Over the years, The Happy PharmD has been actively engaged in helping pharmacists create a better future, within and outside the profession. The goal has been to ensure that pharmacists love what they do and get adequately rewarded for it. The feedback from pharmacists who have gone through the program points to an overwhelming success.
Hear what Kelsa Benzing has to say about the program here.
In this article, we will be examining just how much of an impact it has had on the life of Kelsa Benzing, PharmD. She tells her story of how she got a sense of hope through the program, just when she was about to quit and now leads a positively transformed life.
Following the completion of her Pharmacy school program at Butler University, Indianapolis 2018, like many other pharmacists, she was hit with the reality of the pharmacy setting in the real world, the major one being an apparent lack of available jobs.
The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy says that between 14,000 to 15,000 students graduate from pharmacy school each year for at least the last 5 years. Despite there being little or no jobs created to match the influx of new pharmacists.
After applying for multiple residencies at hospitals, around the Indianapolis area, without success, Kelsa “settled” for a retail pharmacy position.
A position she hoped to be a short-term fix.
As time went on, it became clear why she couldn't survive for long on the job.
In her own words, "I had hoped the retail setting would be something I enjoyed (long-term). But we were understaffed, and it was starting to affect my mental and physical health as I was stressed all the time".
After applying to multiple jobs without responses, helplessness and feeling stuck crept in.
For a while, this went on before she decided to quit and begin an active search for job openings. While on the hunt, an accidental encounter with The Happy PharmD started a series of meetings that brought about the much-needed career boost.
LinkedIn was the primary job board of choice in her quest to land a new role. Daily, she devoted at least 4 hours to search for job openings without much success.
After learning of The Happy PharmD and our coaching program, it felt like the right fix.
Aside from merely landing a new job, other challenges needed solutions. For one, she still did not have a clear understanding of what makes her stand out from the crowd or where to take her career next. While she knew she wanted out of her current role, there was no clear picture of the next step to take. From the first session with her assigned counselor, she felt comfortable and began to clarify what she wanted. Speaking about work problems to pharmacists who understood her peculiar situation was a breath of fresh air. The enabling environment also helped her decompress from work as she could express her fears, concerns, and worries without the fear of being judged.
The program also provided a clear step-by-step guide that each participant was expected to follow. She also felt encouraged to know that other individuals had earlier gone down this path and experienced personal and career transformation. They were proof that The Happy PharmD system works.
The clarity and assurance on this front made her see a future where she was finally in a role that she would be proud of and lead a fulfilling life.
Those encounters helped her reflect and come up with a long-term plan for her career. She was getting to talk about general long-term goals, which helped give her a different perspective and learn more about herself. She realized she was not stuck. There was a way out of her current predicament, and she could feel it.
About her sessions, she says, "The biggest piece (from the program) was that Alex and Chris (her coach) helped me figure out things with the tasks that were given to me. One of which was drawing a five-year plan. I just really sat down and tried to figure some stuff out like what I like, what I am good at, and all that".
Within two months of starting the program, an opening came along.
Even though she had earlier applied twice for openings at the same company without much success, she felt prepared to test the waters again. A quick scan through the job description with Coach Chris Baechle revealed it suited her strengths. An application followed, and she got shortlisted for the interview, eventually landing the role as an Oncology Pharmacist at a Specialty Pharmacy. And so it happened that within two months of the program, she got her first interview and was employed.
The role turned out to be a perfect fit.
There was no need to dispense medications, and constant work pressures that were commonplace in the previous position were none existent in the new job. It also afforded time and flexibility. Getting started in the new role required some preliminary training to acclimatize the recruits with the standard operating system and the drugs used in oncology. During the coaching program, Kelsa had discovered how much of teaching, learning new things, and precepting she enjoyed. All of which the new role allows her to do.
Kelsa's story is an amazing one. It is one of courage and tenacity. She decided she wanted a change and dared to take actionable steps despite being in the middle of a global pandemic.
Her story, just like so many others who have worked with us, shows that anyone could change their life if only they are willing to take action.
Kelsa puts it this way, "We did a lot of work, but I got lucky with the right opening at the same time...it was a little bit of fate and a lot of work."
But that’s the thing about luck. Being “lucky” only happens to those who are prepared for it.
If you want to get started on your journey towards a more fulfilling pharmacy career and create a bit of luck for yourself, do not hesitate to reach out to us.
Alex is the Founder of The Happy PharmD. He loves anime, his family, and video games, but not in that order.