Looking Forward

      I’ve reached a point in my career where I’m beginning to think more about what the future holds for me.  What direction do I want to steer my career?  Where do I want to be in five or ten years? 

      It’s only natural to re-evaluate your career at various stages of your life.  Thinking about the future has a way of forcing you to look at your job and your life differently. 

      For me, priorities have changed.  Pharmacy seems just a little less important now than it was years ago. 

      My top priorities don’t involve work.  I looked my biggest priority in the eyes this morning and said “Happy Valentine’s Day.”   Getting married has a way of shifting what’s important in one’s life. 

      In years past, I’d look for work opportunities based on what a particular job might offer me professionally.  I was always in search of a new avenue of opportunity. 

      But now, I find myself longing for a job that allows me to spend more time with loved ones.   It isn’t that being a pharmacist means less to me now.  It’s just that other things mean more. 

      I’ve always faced the challenges of community pharmacy with a bit of stubbornness.  I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve done so far even if there have been times when I was frustrated. 

      For now, my employment status feels more unstable than I’d care to admit.  The job I’ve almost taken for granted in years past now seems more like a special opportunity that can be taken away at any moment. 

      But with uncertainty comes opportunity.  I’m beginning to realize that job instability isn’t all bad.  It forces you to consider all your options and look for new opportunities.   It makes you think outside the box. 

      And while I ponder my own future in the world of pharmacy, it proceeds to change around me.  Automation, medication therapy management, the influence of the insurance industry and government all play a role in the evolving world of pharmacy.  

     What I hope for the profession is what I want for my own career.  I want change to open new doors instead of simply closing those that already exist.  I want more for myself and much more for my profession. 

     Our healthcare system is now focused more and more on cost effective quality care.  Pharmacists can provide that very service.   And I want to be a small part of that somehow. 

     I may explore job opportunities outside of traditional retail pharmacy.  I may also be given opportunities within my current practice setting in the near future.  You never know what is coming next.

     For so long in my career I’ve looked towards the past.  My focus was on the training and experience that got me to where I am today.  My memories of past jobs and experiences guided me.

     But now, I want to focus on looking forward.  I want to see what the next chapter in my career will bring.  

     My guess is that my profession would be better served to be forward thinking as well.  It’s easy to harp on our current challenges.  But isn’t it time we all take a look into our future? 

     I still believe that pharmacy has a bright future in our rapidly evolving healthcare system.  How we get to that future and what exactly it might look like isn’t very clear yet.  But that’s OK.  The future is rarely crystal clear. 

The Redheaded Pharmacist

(Final Note- This is my 500th post since beginning The Redheaded Pharmacist blog over 3 years ago.  Thank you all for taking the time to stop by this website.  I hope these posts are as enjoyable to read as they are for me to write.  I appreciate all the support and feedback I’ve received over the years.  Thank you and Happy Valentine’s Day!)

2 Comments to “Looking Forward”

  1. By Pharmaciststeve, February 15, 2013 @ 6:51 pm

    IMO.. those RPH’s that continue to look backwards.. to the work environment that we have worked in for the past century +.. will be the ones “left behind”.. New opportunities will not come and “tap you on the shoulder” to tell you that you have arrived.. Some/many/all opportunities will initially be barely visible – like driving in the fog… you think you see something… but can’t quite make out what it is. Initially expect a lower salary and/or work on a revenue sharing basis. If you are currently living beyond your means or having trouble making ends meet… may preclude you from venturing out.


  2. By LDPlaceboeffect, February 16, 2013 @ 10:46 am

    After 25 years in the pharmacy workforce (40 years in the ‘health-care’ arena), it occurs to me that there will always be people that need the services I provide, and that I’ve trained (and continue to grow in knowledge) so long as I keep mind active, increased interest in gaining knowledge to better help out, and options open. At this point, I’ve saved money to help kids through college, purchased the house, gone through at least a dozen used cars, tried to live healthily with rheumatoid arthritis settling in (reminding me that my body is not infallible and there will be an end to it all someday), seen something of the world, and enjoy respect in the community for integrity and speaking out when pressed.


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