Pharmacists: Get Your Career Game On

DECEMBER 29, 2015
Pharmacists, the New Year is around the corner.
 
It’s time to update your résumé with achievements made during the past year and to make a bold action-plan for moving your career forward. Be strategic about your career goals and objectives.
 
First, let’s reflect on any mistakes made. Jot down the facts, and reflect on what did and did not work. Look at the support structures that you would want to have in place next time and your communication style during the process.
 
I love mistakes because they present a great opportunity to identify areas to develop.
 
Recognizing your mistakes also allows you to network. I say “network” because there may be someone in your community who has gone through a similar experience and can offer you advice.
 
Your bold move may be to connect with someone—a mentor, coach, or colleague—to support you in creating a game-plan to develop new skills or relationships.
 
Is there a different aspect of your company’s business that you would like to learn more about but are not sure how to approach?
 
One option is to connect with someone in the department you want to learn more about.
 
Schedule a meeting with this person, and be honest about your intentions and desires. 
 
Prior to this meeting, properly prepare by jotting down goals, objectives, and questions. If, after the initial conversation, you determine that you would like to pursue the matter further, schedule a follow-up meeting, and ask the person for his or her support.
 
Speak with your boss, and let him or her know what you would like to do. Gain his or her buy-in, so that you can create a win-win scenario.
 
Perform at a high level in your current role, while pursuing a project in a different department as a way of propelling your career forward.
 
How transferable are your skills? Can your current skills be stretched so that they can be applied to any job, or are your skills too narrowly focused?
 
Create an action-plan with your manager so that you can grow and make yourself more marketable internally and externally.
 
While engaging in the actions above, remember your brand perception. 
 
At work, are you the go-to person to get things done or the person people try to avoid at all costs? This is important to be conscious of because what you bring to the table and how you are perceived by others matters.
 
How do you react to feedback? Ask your colleagues what they think about your work and how you can improve. After you have gotten over the fear of asking, you may find people are willing to share their experiences working with you.
 
In order to grow your brand and career within the organization, take this feedback and create actions to build upon the positive aspects and correct any weaknesses.
 
However, remember that all work and no play yields a dull person.
 
Look outside of work at activities that you are currently involved in. If you are not involved in anything because of time restrictions, consider creating time to get involved in an activity or group of interest.
 
Being involved in activities outside of work allows you to develop additional skills and relationships. Volunteer for leadership positions to grow your network, and have a positive impact within your community.
 
If you are involved in activities outside of work, think of ways that you can leverage those experiences and relationships to get your next job.
 
Pharmacists, your next career move is waiting for you around the corner. To get to the next level, ensure that your vision is clear and that you have goals and objectives.
 
Proactively get the support you need, and be open and flexible.
 
Step out of your comfort zone(s), and be bold.


Simone Sloan, RPh, MBA
Simone Sloan, RPh, MBA
Simone Sloan, RPh, MBA, Business Strategist & Executive Coach. She has spent her career in the pharmaceutical industry and has leveraged her pharmacy experience in long-term care, retail, and managed care pharmacies in business. She has honed her business skills as a Marketer, in Business and Medical Communication, Global Business Strategy, and Business Cross-functional Team Managements. Simone brings insights to create actions that deliver real business results. More information about Simone can be found at www.YourChoiceCoach.com
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