In most careers, thoughts turn pretty quickly to the question of professional advancement. But for the pharmacist, that question can prove difficult to answer. The obvious step is a move into the role of Pharmacy Manager, but how would one accomplish such a feat?
Most career-based advice tends to focus on making an impression, adopting that additional responsibility, going the extra mile, development of accreditations – perhaps embarking upon further education… But the classic situation for a pharmacist is static employment. A position within one establishment. That’s a problem. If management vacancies within that business are severely limited, the only realistic options are likely centre around applying for jobs within other organisations.
Given that businesses are deemed more likely to hire people they know – particularly for more critical roles – approaching companies without that all-important element of personal recognition may not achieve a great deal. Understandably, businesses want to be sure that they’re making the right decisions, and the best way for them to do that is to select a known quantity. Someone they can already vouch for.
It’s an old and tired cliché, but successful salespeople will tell you (if they’re honest, at least) that one of the primary reasons they outsell their competition is simply that they market to more people. And volume can also be one of the key factors in career advancement. Even the most fantastic pharmacist can only progress if the influential parties she or he encounters are in a position to offer career advancement. In a static employment situation, there’s little a great pharmacist can do to combat this. It’s a bit like being the world’s greatest singer, but performing in front on an audience of one. It’s not the talent or the ability that limits the success – it’s the stifling lack of publicity and recognition.
But what if rather than auditioning for an audience of one, a pharmacist could perform in front of a capacity crowd? For the right candidate, that would logically increase the chances of career progress enormously.
A NEVER-ENDING SERIES OF AUDITIONS
It may not be the obvious suggestion, but locum work can be a wonderful route to career advancement for a pharmacist. With locum work, the pharmacist is not confined to a single, ongoing audition, before one or two influential people who may not be in a position to facilitate a step up the ladder. Locum work is a series of career auditions. Over time, it can showcase the pharmacist’s talents and hard work to many, many decision-makers.
But is locum work really a good option for pharmacists? Well, good locum pharmacists are rarely short of work, and certainly in specific areas of the UK, there’s enormous demand for locum pharmacists.
AREAS OF HIGH DEMAND FOR LOCUM PHARMACISTS
Starting in the South of England, there’s a very wide range of locations in which locuming as a pharmacist is highly viable. Across the South Coast, in places such as Brighton, Southampton or Hastings, for example, locum pharmacists are liable to find themselves very much in demand. In the central South, that high demand extends up to the likes of Andover or Basingstoke.
Indeed, shifting across to each flank of the South of England, the potential for a packed timetable remains extremely healthy. In the South East, a location in Kent, such as Canterbury, would prove a great base. And that super-viable locuming ground reaches right up the East Coast into Norfolk, Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire – Hull being a commonly cited ideal locum base in the latter region. Locums in North Yorkshire and North East England enjoy that same high demand.
In the South West, the territory from Cornwall up via Plymouth, Exeter and Taunton to Bristol is another in-demand patch for a locum pharmacist. And from Bristol, heading west into Wales keeps the work situation looking very healthy. Whether based in Cardiff or Swansea in South Wales, or Wrexham across to the coast in the North, locum pharmacists can look forward to plenty of choice and opportunity.
If you’re a pharmacist in any of these areas, or the many other locations that were far too numerous to list, and you’re interested in looking further into the realm of locum work, Team Locum can give you advice specific to your particular location and situation. You can get in touch via the contact details below.
Locum work could prove not only a life-enhancing decision, which allows the pharmacist to dictate the days upon which they work, but also a career-enhancing decision. Of course, there’ll be the variety of visiting different locations. But crucially, there’ll be the golden opportunity to meet, and impress, lots of new people. For an experienced locum, applying for a Manager’s position is far less likely to mean a ‘cold start’. Chances are that it will be primed with mutual recognition. If the pharmacist is really good, that’s going to be a huge advantage.
Naturally, a truly epic level of dedication and hard work is critical to career advancement, but if it really is all about who, rather than what you know, moving into locum work makes immediate sense. Couple the enhanced career prospects with that ultimate flexibility on free days and holidays, and for many, locuming is win/win on all fronts.