Job Search: qualifications transfer

Thursday, December 17th, 2009 - career change, career management, career transition, CV Writing, Employment, Job Application, job search, Qualifications

Job Search: qualifications transfer

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Tauraz asks: I am a Overseas Qualified Pharmacist, but due to regulations in the UK, I cant practice as a Pharmacist. I completed a Masters degree in Business from a very reputed UK University and I have 3 months experience as a Territory Manager selling Speciality products (Vaccines-Hormones). I presently work as a Butcher in a supermarket because I am not getting a job as a Medical Sales professional. I get numerous calls from consultancies saying that my CV is good, but they say I don’t have any experience in the UK Pharmaceutical industry and hence they turn down my application. I tried to get a shadowing experience, but nobody is ready to allow me shadow them as they say their companies do not encourage this practice. How I can get somebody to allow me to work shadow them and use their name in my CV, so that I can land a job as a Pharmaceutical Sales professional?

In answer:
As an overseas individual, you are not in a unique position. It is the same if a UK resident qualified professional decides to move overseas, then they have to localise their qualifications for recognition.

There are two reasons why localisation takes place. Firstly the standards of training, and secondly the standards and methods of operation. The first is a quality issue, the second is a local practises and regulation issue. Hence even if your qualifications are accepted, most have to spend between 12months and three years under some form of training/supervision. The process is the same for every professional, from electricians to surgeons.

Hence, at present you are not solving the employers problem, you are creating a bigger unknown one. Employers don’t like unknowns, hence they reject you!

Job Search: qualifications

The first thing to do is to register with the local regulating professional body. In the UK that is the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. Each society has a standards and qualifications board, which you will need to take advice from re transferring your qualifications to local recognition. At some point, you will also need to register with the NHS as a pharmacist, but let the BPS tell you when. The BPS will advise you on the acceptance of your Masters degree locally, and may tell you that additional or transference training is required. Secondly they will advise on local procedures and methods acceptance, and how best to gain those.

Part of the solution is finding a professional society (ie: BPS pharmacist) mentor to supervise your localisation, which is the quickest route to a job. You will have access to a locally based and qualified professional in your area, who is a working in the profession. There should also be local groups who meet regularly, which I suggest you start attending: again, great networking/job opportunities.

No local employer in pharmacy will accept you until you have started localisation. When you apply, and can’t tell them what you have to do to localise your qualifications, they will see that as a problem/cost, and with lots of other unemployed people out there they will look elsewhere.

Secondly, as you don’t suggest in your answer that you have any form of sales training, the same reason for rejection will presently occur with sales posts. Further, if your accent is hard to understand over the telephone, and you have no apparent localised pharmacy connections, then again you will be rejected.

Job Search: transfer plan

I suggest as a plan forward, you contact the BPS and understand what you need to do to localise your qualifications. In three months time, once you have registered with the BPS, attended a few meetings, have a BPS mentor and a master plan on when you will qualify, then look again at jobs in the Pharma sector.

On last thought: very few medical professionals hang around Social Media. LinkedIn would be the best place to start, if you don’t know where the professionals for that body locally congregate on the internet. I have a few BPS friends over there who register for networking, although they tend to go elsewhere for pharma chat – LI is not secure enough.

Good Luck, and if you think I could help – just ask!


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