry to be an adjuster, something else that I also have some interest in. The base salaries are comparable but with the commissions, the sales jobs has much better potential earnings. I have to make a decision soon with the insurance company because they need to get me through all the pre employment screens and the classes start in a couple weeks. The earliest time that the regional manager of the medical equipment company can schedule me is next week, where I would again meet with him, another regional rep, as well as a couple of the buyers/purchasers from the account I would be handling. Then a decision wouldn't be made for possibly another 2-4 weeks (though I feel pretty confident as I have a suspicion that I am their only candidate atm, this gleaned from harassing the original HR interviewer and calling/emailing the manager for updates). As you can see, I'm in a pickle. Do I accept the surefire offer on the table that is for less money, in a less desirable location and something that I have less interest in doing just for a chance to go on a final interview with the medical equipment company? Do I take the chance and decline the job with the insurance company and hope that I interview well with the Medical company? If this was just a regular job offer with the insurance company, I would just accept and renege if I got the sales offer, but this is complicated because a very very close friend (who is in management at the insurance company) got me the interview and is good friends with the head of the HR. If I did something like that, it would surely reflect poorly on them as that spot would not be able to be filled (class time can't be made up). Anyway, this is getting pretty long so I'll turn it over to you guys. What should I do?
post #2 of 12
I think you have two options: a) tell the pharma sales company that you have an exploding offer and ask if they can expedite your interview process b) take the insurance job and just renege on them later if you get the pharma job. it's a dick move, but hey, it's your future. my friend just reneged on a job where he was supposed to start in 1 week.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply GreenFrog. a) I actually told the Med Sales Mgr last week that I had my final interviews with the insurance company and the regional manager called my bluff and said, "well, there is no way to do this any faster as I would have to coordinate the schedules of my rep, myself and the buyers of the account, so just give me a call if you are still available and what you end up deciding to do" b) I am heavily considering doing that, but again, a very very close friend put himself out there to get me the interview and while I usually wouldn't hesitate to pull such a dick move, when it might reflect poorly on someone close that put themselves out there for me, I have to proceed with more caution.
post #4 of 12
Oh wow, you're in a pickle then. Reneging is definitely not a good choice then, as you'd be seriously screwing your friend over. I guess what I'd do now, is based on your second post, the med sales manager person only knows you had a final round interview. I would follow up and say, listen, I have an attractive offer at the insurance company, but my first choice job is with you guys. Is there really no way to expedite the process? If he says no, I'd just take the insurance company offer. I don't like how he casually said 'let me know what you end up doing' -- it sounds like he doesn't really care about you that much, and honestly, if they were really keen on hiring you, I feel that they would do whatever they could to expedite the process. They haven't even tried to, it seems. or, alternatively, ask the friend who helped you for advice and see how he reacts. he might just tell you to accept and renege if you do get the other job. edit: didn't read the last paragraph of your original post which detailed the whole friend vouching scenario -- my bad!
post #5 of 12
I'm not in the insurance trade but it seems like a position you'll likely later regret. I did some labwork as a junior investigator after college so I know that while the pay isn't good you don't really get treated like shit (it's mostly in your mind really). Insurance is a whole different ballpark.
post #6 of 12
Which job will allow you the opportunity to learn the most?
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
GreenFrog, thanks, that's exactly how I planned to try to work it out. While I'm doing the pre employment screens I would try to get the last interview with the medical co and see if they can put something on the table for me, otherwise I'm going to take the firm offer. Btw, I was also kind of put off by how casual the manager of the med co was, considering I didn't bring it up or try to force his hand. He had asked me if I was searching for other opportunities and the progress of each of them. I also don't think he cares that much for hiring me, but from talking to the HR and the manager, it seems as if the account I would be handling is one of their biggest (multimillion dollar account) in the state and they have to have it filled soon (the manager said their target hiring date was over a month ago). I believe I am their only candidate and they dragged out my interview process in hopes that someone else will come up, but their requirements for the position are pretty exact so it hasn't showed up, hence he called me back to set up the final interview and see if I could fly with the account's purchasers. Pantisocrat, you're right about the insurance industry, especially adjusters. I see them get shatted on regularly by personal injury lawyers on tv, but talking to my friend who used to be on before moving into management, he said it's not as bad as people make it out to be. The pay is ok starting out but there is a lot of room for advancement and he said it's not unrealistic to be making 90k after OT as a Catastrophic Claims Adjuster (3 years to get to that level of pay though). Smartxtai, The good thing about the insurance job is that there is a lot of mobility within the company, say after a year I don't want to do adjusting anymore, I can switch departments quite easily, it's actually encouraged within the organization (the head of the HR has been in 8 different departments from systems to finance to HR etc). The good thing about the Medical job is that it would be dealing with something I have a high familiarity with, in a field I have been pursuing for a long time, dealing with people I am familiar with (mainly lab people, heads and chairs of academic research depts). I don't know what the advancement is within the company beyond being a Rep but I looked up the avg salary for the reps and it was 90k with the top 10% making well over 6 figures after commissions. I don't think I would feel the need to advance that much beyond that. But then again, I don't have a solid offer from them so it's really hard to compare the two side by side. The potential in the med job is much higher but I've got the bird in the hand with the insurance job, so they say.
post #8 of 12
IMO, you shouldn't focus on the salary potential. Instead, focus on the potential to acquire new knowledge and skills.
post #9 of 12
I wouldn't want to do sales, so I'm a bit biased. Why not go back to the claims adjuster job and tell them that you're definitely interested, but you're considering between that job and another job where the offer is higher to see if they can come up any?
post #10 of 12
I don't care for sales job myself; however, if I was in your shoes, I'd focused on the job that is more stable, especially in this economy. You don't want to start a job where the potential of being laid-off is high.
post #11 of 12
Barney said Tiffany was a poison that Barney needed to cut out of his life forever. That's when Tiffany walked in with a bunch of her hot co-workers.

"Hang on to this girl, Ted," Barney said. "Hang on to her and never let go!"

Barney was beginning to suspect that Tiffany was a pharmaceutical sales rep. She was. Ted said it was just a job, but this sent Barney into convulsions. He was twitching as he explained to Ted that, "Throughout time, there has always been one cutting-edge profession to which hot girls like Tiffany have flocked. Shall I walk you through the history?"

"I'm going to explicitly say, no" Ted said, but Barney was already into his historical speech...
post #12 of 12
1) Sales, if you're not passionate about it, you'll come to hate it more and more. Your current job sounds like a profession, Sales sounds like a hawker. Your manager will give you a hard time if you're not selling. You'll get a lot of people contact, as long as you don't get sick of it. 2) Claims manager aka adjuster in the US. This depends if you're in life or non-life. Casualty i expect a lot of time on the road to do inspections. You'll be documenting notes for each claims case, declining, or accepting and valuing the claim amount. Natural disasters means you'll be innundated with admin work. Life insurance you'll be supporting a lot of sick people over the phone and managing their payouts. For both Casualty and life you'll get sufficient training on the job, and not so much variation.
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