3 Proactive Steps to Avoid Pharmacist Layoffs

3 Proactive Steps to Avoid Pharmacist Layoffs

Pharmacy Layoffs
Don’t Get Discouraged by Pharmacist Layoffs, See Them as Opportunities to Grow!

Pharmacist layoffs have been occurring in small numbers since 2014 with cutbacks for retail pharmacists at Express Scripts and other major retail chains. Also in 2014, hospital and health-system layoffs increased affecting multiple disciplines including physicians, nursing, and other staff. Many facilities indicated workforce reductions were to deal with lower-than-expected operating and financial performance caused by reduced utilization of services.

In cost-conscious 2016, health-system pharmacies are often asked to make the best use of technology to improve efficiency in the pharmacy and cut staff while keeping up with increasing workload. Further workforce reductions are predicted with some underway that continue to hit closer to home. Most rarely think about change or pharmacist layoffs until it happens to them. I’ve seen both ends of the spectrum – a pharmacy manager escorted to the door and even the termination of a young clinically-savvy Board Certified Pharmacist due to lack of professionalism and a full understanding of their workplace expectations and culture.

Meanwhile, 2016 Pharmacy Demand Index values reveal that a decreased demand for pharmacists is becoming a reality, at least for the Northeast Region of the country. A fact you may not have known but can “feel” as it may seem harder and take longer to obtain a new pharmacist position.

“Changes occur for many reasons, so you need to be prepared to leave. Remain vigilant in developing new skill sets that make you a desirable employee for your current and future employer.”

For the equipped pharmacist, there are still viable employment opportunities, but you also need to be prepared to leave a job. Thus, proactive career management is paramount. All pharmacist should:

1) SEEK OPPORTUNITIES TO REMAIN MARKETABLE AND HONE SKILLS that will serve you well in your current position and future ones. Engage in webinars, conferences, professional associations, seek certifications, and other professional development opportunities that expand your skills and knowledge.

2) ESTABLISH AND EXPAND YOUR NETWORK as experts estimate that 74-85% of available jobs are never advertised. If you only apply for advertised jobs, you miss out on opportunities.


The most efficient way to accomplish numbers 2 and 3 is to create and optimize your LinkedIn profile.
Establish connections, demonstrate your experience and professional contributions, display professional endorsements and recommendations — ALL IN ONE PLACE! Your LinkedIn profile is on 24/7 and is always at work for you. But be mindful of your privacy settings. Change the setting for notifications so that your network doesn’t get notices when you update information on your profile or apply for a job.

Another good way to prepare is to bring your resume out of the 1990’s. Honestly, bring it out of 2005! Optimize and update your career documents to today’s standards. Even if you are a younger professional, many of today’s resume templates are dated and just don’t help separate you from the sea of viable pharmacist candidates or easily maneuver applicant tracking software systems.

So don’t get discouraged by reductions in workforce, see them as opportunities to grow! Change is not easy, but inevitable. Be prepared to seize the moment and embrace it.

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.