Everyone has an “aha!” moment—a moment when they discover a career path that is right for them. While some may have this moment early on, many others realize their ideal career after years of contemplation and work experience. We spoke with a handful of pharmacists to identify when they had their “aha!” moments.
During High School and College
The majority of practicing pharmacists realized that a career in pharmacy interested them during their high school and college years. These years are key to development, as you’re given numerous opportunities to independently investigate your interests. Many pharmacists report having naturally gravitated towards math and science classes during these years—two subjects that are key to informing common pharmaceutical practices such as drug research, education, and distribution.
While many resources are at your fingertips during these years, it is also important to personally seek out opportunities. Researching which colleges have strong pharmacy programs, attending open houses at pharmacy schools, and consulting advisors can all help guide you in knowing if a career in pharmacy is right for you.
Consulting with Family Members and Mentors
The people around us can greatly influence our thoughts and decisions. In fact, many pharmacists report that family members, practicing pharmacists, and mentors greatly impacted their decision to enter the field. Individuals that you respect and trust can give you candid advice and insight into the day-to-day activities and opportunities available. Additionally, they likely have connections that will open the door for you to receive more direct, hands-on experience.
Shadowing a Pharmacist
Shadowing practicing pharmacists helped many students better understand the requirements of the position. Alternatively, for some individuals that already knew they wanted to become a pharmacist, obtaining a position as a pharmacy technician helped them better understand which part of the industry they were most interested in. In some instances, these first-hand experiences also helped dispel some misconceptions they had about the field.
After Establishing a Career
Rest assured that you can always dabble in multiple interests before settling down on a career. In fact, sometimes, exploring an interest can be the best way to realize it’s not what you want to be doing with your life. A few practicing pharmacists suggested that they were established lawyers, biologists, or teachers before realizing that they had a passion for pharmacy. Alternatively, others wanted to work within the healthcare industry, but were not sure which path was right for them. Upon research and reflection, they discovered that pharmacy was the best choice.
We hope that these moments resonate with you and your career path! Tell us, what was your “aha!” moment?