How Am I Coping With Not Working As Pharmacist

I burned my pharmacy bridges 

I never saw myself working as a retail pharmacist. Even when I was in pharmacy school I knew that I didn’t want to work in retail pharmacy.

I graduated pharmacy school in 2019 and with a doctor of pharmacy degree in hand I decided to not work in this profession. I’ve written a couple of articles on why I made that decision so check this article here and this one here for more information on that.

I keep asking myself lately if I can ever walk my steps back? If I can go back into that world of traditional pharmacy?

I don’t believe that I can. I’ve burned any pharmacy bridges that I had. I’m too critical of retail pharmacy to ever work for Walgreens or CVS. I’m too far down this independent, this entrepreneurial path to go back.

Go back to what exactly? I never had a job as a pharmacist. I just knew that this type of work, this type of profession, the traditional pharmacy route wasn’t for me.

I’ve committed to it and I can’t go back

It’s been hard! The path that I’ve been on for nearly 3 years has not been easy. Some days I hate it. Some days I wish things were different. It’s stressful not having a professional life. It’s stressful to be a full-time dad to two boys (a 3 year old and an 8 month old) while working part-time on building a successful business. It’s stressful to be working towards this business vision I have. This dream of starting a successfull health & wellness company. This dream to build a business that brings my vision into reality of how customers interact with pharmacists and how pharmacists define and do their work.

Somedays I feel clueless. I feel lost. I feel disconnected from everyone and everything. I feel alone. But I can’t go back to anything else because I don’t have anything in pharmacy to go back to.

It’s stressful because I have $282,230.89 in pharmacy student loans and I don’t have the slightest idea if the business I’m currently working on will work out for me in such a way that I can afford to pay this debt off.

Am I stubborn? Maybe. Why can’t I just go get a fucking retail pharmacy job like every student that graduates every year? Why did I have to choose this way of living? Why did I have to choose this path?

Regrets of the past 

Some days I wonder if I ever regret going to pharmacy school? What was it that led me into this profession? Like many I chose it because its a profession in the field of healthcare and such positions pay well and are stable. Was it ever the right decision? If I can go back would would I choose differently?

Is it normal for me to have regrets about such a significant decision in my life? Is it normal to regret ever going to pharmacy school school? If I do truly regret going to pharmacy school then how do I cope with that regret?

Has it all been a waste for me or has my negative experience of going to pharmacy school led me to the point that I am at now? Maybe there is something positive to be seen in this negative situation.

Maybe regret is not a healthy thing for the soul but maybe there is something to be learned from it. As much as I regret going to pharmacy school I am trying to find the positive in my situation. I believe that in our lifetime we make a series of important decision but unfortuantely there is no telling if the decisions we choose are the right ones. It is only after we make those decisions that the consequences are revealed to us.

Two Types of Decisions 

There are two types of decisions. Type One Decisions and Type Two Decisions as described in Invent and Wander by Walter Isaacson and Jeff Bezos. The way it was described to me in the book is the following. A Type One Decision is a decision that once made cannot be changed. It is an irreversible decision. It is a one way door. If you walk through that door and don’t like the results then you cannot leave. You will have to deal with the consequences of that decision without being able to correct course or change things in the near future.

On the other hand there are Type Two Decisions. These decision can be changed, they are reversible. It’s a two way door. If you walk through that door and don’t like what you see then you can go back through. So, If you make a less than optimal Type Two Decision, you can in the near future change course, you can reverse that decision.

Making a decision to go to pharmacy school was a Type Two Decision. At anytime during my pharmacy school career I could have reversed that decision. I could have dropped out and did something else as I almost did. Incidentally the day that I decided to not drop out of pharmacy school was the day that turned that decision into a Type One Decision for me.

Consequences of Decisions 

Once I made the decision to not drop out then I had no choice but continue and once I graduated then there definitely no going back for me. After I graduated I made another decision. It was a Type One Decision which was to not work in traditional pharmacy. For me this was a Type One Decision. Why? Because I knew that if I walk down this path then I never wanted to walk back the other way. In others words, once I made the decision to not work in traditional pharmacy but instead to pursue my dream of starting a company then I couldn’t go back to work in retail pharmacy.

To me decisions are scary. It’s scary because sometimes things don’t always workout the way you had hoped but we find a way to deal with consequences of those decisions. I’m still finding a way to deal with the consequences of that decision to not working in traditional pharmacy. It’s not always easy, I don’t have all the answers but I know that I am happy that I don’t work in job that I hate.

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