Alex Barker, PharmD
Alex Barker, PharmD
Alex Barker is the founder of The Happy PharmD, which helps pharmacists create an inspiring career, break free from the mundane “pill-flipping” life. He is a Full-time Pharmacist, Media Company founder, franchise owner, Business Coach, Speaker, and Author. He's also the Founder of Pharmacy School HQ, which helps students get into pharmacy school and become residents.

A Letter to My Future Self at Retirement from Pharmacy

SEPTEMBER 09, 2016


I often think about what my future pharmacy career will look like. Although I’m happy with my current situation, I believe there’s a lot more for me to look forward to.
 
I have many professional goals to achieve, personal growth to accomplish, and, most importantly, patients to help. That’s why I decided to write this letter to my future self at retirement. I’m going to read it on my last day as a pharmacist—and in the meantime, do everything in my power to achieve the goals and benchmarks I set for myself.
 
Hopefully, when I read this letter 25 years (or so) from now, my actual career will have lived up to my hopes and dreams.
 
Dear Future Alex:
 
It looks like you made it to retirement. Congratulations!
 
Although retirement can be bittersweet, it’s my fondest wish that you’re able to look back on your career and appreciate all the hard work, successes, and good times—and that you’ve learned from your mistakes. Here are my hopes for you on your last day as a pharmacist:
 
I hope you’ve had the privilege of meeting wonderful coworkers and mentors who’ve taught you many things about pharmacy. My hope is you’ve encountered amazing individual who passed along all sorts of tips, tricks, and hacks to help make you a better pharmacist. I also hope you’ve shared everything you’ve learned with up-and-coming, younger pharmacists—and that they respect and appreciate the knowledge and experience you have to offer.
 
I hope you’ve helped tons of patients and earned a position of respect in your industry and community for your patience, kindness, and honesty. I also hope you’ve developed the passion for and ability to advocate for your patients. I hope you’ve set a good example for your peers, family, and patients.
 
I hope you’ve grown and matured throughout your career—and that your experiences in the pharmacy have taught you how to be a better leader, father, husband, and friend. I hope you’ve seized opportunities that presented themselves and learned to trust your instincts about what’s the best “next move” for you. I hope you’ve continually worked to hone your skills.
 
I hope that, throughout your career, you continually sought to balance your personal and family obligations with your career responsibilities. I hope you never allowed work to “take over” your life—at least, not for too long. I also hope your efforts to achieve work-life balance helped stave off bouts of burnout—and, in the event that inevitable burnout occurred, it was short-lived and quickly addressed.
 
I also hope you’ve taken the time to give back to the pharmacy community, and the community in general. Even though I’m sure life’s been hectic, it’s my wish that you found some time and resources to assist pharmacy students, volunteer, and otherwise use your talents to improve the lives of others.
 
Most of all, I hope you’re happy about your chosen career path. I hope you experience few (if any) regrets and truly feel a sense of accomplishment for the difference you’ve made.
 
I wish you all the best in your future endeavors. Even though you’re retiring, I’m sure there are many, many more adventures and good times to come.
 
                                                                                                    Sincerely,
                                                                                                    Alex in 2016



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