How A New Job Can Revive Your Pharmacy Career

If you’re considering a job transition, you aren’t alone.

Drug Topics reported in November 2016 that almost 33 percent of pharmacists were considering a job change. Of the pharmacists seeking change, 67.1% reported being dissatisfied with their current job.

It’s also true that employers and employees now accept job change as a normal part of the career path, especially in Pharmacy. A 2016 LinkedIn study found that job hopping has increased over the last 20 years and that the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries have the 4th highest turnover out of 14 industries.

Younger workers are changing the norms in the workforce. Millennials have discovered that transition can bring about positive change, and they have embraced that reality.

Here’s why the same might be true for you as well.

  1. Keeping a job you hate hurts everyone.

Sometimes, despite our best efforts at research ahead of time, jobs don’t turn out the way we expected. Even jobs that were once enjoyable often become intolerable.

When you find yourself in a job you hate, you must initiate some kind of change. Otherwise, you risk making yourself, and others, miserable.

Staying in a position you hate can be toxic, but many people do it because they are paralyzed by the thought of transitioning to something else.

Begin by researching different companies and opportunities and connect with people in your existing networks. Focus on building relationships with people by offering to help them with their own priorities.

When you do, you may discover new opportunities and new connections that will lead you to work you love doing.

  1. Staying in one position may prevent growth.

Most of us know the signs of stagnation: the dread of Monday morning, boredom, lack of challenge, and even a sense of hopelessness.

LinkedIn reported in August of this year that one-third of professionals are “sleepwalking” through their careers. They aren’t sure where they are headed, and their work feels a little like walking on a treadmill.

The biggest problem with stagnation is that it doesn’t prompt us to act. Stagnation steals our motivation and leads us to lose interest in career growth.

If you suspect that this applies to you, refuse to stay stuck. Don’t settle for a job that allows you to coast because you’re comfortable.

  1. Seizing new opportunities gives you control of your career.

New career opportunities often appear unexpectedly, but we sometimes miss them because we’re not looking.

You may cross paths with a person involved in a field different than yours, or you may discover an overlap of two things you love, like pharmacy and animals.

When you open yourself to transition, you may find yourself traveling in a previously-unexpected direction. Don’t rule that out.

When you consider new opportunities, you often discover things you never knew. Many pharmacists are finding fulfillment in non-traditional pharmacy careers like informatics, sometimes despite a lack of experience in that field.

Stay aware of the possibilities. Stay curious. Stay in control of your career.

  1. Aging and wisdom often bring changing interests.

Most of us have moved on from the things we loved in our 20s. Age provides new experiences and new knowledge we didn’t have when we first entered adulthood.

The years help us discover things we hate, things we love, and things we liked because we didn’t know something better existed.

The same is true of your career. The job you loved right after pharmacy school may not be fulfilling anymore, but it may have helped you identify things you love and things you don’t.

When it’s time to move on, initiate a plan to transition to something different, but make sure you consider every aspect of changing jobs before you do.

  1. Earning a good salary doesn’t overcome career dissatisfaction.

The higher-than-average starting salary that pharmacists earn draws many people to the profession.

Many people fail to understand the high stress and increasing workload that pharmacists encounter daily. Pharmacists increasingly experience burnout, but many are unable to transition to new jobs because they’ve come to depend on the large salary.

The millennial generation may prompt a change in this thinking, as they continue to seek a work-life balance and socially conscious careers.

Structure your finances so that you can afford to walk away from the large salary if the work is unfulfilling. Don’t rule out taking a salary cut if it means you can do work you love.

Perhaps most importantly, understand that you’ll eventually need to change jobs. When you do, view the opportunity as a positive move, and take charge of your career.

Research prospective companies, write a killer resume or CV, and network with the people around you to find out about emerging opportunities.

Keep your options open and change your thinking about job transition.

Alex Barker is a full-time Pharmacist, media company founder, franchise owner, Business Coach, Speaker, and Author. He is also is the founder of The Happy PharmD, which helps busy professionals build successful side businesses.

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