Underqualified or Overqualified as an Aspiring MSL. Probably both🤔
I believe this is one of the key issues for most professionals like yourself wanting to break into the MSL role. On the one hand you feel overqualified – you are a highly accomplished professionals with probably a terminal D degree (PhD, MD, PharmD, DNP, DMSc) and an impressive track record of accomplishments.
However, you (are made to) feel underqualified for the MSL role, as most MSL job descriptions ask for MSL experience and a long list of required MSL knowledge, skills and competencies, that you don’t have (or have in a different industry).
So what to do? You are stuck between a rock and a hard place!
Your (terminal D) degree and achievements to date will only get you an entry ticket to be potentially considered for this job. To get invited for the MSL interview, you need to show you speak the language of pharma and more specifically the MSL language. You need to thoroughly upskill and come to the interview talking as if you have worked as an MSL before.
Think of a great French waiter wanting to move to Germany to work in Michelin restaurant. He is great in his current job, but doesn’t speak German. He will not be invited for an interview. However, if he shows on his CV, he upskilled to speak German at a B2/C1 level and knows all the Germany delicacies and beers, now he becomes an interesting bilingual candidate, worthy of an initial interview.
Same thing goes for the MSL role. Start speaking the language and know everything about the MSL role and pharma lingo such as: clinical trials, phase 1-3, clinical guidelines, SoC, treatment algorithms, compliance, code of conduct, scientific exchange, data generation, IIS, reimbursement, FDA, PI, SmPC, product monograph, regulatory approval, fast track approvals, BLA, NCE, IND, ICER, QoL, primary endpoints, HR, confidence interval, relative risk reduction, on- off-label, code challenge, cost minimization, cost effectiveness analysis, and I can go on for another 10 lines.
In short, start upskiling yourself on the pharma and MSL language. Don’t rely on your previous experience. It got you where you are now, but will NOT get you that MSL job. It requires endless hours of upskilling. Seriously, hours and hours! Don’t give up, you just need one yes.