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.
You’ve just lost your Job. Now what?!
Emotionally, you may be a little distraught. I still remember the feeling of a giant pit in my stomach the first time I was fired in college. It is only reasonable to expect that the feeling is magnified several times over when you are providing for yourself.
You have bills to pay, student loans, a mortgage…You may even have a family to support in this pharmacy job crisis. How in the world are you going to make ends meet when the only source of income is gone?The first thing to know is that you are not alone. We are seeing all sorts of people losing opportunities and jobs in the current pharmacy job market. Some of that loss is for personal reasons, and some of it is because corporations have decided to eliminate a costly workforce.
Steps to take Now to get that New Pharmacy Job.
Update that resume and that career profile
Use all the accomplishments and activities that you have done over the years.
Look up all the job openings in your area
Remember, you are not looking for your dream job—you are looking for any job—so learn your options. While this isn’t the easiest way to find a job (since you’re competing with likely dozens of other applicants), it is a good place to start.
Wait to start that New Business
There are those who see unemployment as an opportunity to start a new business, and while I love the idea of being self-employed, it is much better to have a stream of income coming in first, so that you have room to maneuver. Additionally, starting a new business when you are worried about money and finances only increases the likelihood of making a poor decision based on that anxiety.
However, if you are very confident, you should not be discouraged. In fact, if that is where your interests lie, I would recommend that you get started right away so as to bring in that extra income sooner.
As an example, I knew a pharmacist who used her knowledge of functional medicine to provide nutrition consults for an independent pharmacy after she became unemployed. While it wasn’t a full- time stable income with benefits, it definitely provided extra income when she needed it most, and gave her room to maneuver.
Attend every healthcare networking event you can. You never know who you might meet.
I went to one just last week and had the opportunity to enter a real estate investment that I would have missed had I stayed home.
Go out, shake hands, and build relationships with people who want to, and can, help you. Push the social anxiety aside and just do it. You have to get out there because your livelihood is on the line.
Even on your best days, you will only spend 4-6 hours of time dedicated to the pursuit of a new job, so create opportunities for yourself with the rest of your time by volunteering, particularly somewhere related to health. And it sure beats sitting at home and watching TV.
Implement Healthy Habits
Losing a job affects everyone differently, Some feel a sense of worthlessness or depression or anxiety, and poor habits, like wasting your time in front of the television, will only make it worse.
What about going back to school?The job market is so saturated that many people believe that in order to stand out, they need more education, more certifications. While it is always a good idea to keep learning, it isn’t necessary for a job search unless you know it will lead you down a path you love.
Going back to school is a poor excuse to avoid the marketplace. Taking on more debt is not something I would recommend to someone who is unemployed and certifications often take months of study, (not to mention the weeks you’ll spend waiting for the exam results).
That is valuable money and time that could have been spent looking for a job and networking.
Learn from my ExperienceI’ve spent the last 5 years learning and applying these lessons to my own career. I was able to transition from working a safe and secure job in Veterans Affairs, to working for myself, and I would love to share what I’ve learned with you.
Check out our free Master Class. It is a free, one-hour long webinar about how pharmacists can get into a new job without relevant experience. There are lots of good tips about how to stand out in the marketplace and how to avoid common mistakes.