5 Ways Pharmacists Can Learn New Skills Without Changing Jobs

JUNE 16, 2016
Many pharmacists land a good job right out of pharmacy school and quickly become comfortable in the workplace and atmosphere of their first employer.
Although this situation isn’t uncommon, it lends itself to several risks that you should carefully consider as you settle into your current job. Most significantly, it may limit the amount of exposure you have to other workplace settings or positions. Although you may get better at doing the same job over the years, you also become exclusively skillful in only 1 area.
Someone who has worked in only 1 job for many years might believe this shows a high level of commitment and loyalty to an employer. That may be true, but to a new employer, it raises many questions about your ability to adapt to new job settings and manage changes.

Maybe you don’t want to change jobs right now. Maybe you like your hours, location, or co-workers. Can you still add some diversity to your career while staying with the same employer? The answer is: yes!
Through active involvement in your career development, you can generate an attractive list of qualifications that will make you a stronger candidate for a greater variety of jobs. Most workers find that a diversified skillset translates to a more satisfying career, as well. 

Here are 5 ways to add diversity to your job title without changing companies:

1. Read
This may sound simple, but the truth is many professionals simply don’t take the time to teach themselves something new by reading about it. 
The billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban got his start in the technology field not by obtaining a fancy degree in systems engineering, but by reading computer manuals. Learning something new through reading has an important impact on your skillset diversity. Obviously, reading things related to the pharmacy profession is best, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be clinical. 

2. Take a Course
Although switching to a new job may force you to learn new things, taking the initiative by enrolling in a course might actually show greater strength of character and discipline. 
There are many online courses that can be taken inexpensively. As with reading, it doesn’t necessarily have to be clinical. How about beginning to learn a new language or word processing skill? An online course or night class at a local college can add some rich diversity to your competencies as a pharmacist.

Jason Poquette
Jason Poquette
Jason Poquette, RPh, is a 1993 graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy. For most of his career, he has held retail pharmacy management positions. He also spent 7 years working in health plan formulary analysis and research. He currently works for Pharmacy Healthcare Solutions (PHS) as manager of an outpatient hospital pharmacy, developing programs to improve utilization of the pharmacy and transitional care for patients.