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What got you interested and helped you stay interest in your career.

career-advice career-choice pharmacist
I'm 16 years old and would like to go into pharmacy when I grow up. I wonder what skills and traits will help me get to my dream.

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9 answers

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Sheila’s Answer

Hi Micah:

Thank you for your question. I tend to agree with Jameel's comments and would like to add a few more points for your consideration.

• ANALYTICAL SKILLS - - Pharmacists must provide safe medications efficiently. To do this, they must be able to evaluate a patient’s needs and the prescriber’s orders, and have extensive knowledge of the effects and appropriate circumstances for giving out a specific medication.
• COMMUNICATION SKILLS - - Pharmacists frequently offer advice to patients. They might need to explain how to take medicine, for example, and what its side effects are. They also need to offer clear direction to pharmacy technicians and interns.
• COMPUTER SKILLS - - Pharmacists need computer skills in order to use any electronic health record (EHR) systems that their organization has adopted.
• DETAILED ORIENTED - - Pharmacists are responsible for ensuring the accuracy of the prescriptions they fill. They must be able to find the information that they need to make decisions about what medications are appropriate for each patient, because improper use of medication can pose serious health risks.
• MANAGERIAL SKILLS - - Pharmacists—particularly those who run a retail pharmacy—must have good managerial skills, including the ability to manage inventory and oversee a staff.

You'll want to make sure that you have a set of transferable skills such as teamwork, time management, etc. I wish you much success on your journey. Best of luck to you!

Sheila recommends the following next steps:
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Derek’s Answer

Hi Micah,

I am not a pharmacist, but I'll also say I'm not a veterinarian either (that was my dream job at 16). Not to say that you won't become an amazing pharmacist one day, but I can only tell you what I've learned, and I can say that you'll be heavily influenced by a number of different people and environments these next five years or so. Therefore, stay open to other ideas, interests, and skills you have because there might be another opportunity that comes your way.

But to answer your question more directly, I participated in a number of internships, and all of them helped me understand who I wanted to be when I graduated college. So once I went into the real world workplace, I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do long term. And then the more I learned, the more I experienced, and it just really reinforced my interest in my line of work. So now about 6 years later, I'm super happy with the path I chose. Not to say everything is always fine and rosey, there are definitely hard days that I question my profession, but there will always be days like that, no matter where you go. You just have to keep showing up and bringing your best attitude, and doing your best work that you possibly can do.

Hope that helps, good luck!
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Karen’s Answer

Great question! It can be difficult to decide what you'd like to major in and also what you'd like to pursue as a career. If you know you're interested in pharmacy, that's a great start. When I first went to college, I was unsure what I wanted to do, but knew that I liked sciences and working with people. Through "process of elimination", I learned that I was NOT interested in working in a lab, but wanted to apply sciences to a career working with people. I considering applying to medical school, but ultimately majored in public health, which has led me to my current career in health care. As a pharmacist, you would also be applying science to a career working with people. You might want to consider speaking with or job shadowing a pharmacist to see if it would be a good fit for you. You also might want to see if there is an internship that you can do while you are in school, to make sure you're heading into a career you'll love!
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K’s Answer

Being able to branch out into a different avenue of pharmacy and patient care is what got me really interested in the career. I branched out and became a Managed Care pharmacist and became really interested in learning new aspects of my career in pharmacy from a totally different perspective!
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Prerak’s Answer

Hello Micah! Pharmacy is a great career to be in. I am excited that you are aiming to be a pharmacist and have already initiated efforts to achieve your dream. As a pharmacist, I have experience of working in different areas - I have worked in a specialty pharmacy and have enjoyed one on one interactions with the patients and now as a managed care pharmacist, I love to positively impact patient care on a larger scale. I believe that strong communication and leadership skills, passion for patient care and active learning, being organized and effective time management will really help you become a pharmacist and achieve success in your career.
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Loree’s Answer

I am not a pharmacist but I wanted to tell you that your question really impressed me. I think it is very insightful to ask what keeps someone interested in their career over many days, years and decades. Good job!
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Don’s Answer

I like to figure things out and find ways to fix broken things. I have always enjoyed figuring out another way to get something done. I also like seeing the results of my work. So I have chosen a career in telecommunications where things are always changing, and there is always something new to learn. I get to see systems planned and then functioning. I get to see new technologies and how quickly they change things. I am always excited to go to work and know, that my days will always be different. It is fun to learn and grow every day. Knowledge is power, and in my field you can't learn enough.
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Jameel’s Answer

Hey Micah,

Whether your going into the pharmaceutical industry or not, you would want to develop a set of transferable skills that will lead to success no mater the industry you decide on pursuing.

Transferable Skills

Team Work. Work effectively in a group or team to achieve goals.
Leadership. Show initiative and leadership abilities. .
Personal Motivation, Organization and Time Management.
Active Listening.
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Amy’s Answer

This like many careers needs a strong attention to detail, willingness to continue to learn, and the ability to interact with people. It is important that you are able to effectively communicate with a wide variety of people and maintain confidential information. This career requires extensive knowledge of the products.

Amy recommends the following next steps:

Have you looked into shadow programs in this field through your school?