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As a full-time pharmacist, will it be possible to balance work, a family, and an healthy lifestyle?

In the future, I want to have a career that I love. However, I also want to have a #family, eat #healthy, stay #active, and get enough sleep. Does working as a #pharmacist deter the possibility of balancing work, family, and personal health? #pharmacy #work-life-balance #balance

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Kerry’s Answer

Hi Shayna,

I have been working as a pharmacist in a variety of roles with CVS Health since 2007, and I can tell you that you can definitely balance your work, family, and healthy lifestyle. I was married during pharmacy school, so right off the bat I was balancing my work life with my husbands. I was able to work with my partners to work more evening shifts that morning shifts to match my husband's schedule, so most days we were at home and work at the same time, giving us more time together at home. I have also had 2 children since I was first licensed, and have always been able to balance things in order to be home for them when needed. CVS also just implemented paid maternity/paternity leave for all FT employees, which makes it even easier to take time off.

I think the most important thing to remember is that you own what is most important to you. Once you determine what is most important to you, you can prioritize your time and schedule to make time for these things. In my experience, people who are overworked feel that way because they are doing/working what someone else is dictating, rather than organizing their own time.



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Jordana’s Answer

Hi Shayna, that's a very common question, whether pharmacist or any other full time job. The short answer is "yes, absolutely". The long answer is - not always possible ALL the time. They key lies in how you prioritize these things, against everything else that can compete for your attention. A healthy lifestyle involves exercise and good nutrition. You have to eat anyway, so it doesn't take much effort to make sure that food is supporting your health. For family - they don't require as much *quantity* of time, as they do *quality*, so make sure time with him/them matter, that you are present and attentive. 1 hour *there* is far better than 4 hours with them but also doing other things.

Lay out your calendar. Work is an obvious must, so mark that off. Then look at the hours left each day, including weekends. If exercise is a priority (and it should be, in general), then put it on your calendar. You are the boss of your exercise, so don't skip that meeting. If exercise includes family perfect! If not, then don't be afraid to put family time on your calendar as well.

Sleep is critical, so every day starts with when you go to bed the night before. Be very protective of your sleep routine. Regular good sleep can make or break a day, a week, a month. It might take some time to figure out the best balance overall. But know that any given day or week or month may mean that family or exercise has to take a back burner, and be ok with that. It is not possible to balance ALL these things ALL the time, but it IS possible to balance them all over time.

Wow thanks Jordana! Such a well written and thought out answer. I appreciate your time and answering my question. I'm definitely going to keep what you said in mind for the future. Thanks again! Shayna S.

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Austin’s Answer

Hi Shayna,

Good question. So I am not a pharmacist so I'm not able to speak about the time commitments of that job, but I can speak to time management as a whole. When you are starting off in any job, you will be pulled in multiple directions and the way to remain sane and balanced is to exercise good time management. I am a consultant and I work usually around 50-60 hours a week, yet I still have a healthy social life and manage to sleep at least 6 hours a night. While it is not easy, it is possible because I plan out my time and don't waste time. There are times where I want to socialize more, but in order to have a career I have had to make sacrifices. Time is scarce and you will have to develop a sense of what is most important to you.

Time commitments are not zero sum and by spending more time in the office does not mean that you won't have a social life; balance you activities and don't allocate a lot more time to one part of your life over another. Everything has an opportunity cost and while we may not have a perfect schedule, knowing what is most important to you and scheduling time responsibly will make time management and sacrifice much easier to manage. Starting a family does take up a lot of time, but many before you have managed to work and have a family and I know that with discipline and finesse you will be able to do so as well!!

Think about what's most important to you and schedule out your commitments.

I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck.



Hi Austin! Thank you for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate you insight and advice. I will definitely practice prioritizing my time and commitments. Your advice gives me hope and motivation for the future! Thanks again!! Shayna S.