As pharmacy students and residents complete their training, the daunting task of finding a job inevitably comes to the forefront of their to-do list. So, where does one start?
1. Literally write down your five and ten year goals
Your short and long term goals should help guide your job search. I recommend adding both professional and personal goals, because commonly during school or residency people have placed their personal goals on pause. Now is a good time circle back to those as you attempt to achieve a healthy and whole life for the future both at work and at home.
While you may think you understand what your goals are, it really does help to write it all down and examine the product as a whole. Knowing what you want is key to finding happiness.
2. Seek out references and keep lines of communication open
Identify your references early whenever possible.
To be safe you should plan to find three to four references and seek a mix of individuals (e.g., mentors, supervisors, faculty). Some institutions require that you have a certain number of references who have served as your direct supervisor, so keep that in mind.
It may come as a surprise, but people will agree to be a reference and not provide a favorable recommendation on your behalf. It is better to be safe than sorry, so always make sure to verify the reference is willing to provide a favorable letter of recommendation.
3. Take advantage of online job posting
There is an enormous amount of online resources you can utilize to find a job. In turn, it is worth taking the time to explore what services and options exist.
First, a few general sites that come to mind are: Jobs.com, Indeed.com, Monster.com and Beyond.com. Consider creating a profile and subscribing to a few of these so you can get familiar with the market in the area.
Second, go to the institutional websites of the companies you want to work for and try searching their “jobs” section. You can even identify hospitals or community pharmacies using Google Maps in the city where you want to work. Sometimes you will find things here that are not posted elsewhere. The Department of Veterans Affairs is one to check out given the large number of pharmacists they employee and they list pharmacist jobs.
Third, use professional websites. The American College of Clinical Pharmacy has a jobs search engine here. American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy has a jobs search engine here. There are several others and many specialty groups also have websites for jobs. For example, the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists lists pharmacist job openings in this specialty here.