4 Pharmacy Career Trends to Watch
1) NETWORKING REMAINS KEY TO PHARMACIST JOB SUCCESS
In today’s pharmacy job market, the first graduating class of a newly formed pharmacy school attributed their high job placement rates to the institution’s practice of encouraging students to build and use their professional network throughout their pharmacy education process.
This will continue to be an important tool. Recently, I’ve seen the following specifically stated in some pharmacist job ads, “Please include LinkedIn on your resume.”
Not reason enough get your profile together? Also note, that some software systems at large institutions and companies used to manage employee records and internal job transfers can integrate with your LinkedIn Profile.
Your LinkedIn profile can be imported to pre-populate your internal professional profile and subsequent application when you’re applying for an internal position. This makes it easier to apply.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
☐ Consider a LinkedIn profile a “MUST” not just an “OPTION.” Also, consider social platforms available through pharmacy associations to meet and connect with others in the profession.
☐ With new upcoming changes to LinkedIn imminent, those who have remained on the sidelines can join in. The new desktop version will undergo a major change making it a bit more user-friendly. If you already have a LinkedIn Profile, you are strongly encouraged to download your current content and request an archive of all your information.
☐ Be prepared to make changes. DO NOT ASSUME YOUR PROFILE WILL CONVERT IN A FLATTERING WAY! Remember optimization of key areas of your profile will remain essential to your success. Look for additional resources about the new LinkedIn interface in the new year.
2) PHARMACY TECHNICIAN ROLES AND SALARIES WILL GROW
More and more, efforts are being made to expand the pharmacy technician role and make it less transitory–no longer a mere stepping stone to another career. I’ve seen job openings for Clinical Pharmacy Technician from an institution in the Northeast US region advertised as:
“Under direct supervision of the Pharmacy Business Manager and Clinical Programs Manager, the Clinical Pharmacy Technician (CPT) primarily interacts with patients requiring clinical intervention. The CPT works closely with the Prior Authorization team, Patient Assistance Program Specialists, Clinical Coordinators, and all Outpatient Pharmacy staff, prescribers, and medical office staff in order to serve the patients.
The CPT will communicate with patients, caregivers, healthcare providers, and colleagues to relay and obtain pertinent information. The CPT may provide on-call services for patients as required, participates in process improvement, and develops relationships with patients. The CPT also participates in other duties related to the day-to-day operations of the outpatient pharmacies. One year of retail technician experience is required: two years preferred.”
This job description says a lot about the state of technician duties! Med Reconciliation Technicians, narcotic, and other operational pharmacy technical roles are becoming commonplace in hospitals. For employers to capitalize on the strengths and value these technicians provide, there is an increased focus on increased pay. This is in part due to their increased responsibility, but also potential shortages of qualified applicants as new pharmacy technician education and certification requirements take effect in 2020.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
☐ Embrace change and be a part of the solution as new workflows are designed and implemented.
☐ Continue to hone your professional clinical skills as the profession of pharmacy continues to evolve and everyone is encouraged to work at the top of their licenses.
3) PHARMACIST SALARIES MAY CONTINUE TO DECREASE-AT LEAST FOR SOME
What goes up must come down…While salaries for techs are expected to go up over the next few years, salaries for entry-level hospital pharmacists are expected to decline 10%.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
☐ Continue to network, and work to showcase your value. Many graduating pharmacists may have valuable skills developed from professional work done prior to pharmacy school that could add to your value proposition. I had the privilege of working with a client who is credentialed in clinical laboratory medicine and finishing pharmacy school. Extensive previous work with culture and sensitivity and appropriate antibiotic usage outshined typical new pharmacy graduates (even PGY1)–especially with the new emphasis being placed on antimicrobial stewardship in health care.
☐ Market yourself on your resume, during your job interview, and even your salary negotiations. Professional assistance is available to you in these areas, and it’s ok to use them.
4) NON-PHARMACIST PROFESSIONALS IN LEADERSHIP MAY INCREASE
As the day to day aspects of pharmacy departments grow in complexity and operational budgets expand, promotions to management after frontline practice may shift slightly to the hiring of non-pharmacist professionals with more expertise in business, logistics, and other operational areas.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
☐ If pharmacy leadership or management is in your sights, be well prepared to pursue MBA and other official means of advanced training. Make sure your management skills are constantly evolving.
☐ Maintain clinical competence to solidify your practice abilities as you may be asked to assume dual roles as non-pharmacists assume the management ranks.
About the Author
Denise R. Hemphill, PharmD, CCM, NCRW, CPRW, CIC, CCTC is the founder of Confident Career Moves®. She is an Executive Resume, CV, & Social Profile Writer designing dynamic self-marketing tools. As a pharmacist and career manager equipped with 5 prominent career industry certifications, she helps pharmacists nationwide reach their career goals. Connect on LinkedIn
Are you seeking a transition into management? Another pharmacy practice area? Or even another career? Visit www.ConfidentCareerMoves.com/rx.
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