Healthcare is the most popular industry for side hustle work.
At first glance, this is great. Side hustles are great ways to bring in extra income, learn new skills, and develop experience in a subject you find interesting.
A side hustle also provides an outlet for creativity, which is vital for purpose and passion. Creative problem solvers are in high demand, but pharmacy and creativity side hustles aren’t compatible.
Pharmacy is highly regulated – and rightly so. Nobody wants their pharmacist getting creative with their child’s antibiotics. (“Oh, let me just double the dose here and see if that works...”)
Pharmacy’s work environment can be ruthless and unforgiving. A pharmacy side hustle often involves working PRN for another pharmacy. Work hours can be long, and the environment can be physically and mentally taxing.
The restrictive, demanding environment leads to high levels of burnout; pharmacists are twice as likely to commit suicide as the general public. I once heard a pharmacist say her career agitated her to tears. She felt that having to “prove herself” by counting by 5s and hitting verify buttons as fast as possible, day in and day out, insulted her intelligence.
We Need Creativity to Revive the Pharmacy Industry
Pharmacists need creativity. At the very minimum, creativity provides stress relief from intense workdays. At maximum, it lends unlimited potential for personal fulfillment. Creative employees lead to exceptional customer experiences. A happy pharmacist leads to a happy pharmacy.
Creativity is vital for fulfillment, and your career path does not limit it. You were drawn to pharmacy for a reason. You are here for a reason. You may be unhappy within pharmacy, but you didn't make it this far to be miserable. Pharmacy career opportunities exist. They’re just not handed to you.
Using the Side Hustles to Revive the Passion in Your Career
Side hustles are one of the easiest ways to revive passion and creativity in your career. They are perfect for the pharmacist who wants to explore new ways to make money and flex creative muscle. They also offer unlimited potential for you to take chances on big ideas without fear of failure.
Imagine the fun you could have making money by exploring a big vision that interests you – and imagine the joy of having people paying you to do it. When you're creatively exploring, it's not about the money. Money is great, and you will find people are willing to pay you to do things you’ve never thought of doing.
All it takes is the willingness to be open-minded.
Your childhood dreams also offer ideas. As a kid, I always dreamed of being a teacher. One of the first things I created as an entrepreneur was an online class. My first Udemy class never made a living wage; however, it's easily paid a few months rent over the life span of the course. It was just the beginning. I’ve built my side hustle into a 6-figure business as a pharmacist-entrepreneur.
Real Examples of Pharmacists with Side Hustles
Frank has been a pharmacist for 25 years. He manages an independent pharmacy, really enjoys fixing things, and spends his days off working on repairing, maintaining, and making improvements on his rental properties. He now has a small real estate empire where he's creatively fulfilled and loving every minute of it.
Brittany is a pharmacy manager who has always enjoyed writing, researching, and teaching. She launched Banner Medical Communications, where she writes continuing education grants and medical information for companies such as Kaplan. She also volunteered to help rate one ACE a few years ago, and she absolutely loved the experience.
Lance has been a pharmacist for over 20 years. He's enjoyed his work, and his job has been reliable, but his work lacked a certain well passion. Lance loves to write, and he can tell compelling stories. Lance gave into his urge to write a book, curious to see if he could earn money. A decade later, and he makes a decent side income from his book sales.
Are you interested in having a side hustle within pharmacy, healthcare, or outside of the industry altogether? Know that you are already well qualified and highly educated. Whether you want to teach, perform a service, whatever it is, you already have the necessary skills to start now. Let your creative juices flow and provide tons of value. Don’t hesitate to follow your curiosity and see where it leads you.
Take a look at your passions. Try different things. Can’t think of any ideas? Your work doesn’t have to be outside of healthcare either. Here’s a list of 53 side hustles for pharmacists.
Take Charge of Your Career with this Free Masterclass
Want to take control of your career? Every day, The Happy PharmD helps burned out, unemployed, and otherwise frustrated pharmacists create careers they love. If you’ve done everything you can think of to get a job, to get a new job, or to find fulfillment as a pharmacist, but feel stuck on how to move forward, sign up for my training. It features my step-by-step formula on how to get into a job without any experience, and it’s 100% FREE.
Alex is the Founder of The Happy PharmD. He loves anime, his family, and video games, but not in that order.