This seems so simple but is so essential! Many companies have implemented strict policies regarding driving records. This applies to companies in the medical device industry, as well as other companies outside the industry. One candidate I interviewed recently told me that the company he works for checks sales reps’ driving records every month!
The trouble often starts in college, when students encounter the police on the way home from a party and end up with a DUI on their record. This single offense could prevent you from breaking into sales for 3-5 years, depending on the policy of a given company.
If you are a leadfoot, please take a driving lesson from your grandmother. You might also work on improving your time management skills. One rep I helped hire, who has recently been promoted into management, told me that he considers being on-time… being late. He plans to arrive at least 15 minutes early wherever he goes. This is a responsible and courteous approach. If you start managing your time well now, you’ll avoid a lot of tickets and stress in your life.
The criterion companies use to evaluate driving records vary. For many, even seemingly minor offenses like seat belt tickets will count against you, not just moving offenses. Failure to fail a fine or appear in court, often linked with moving offenses, will show up on your driving record too and are often seen as troubling signs of irresponsibility.
Even companies that do not offer a company car or even cover auto expenses may still review your driving record. This perplexes some candidates, who wonder why companies care in these scenarios. The underlying legal principle is respondeat superior – Latin for “let the master answer”. What this means is that if a company hires someone who is a irresponsible driver with a long track record of offenses, and this person does something reckless resulting in damage or injury while they are driving in the course of conducting business on behalf of the company, the company could ultimately be held responsible. For this reason, employers have to take precautions against such scenarios through exercising due diligence in the hiring process.
I recommend you establish a file where you can keep copies of any tickets or other driving related matters. Sometimes it can be hard to recall exactly when a ticket occurred – was it 36 months ago, or 38 months ago? If you keep a file, you can quickly refer to it as needed. Also, if you are involved in any accidents, particularly if you are not at fault, keep a copy of the accident report in your file. When accidents show up on your record, it is often not clear whether or not you were at fault. If you can produce the accident report to clarify, it is quite helpful.
A safe driving record is essential for a successful career in medical sales. Convinced? I hope so. It disappointing for me to find a great candidate who is disqualified due to a poor driving record. Don’t let careless driving keep you from achieving your career ambitions.
“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” ~ Abraham Lincoln