Career Exploration



Thechoice to pursue a career in pharmacy is informed by many factors.Chief among them is the inner desire to be a pharmacist, which hasbeen honed starting from the early years, to emulate successfulpharmacists. As a career requiring four more additional years ofstudy after a bachelors degree in science, its worth must be closelyassessed. Just like any other career, pharmacy brings with it severalchallenges that aspiring pharmacists must be willing to overcome. They include odd working hours, monotony and sometimes rude patients.Nonetheless, the pros of such a career that include good jobssecurity, higher pay, higher societal regard provide the motivationto pursue it. Personal interest in sciences specifically chemistryand biology can also be motivation for some students.

Itis important to align one’s career choice with his or her strongestattributes. Identifying one’s persona and attributes starts from anearly age and continues to take shape with potential career choicesbeing discovered along the way. These choices may change along theway under the influence of the prevailing environment andcircumstances leading to different career choices at different stagesof life. This is not confusion but rather aligning one’sattributes, both old and newly discovered with suitable careeroptions that complement those attributes. Therefore, before one setsout to choose a career path, one must first understand him/herselfwell enough to identify the reasons why a particular career pathsuits them. In most cases, a given set of traits and characteristicswill apply for different careers which explain why some people findit easy to change careers in life if the academic qualificationsallow.

Thereare several ways to assess and understand oneself. In modern times,there are several assessment tools that individuals and particularlystudents can access with ease including online based tools to examinetheir core attributes. These tools are geared towards understandingone’s skills, interests, values and other traits. It must be notedhowever, that these tools only rely on the information that they arefed with to analyze someone. For some tools, they can utilize theseattributes to make suggestion of careers. It thus goes without sayingthat users must feed correct information to the tools to have a validand an accurate assessment. On the other hand, a user must be able tovet the tool used. Some of the things to consider are what the toolmeasures the credentials of the developer, the source, toolvalidation and the interpretability of results. However, if severaltools are used with similar results, then the results are morereliable. For certain careers, there are several key notedattributes.

Careerpharmacists must have a set of key attributes and skills to performeffectively. One of them is having a good memory. A good memory isnot an end in being a pharmacist though it is a good start. A goodmemory works well for pharmacists who have to memorize the rathercomplex nomenclature for medication taking note of the various druginteractions. It must be noted that drug interactions and uniquepatient allergic reactions to various drugs can be a matter of lifeand death hence the need to have pharmacists with top notch memories.

Careerpharmacists must love interacting with people. This is becausepharmacists are required to interact with patients with thepossibilities that some are rude, uncooperative or may need extra andspecialized attention. For instance, deaf patients may have troubleunderstanding all prescription instructions. Such working conditionsfor pharmacists can not only be uncomfortable but might be stressful.Employers should therefore make it a point to provide assistivemeasures such as translators and sign language assistants to aid indelivering their services. Pharmacists must therefore be humaneenough and have enough patience and compassion to work with suchpeople.

Pharmacologicalcareers are some of the highly ranked careers in the US in terms ofrespect and esteem. Therefore, pharmacists are assured of a decentincome to make their life comfortable in addition to associatedbenefits that come along with such prestigious careers. Some possiblebenefits include paid for gold club membership, gym membership,company car or even a company house. The Bureau of Labor Statisticsplaced 2012 median salary for pharmacists at $116,670 per year or$56.09 per hour per which is arguably way above the average andmedian wage in America.

Pharmacistsare safer compared to physicians, clinicians and nurses. Pharmacistsrarely get into physical contact with patients thus eliminating therisks of disease infection. In recent months, the risk of contractinginfections from patients has been brought to reality through thereported Ebola infections in some parts of Africa. With severaldoctors and nurses reported to have been infected with the deadlyvirus from contacts with infected patients, pharmacists have remainedrelatively safe compared to these doctors and nurses. As such, acareer in pharmacy enables one to work in the healthcare industry andserve humanity while at the same time maintaining a decent level ofsafety against infections from patients.

Pharmacistsenjoy greater job security as the healthcare industry keeps ongrowing. This is a very important aspect to consider in modern timesgiven that rapid technology changes has rendered some careers lessmarketable. For instance, librarians are slowly losing their jobs asmore online libraries get established and e-books get published.Pharmacists have little to worry about that at least in theforeseeable future given that as long as people exists, healthcarewill be a primary need. Therefore, they enjoy greater job securitywhich is also supported by continued search in some diseases such asdiabetes and HIV which tend to keep patients on medication for alifetime.

Thejob is repetitive in nature and involves long hours of standing andsometimes dealing with rude patients. For many people, this would bean instant put off considering that the job sometimes involvesworking late nights, public holidays and weekends. This can have avery serious impact on one’s social and family. In other extremecases, redundancy resulting from repetitiveness can be a source ofstress and depression. This is a risk to the professionals themselvesand also the patients they serve. To persevere through this,pharmacists must have the needed commitment and be capable of seeingthe larger picture of serving humanity.

Giventhe issues facing a career pharmacist as discussed above, one canmake an informed decision of what to expect in future and thesacrifices that need to be made. A proper understanding of theseissues enables one to be well emotionally and psychologicallyprepared. Students who feel that they can cope with demands of thisprofession can give it a shot. Nonetheless, they should have theinborn desire to serve humanity which will give them the neededfirepower to overcome the hurdles. Financial reasons and esteem aloneare not enough to push one through this career. All in all, anyonewho feels inclined to pursue a career in pharmacy, it is important toidentify more than one more motivating factor to join the profession.