Founder and CEO, The Happy PharmD
He helps pharmacists create fulfilling careers and lives.
For a time, Alex Barker was a burned-out clinical pharmacy specialist. Now, he is the Founder and Head Coach at The Happy PharmD where, alongside his team, he creates classes to help over 1,000 pharmacists find and create new career paths.
He recently published the book Indispensable: The Prescription for a Fulfilling Pharmacy Career.
The Happy PharmD’s goal is to help 500 pharmacists transition into new jobs by January 1st, 2023.
When he’s not working with pharmacists, he spends time with his wife, Megan, and two lovely girls, Izzie and Addie.
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More about Alex Barker: the founder of The Happy PharmD
When I’m not drawing monsters with my girls or watching anime, I’m experimenting on career development, helping pharmacists create inspiring careers and lives.
Alex Barker, the Founder
The Happy PharmD was born out of a burdensome, burnout, and grateful hope for pharmacy. Alex Barker, PharmD started his career with the same hopes pharmacy students hold when graduating: I hope I can find a decent job.
After his residency, he worked as an ambulatory care pharmacist at the Veteran’s Affairs Administration. He discovered three things:
- He didn’t love his job
- He was bullied
- He felt like a failure as a pharmacist
This almost stopped him in his tracks as he struggled with burnout, bullying, and feeling stuck. But he decided to use his creative energies to build businesses on the side. After quite a few failures and lessons learned, he discovered coaching and decided to hire coaches. He thought,
“If someone else knows how to accomplish my goals, why wouldn’t I invest to fast-track my progress?”
He received feedback from his coaches that he would have a natural talent for coaching. After multiple classes, coaching over 150 people and helping them achieve life, career, and business goals, he realized that pharmacists probably felt the same way he did when he started his career: confused, frustrated, dissatisfied with pharmacy, unable to find fulfilling work and that they would benefit from coaching to achieve their career goals.
After over 300 phone calls with pharmacists, dozens of pharmacy manager interviews, and questioning hiring executives and association leaders, Alex discovered that pharmacy had a gaping hole: How to create a fulfilling career in pharmacy. Most pharmacists told him they felt dispensable, like at any moment their hospital could close or their manager would fire them. They felt like the medicine they dispensed: disposable, replaceable.
Alex mapped out The Happy PharmD path, based on his coach training, experience, and the pharmacy job market, to help pharmacists create Indispensable pharmacy careers. Fast forward to today, The Happy PharmD has grown to over 20 team members, including 10 pharmacist career coaches. No one has a crystal ball on the pharmacy job market. But that won’t stop us from helping pharmacists, like you, to stop the guessing game and instead intentionally build a career where the job offers come to you.