SAMPS was previously Association of Commercial Professionals for Life Sciences (ACP-LS)

Recipe for Success in the Job Search (and Life!)

January 20, 2014

Roller_CoasterWhile my clients hire me to identify and recruit stellar candidates, I find myself lending an ear and offering advice to those who have been affected by corporate downsizing. Due to the economic issues of the last market crash, the numbers of those seeking new positions hit a high in 2008 and have continued over the last few years. While we have been blessed with a recovery and up-tick in the market, we still have job seekers who remain affected by the crunch.

Do you want to maximize success in both your job search and next position? I follow the wisdom of Brian Johnson, CEO of En*theos, and he has stated it brilliantly:

Enthusiasm + Perseverance = SUCCESS


Why is it important to exude positivity and happiness? We want to collaborate with positive, fun, and energetic partners. We attract others to our level of energy. The brighter we shine, the more we will be a magnet for like-minded shining stars. Be light, leave your baggage behind, be an example for others to follow. Don't be afraid to let your passion shine through. The world needs more people who follow their bliss and show a love for life. This can be challenging if you've been in-between positions for a long period, but it's important nonetheless.

Some days enthusiasm comes naturally, while other days we need to coax it out. Let me give you some practical tips on how to get your enthusiasm and positive energy flowing:

  1. Self nurture & self love – Be kind to yourself, eat high-quality, tasty food, get at least 7-8 hours of sleep, drink plenty of water, and make sure you're walking, dancing, swimming—whatever activity it takes to get your juices flowing. As we age, health is a premium. You only get one shot, so take care of your beautiful body and you will be well rewarded.
  2. Get excited and have fun – Think of all the things you've been waiting to do "when I retire" or "when I have time"—hikes in the woods, painting with water colors, hot yoga, hanging out with those who nurture your soul. Now's the time to do them....and keep trying new things.
  3. Identify your top strengths & play to them every day – Use this test (free registration required) to identify yours. When you find out what gets you going, it's a great idea to focus on these things that enhance your life. Check it out—I have found great success when I play to my strengths of vitality, leadership, perseverance, pursuit of wisdom and generosity.
  4. Gratitude journal – As documented in The Wall Street Journal, individuals who jot down (every day!) at least five things they are grateful for tend to be more positive people.1 Try it out for a few weeks and you will see the results. When you spend your day looking for your "blessings," you tend to find lots of positives in your life. It's impossible to be both grateful and upset at the same time.

If you've been on a long-term search for that next position, these suggestions might seem easier said than done. However, start by trying one or two of these ideas for a few weeks and see how you feel. It's bound to help!


The P word. Unless you like to run marathons or you're blessed with natural endurance, this may not be second nature to you. Perseverance can be learned, and it can be fun. Make the job search a game. Reach out to friends from college and colleagues from previous positions. Ask how you can help them and let them know that a door has closed and you're wide open to the many possibilities. This is an adventure with twists and turns, a ride that will take you up steep mountains, to the edge of the cliff, and deep into canyons. Measure your success in weeks or months, and don't get caught up measuring it in hours or days. I love this cartoon by Demetri Martin, which does a great job of showing success over time2.

During this trek into the unknown, you will reconnect with former co-workers and you will meet new contacts. All are here to help you with your journey, but you can't be afraid to ask. It's human nature to want to help those in need, and don't be embarrassed to request a phone call, a referral, or a meeting over coffee. Set aside your pride and open yourself up. You may go into a job search with a certain company, title, or location in mind. If you want to have a lot of fun, drop your expectations and see what the universe has in mind for you.

I understand that real-life scenarios can affect a search. Who will pay the mortgage? The groceries? The kids' lessons? With family support blended with creativity, these financial constraints can be managed. I believe it was my colleague Alan Cohen who once suggested, "Miracles happen on the second mile." When we continue to travel hopefully in the adventure of life—and we make connections, uncover rocks, and take care of ourselves—we will see results. I have found that prayers are usually answered in the most unexpected ways...and when we exert the effort, the universe will always be there to support us.


  1. Melinda Beck. Thank You. No, Thank You. The Wall Street Journal. November 23, 2010. Accessed January 15, 2014.
  2. Demetri Martin. As cited by Henry Blodget.  What People Think Success Looks Like Vs. What It Really Looks Like. Business Insider. April 24, 2012. Accessed January 15, 2014.

Kerry Boehner

Kerry Boehner is an Executive Recruiter in the pharma, biotech, and medical device industries. Since founding KOB Solutions in 2001, Kerry has successfully placed entry-through-executive-level candidates in R&D, clinical, and sales roles. Kerry earned her degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame, and she previously worked in the pharmaceutical and petroleum industries.

SAMPS, Sales And Marketing Professionals in Scientific research, is the first and only organization dedicated to sales and marketing professionals within the life sciences.

The association’s goal is to serve its members who work in commercial roles for life science products and services companies and associated businesses, globally.
SAMPS was previously named ACP-LS. We feel that SAMPS more clearly describes the membership, and will form a better foundation from which to expand this membership globally. 
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