I spoke with a frustrated pharmacist last week. He wrestles with the decision to quit his disappointing job. He reached the “top” of the corporate chain, or at least as high as he wanted to go. This pharmacist spoke powerful words about how much he hated his position, “I jump from job to job and can’t seem to find the right fit. Is *this* all that life has to offer me?”
I speak with at least one pharmacist a week who wants to leave their job.
I felt his pain, because I was there too.
I hated a past pharmacy job with burning passion. My reason was slightly different than most because I dealt with bullies. My life was miserable. I wanted to quit. I remember coming home to my wife and saying, “I don’t know how much longer I want to do this.”
Pharmacists everywhere know there is rising tension in our profession, especially in retail pharmacy. The latest polls show retail pharmacist job satisfaction declining at an abysmal rate.
If you are a stuck pharmacist (or any job) who hates your job, don’t fear. You’re not alone, and there is a way out.
The First Step
Give yourself the room to accept where your current situation.
You see, a part of me felt like my situation was all my fault. I felt almost like I deserved my predicament. I felt trapped.
It was like I tried to deny my situation to myself and others. I didn’t want people to know that I was unhappy with my job. I felt like if people knew, I would be labeled a failure, an idiot, a fool.
I felt like if I tried anything new, like a side-hustle business, I would be seen as a failure because I can’t figure out my career or that I would be labeled one of those weirdo’s who talks about dreams and goals.
The first step I took was admitting, “I’m here for a reason. This isn’t my perfect career position. I need to create a plan.”
I had to accept where I was, so that I could move on.
So many pharmacists I speak with blame themselves or others for their dissatisfaction.
Let go and move on.
Overwhelmed and Stuck Pharmacists
There is no end to the things you could start in order to change careers or start a business idea.
If you considered changing jobs, you could…
update your resume
update your LinkedIn profile
reach out to your network
attend a networking event
join a pharmacist association
search job websites
ask a friend for a recommendation
I felt overwhelmed just writing all those tasks. Being overwhelmed is like looking up to the top of a skyscraper and being told, “Make it to the top” without knowing there are stairs. It’s impossible!
So rather than trying to do too many things at once, we feel stuck, overwhelmed. It is easier to not take any action at all.
We tell ourselves it feels better to not do anything. We would rather accept our current amount of stress in the moment, than to push forward in making a change. Which in turn, only creates more stress and anxiety.
Take ONE Small Step
The way to the top of a skyscraper starts with one step. You don’t have to do everything at once. You simply need to take one step to get out of your situation.
Make the next step so small and easy that others would laugh at you.
For example, find and open your CV on the computer.
You may roll your eyes at this example, but that’s the point.
You don’t want to commit to a large task if you have too much resistance. You’re likely to say no to anything that sounds too big to do at once.
If you don’t take small step now, no one will take it for you, and you’ll continue in the same state.
One definition of insanity is doing the same over and over and expecting different results.
Take one small step.
Open your resume
Ask a friend for feedback about your crazy business idea
Heck, send me a private message
Don’t let your inner resistance stop you from making a change that could make your life better.
The job market is too big (despite what you may think). There are too many ways to make a living in this life.
There is no reason why you work at a job you hate.
“The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.”
William James (1842-1910)
So many workers today face another day of thankless tasks. Mopping, sweeping, trash detail, jobs that have no name and may never be observed.
I found a Gallup poll (and shared it in the first post) that found:
65% of workers reported receiving no recognition or appreciation at work in the past 12 months
(How Full is Your Bucket by Rath & Clifton, 2004)
One would wonder what could happen to such a majority of thankless workers if someone started a Gratitude movement.
But how could you start this movement?
Keep your leadership simple. Take one small step everyday towards your goal : one thank you note per day.
Thank you notes are a lost art. Handwritten anything is a rare commodity with so much of our world gone digital.
Thus it’s value has increased.
I follow a simple template with all of my thank you cards:
Introduction – state what you are thankful for (1-2 sentences)
Middle – share details of why you are thankful (2-3 sentences)
Conclusion – restate your gratitude (1-2 sentence)
Maybe you think this is a boring format. That’s fine, spice up your notes. Everyone enjoys a purple cow.
However, I learned in my career and social life that this template never fails to inspire me when I write a Thank You Note.
Here are a few other rules when writing thank you notes:
1) Never request anything
The whole point of a thank you note is expressing your gratitude and displaying praise. A thank you note is ruined by a request because a request defeats the purpose of the note.
It’s like giving a wedding toast to the bride and groom but spending the majority of time discussing the intricate model of the quantum physic theories. It doesn’t fit in.
2) Only use the word “Thank You” twice
Stating your gratitude is great. You’re already above 99% of the population. But saying it too much is self-defeating.
“Thank you for this opportunity to be at the conference. I am so appreciative of the time we spent together. You were so generous to share your current projects with me and I thank you for this. I am extremely grateful for our meeting”
After the second sentence, the note just reads “blah, blah, blah”.
Limit yourself to no more than two “thank you’s”. Also, “appreciate” and “grateful” count as thank you’s.
3) Handwritten >>> Emails
Emails can be tossed into the digital trash bin forever, but a handwritten note means so much more.
I understand that in today’s world, we may not have a physical address, so email may be your only option.
But if you have an email, it’s easy to request a physical address.
I still have my handwritten thank you note from Jen McDonough (The Iron Jen) after I was on her show.
Here’s an example of a handwritten thank you that I wrote this morning:
Thank you so much for your daily hard work.
My office would be a complete mess without you! It has been my pleasure having you in our office and I look forward to seeing you everyday.
I know our departments do not directly interact, but let me know if there is anything I can do to help you. Again, I really appreciate your service, it means a lot to my productivity.
Sincerely, Alex Barker
Matt McWilliams (future guest on the Leadership Dojo podcast) has a great free ebook about the revolutionary power of Thank You Notes.
Everyone has the power to change the world in a small way. Thanking those individuals who never receive thanks for a job is an easy way for you to change someone’s life
“You have it easily in your power to increase the sum total of this world’s happiness now. How? By giving a few words of sincere appreciation to someone
who is lonely or discouraged. Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime.”
Connie Pheiff is our Success Secret provider this week. Connie is the CEO for the United Way. She coaches professional executives. Check out her site here.
Alan Jackson is our Success Secret provider this week. Adam is the Action Evangelist and leader of Six Month Jump. He helps people achieve their goals in Six Months.
I’m an advocate for utilizing the Power of WHY to achieve success. Understanding your personal “why” isn’t achieved overnight. However, the process can be accelerated by implementing a three-phase approach.
“Surround yourself with people who are going to lift you higher. Life is already filled with those who want to bring you down” -Unknown
I’ve been talking a lot lately about my mastermind group. Not just on my blog, but in my life too. Some of my co-workers think my groups are crazy. Others ask me how I started them.
So here’s a step by step guide on how to create your Mastermind Group.
Travis Scott spent the better half of a decade doing what society taught – go to college, get a job, and work in that career for the rest of your life. After realizing he wanted more, Travis changed careers and changed his life. Now, he loves what he does, and at his website,www.MakingTheComeback.com. He is an aspiring speaker, coach, and blogger.
It’s no secret many people strive for success in their lives. Whether you want to be a great parent, successful in your career, or an awesome spouse, there is one common denominator that will help you achieve that success: Leadership.