Q: What are the pros and cons of working at a small pharmaceutical company versus one of the biggies?
A: There are a lot of advantages to working for a small pharmaceutical company. First of all, a small company may be more willing to take a chance on somebody with less experience.
It is easier for you to shine and advance at small pharmaceutical companies. Also, small pharmaceutical companies can become big pharmaceutical companies very rapidly. Small companies offer stock options as incentive to stay with them long-term. Often, small companies get acquired by larger companies, and the original stockholders get wealthy.
However, working for a small pharmaceutical company is riskier than working for a big one. If your company has a small stable of products, that means you have all your eggs in one basket.
Small pharmaceutical companies don't provide big expense accounts for entertaining clients, and you don't have as much marketing support. Also, the territories are bigger so you have to drive more. Instead of working a territory that's 3 hours end-to-end, your territory may be an entire state.
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Finally, the drugs you'd be selling at a small company may not have the same level of formulary acceptance as those sold at large companies. You could be the best salesperson in world, but if your product is not on formulary with insurance companies, it's going to be tougher to sell.
If you go to work for a small company, you have to be able to handle change really well. There is a huge chance your company will be taken over in the next few years.
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