This is a good question. Because pharmacists work in so many different settings, the answer to your question can vary greatly. However, I can provide some background.
First, I want to be very clear: people get sick at all times and every day of the year. I know it may sound like a silly point, but it is critical to accept that you will potentially have to work any day of the year as a healthcare professional. With that being said, many companies and hospitals have policies to allow their staff to trade for holidays and days off and force them to alternate holidays yearly. Another uncomfortable reality to accept is that it is very often that pharmacists do not leave on time. As a result, you will find yourself staying late probably more often than not, especially if you are practicing in a retail setting.
Currently, I am practicing as a retail pharmacist to discuss my work schedule. I work a very popular schedule among pharmacies where pharmacists trade days off. It is important to also note in this situation, you are the only pharmacist working, so your “partner” pharmacist is there on opposite days as you, also meaning that you very rarely work with them. It may sound not very clear at first, but it is much easier to grasp when you break it down.
Currently, I work every Monday and Thursday and every weekend. If I work Sunday, I also perform the following Wednesday. The schedule looks something as follows where 1 and 2 represent alternating pharmacists.
S M T W T F S
1 2 1 1 2 1 2
2 2 1 2 2 1 1
As mentioned in another post, there is also a format of this schedule where each pharmacist works half a day on Wednesday rather than the full day.
As you can see, every other week, I work back-to-back weekdays. However, I also have a three-day weekend every other weekend.
Now, discussing how it affects my lifestyle is honestly quite the burden on my social life. Although having a three-day weekend every other weekend may sound fantastic, it can be frustrating when you miss out on plans when the plans do not fall on a weekend you have off. You can, of course, request off with enough notice or trade with your partner pharmacist, but this is not guaranteed. With that being said, this schedule also allows you to take one vacation day and get off for five days in a row if timed correctly.
Often, I find myself missing a lot of time with friends and family due to my schedule. However, I will mention that I work about an hour from my home. This commute weighs on my social life, as I could see my friends and family if I arrived home earlier.
Miranda N.’s Answer
To give you an idea...I work in property management, working in a downtown building full-time. As a result, most of my social life happens on the weekends. My hobbies are moderately pricey (reading, video gaming) and definitely a privilege, but they are not so expensive that I need to largely limit them.
On the other hand, a close friend of mine is a software engineer. His schedule is more flexible, so he often sees friends over lunch or at happy hours. He takes expensive vacations, but he spends much more time working. His hobbies are largely related to software engineering.
Everyone is different--look to the adults in your life and see how their job manifests in their daily actions. But know that your career does not determine everything about who you are.