Prior to reaching out to The Happy PharmD for guidance, Shama was a compounding pharmacy supervisor at a fertility company. She learned a lot of great things at the beginning; it felt like a whirlwind with organizational things to accomplish and patients to take care of.

Before that, Shama was a pharmacy manager for a high-volume chain. It was amazing work. She really enjoyed turning stores around and helping patients.

She knew even back then, however, that she someday wanted to get into Pharma. But how to do it?

Seeking peers

As Shama explained, “It’s really very hard to have a conversation with someone who is not in pharmacy about where you want to go because they just don’t understand what you do.”

Pharmacists go to school for a reason: to help patients. But it sometimes happens that they lose themselves along the way and desire a change.

I felt like I had more to give,” she recalls. “I couldn’t imagine doing the same thing for 30 more years.”

Shama was on LinkedIn but not very active. She made the decision to reach out and learn more. But, she said, “I felt like I was reaching out to total strangers to get a job. I was so nervous about it. I knew my personality wasn’t coming across and I didn’t have anyone that I could talk to about it.”

Happy accident

Shama stumbled upon The Happy PharmD by accident.

I was part of the operation side of the pharmacy as well. One night, I was making sure the thousands of packages for our clients were being loaded onto the trucks for delivery. I saw the words Happy PharmD on one of the packages and wondered to myself ‘How can that be a thing? How can those words work together?’

“So, I connected with Alex. I’d been happy in my career before and I wanted to get it back.”

Shama recalls one of her first conversations with Alex when they discussed what it was she really wanted out of her degree: To help her patients to the utmost of her capabilities while still having time for her own family.

Alex has done the things I’ve done but he was able to get over the pharmacy wall,” Shama explained. “I wanted to get over it too! To speak with Alex was to finally speak with a peer.”

Reigniting the spark

Shama had previously listened to the advice from her LinkedIn contacts and applied it whenever she could, but she credits Alex with reigniting the spark she once felt for pharmacy.

She felt valued again. “Alex taught me to believe that there was something out there for me and that I could find it. I had to decide what I wanted to do, where I wanted to go, and what I was willing to do to get there.”

Shama did the homework. She began to realize where she belonged and what she had to give. She has since worked with amazing vendors, made new relationships, and has learned so much more about where she wants to go.

Previously, when trying to find a solution on her own, Shama admits she felt frustrated.

It was emotionally draining. What was I not doing? What was I not working on? What was I missing? When will I ever get there?!  It was so frustrating.

“It is easier to realize now that if we keep moving forward, things will happen for us. I would beat myself up about all the time and effort I put forth. I wanted someone to realize it.  I didn’t want to be stuck in the same spot for the next 30 years.”

Regaining control

Shama has made tremendous strides.  She is now in the driver’s seat of her career.

“I am just more confident now,” she said. “I have more confidence in myself. I know how to network and how to make lasting relationships. I know that even when I don’t know something, I can find the answer.

“I now work in Medical Affairs. I’m excited because it is a non-specific role that allows me to wear many hats and learn lots of new things. I think that versatility is what keeps a person strong. It allows me to help my patients.”

Shama learned a lot about herself through her conversations with Alex. He pushed her beyond her limits which was something she felt she really needed.

“I was able to build a relationship with Alex as my mentor. I was able to lean on him. He knew, from our many valuable and meaningful conversations, where I wanted to go. His advice helped me get there.

“I was at a roadblock before I met Alex. I didn’t know where to go or how to get there. Recruiters try to help but it was so much more important for me to be able to talk to someone who truly understood where I was and where I wanted to go.

“I needed a peer. I wanted the advice of a peer on the other side to help me. Alex did not disappoint. I wouldn’t change a thing.”

Shama credits The Happy Pharm D with helping her to establish equilibrium in her life. She needed growth and satisfying work.

“The conversations with Alex were of the utmost value to me. He helped me do the hard work I needed to do to get to over that wall. He made me realize that I am a good pharmacist and that I can take that next step in my career.

“Growth is important and I’ve grown. I’m proud of myself.”

Be Happy and Be a Pharmacist: How You Can Become Both, Again
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