Warda worked in retail before transitioning to medical writing and novel writing. However, her passion for writing began in pharmacy school when she wrote a full-length novel that she is now attempting to publish. Warda’s difficulties at the pharmacy prompted her to switch to writing full-time. She was subjected to constant stress, a lack of flexibility in her work schedule, a lack of a clear career progression path, and long periods of standing. Her physical health suffered as a result of it all. She developed chronic pain. That’s when she decided she’d had enough. She was no longer going to toy with the idea of making the job change; she was going to do it. She enrolled in the Happy PharmD’s coaching program and tendered her resignation from the pharmacy.
Before reaching out to the Happy PharmD, she had tried the traditional methods of applying for a job, as she recalls from pharmacy school, but had had little success. She puts it this way: “I had done everything that I was told to do in pharmacy school as well. Go to conferences, talk to people, volunteer, do this, do that. And I was like, you know what, at this point, I am so burned out.” She recounts how stressful the process was but still didn’t yield the desired results. “Because you’re sending out so many applications or you’re trying to tailor your resume, you’re trying to research other companies or other places, and there’s just not that much time because the competition is so high. In all of that, that process just wasn’t working. At some point, I just realized I’m gonna have to do something totally different.”
She now runs her own writing company, and pharmacists frequently reach out to her to learn more about medical writing. Her Alma Mata has also invited her to talk about how she got into medical writing. She was ecstatic to learn that medical writing is a viable career path and one in which she could leverage her pharmacy degree, even though it is not required. She also believes that the process needed to work in the hospital or the pharma industry (residency and fellowship) discourages many young pharmacists from pursuing these specializations.
She describes coaching as “career therapy” provided by professionals who have a track record of building successful businesses or professional experience and are now assisting others in doing the same. Her one-on-one sessions with her coach helped her revamp her resume, develop her personal brand through social media, and narrow down on a specific niche. Getting feedback from her coach every step of the way was an essential part of the process for her. The breakthrough moment in coaching occurred when she became honest about what she truly wanted – writing. Writing resonates with her personality and style. She began reaching out and connecting with other writers. In due time, she grew her network by leveraging social media.
Her current position allows her to decide her work schedule, get engaged in activities like reading books that she’s been putting off, and gradually take back her health. Her advice to those considering coaching is that a mindset shift is essential to taking the next career step. While reading books can help, having an experienced guide walk you through the process will change your perspective and set you up for success. Warda’s experience can become your reality if you start by taking the career assessment. We’ll assess if you are a good fit and get you started with coaching.
Alex is the Founder of The Happy PharmD. He loves anime, his family, and video games, but not in that order.