When it comes to your pharmacy career, choosing who to work for is even more important than choosing the type of job you want. But finding a great company with an engaging vision, encouraging culture, innovative mindset and economic stability can be challenging. The old adage of “look before you leap” applies to finding your next great pharmacy job as well. Doing some research on potential employers is a good way to begin.
I have been a pharmacist for nearly 25 years. In this article I will share some of the tools I have used and shared with others when it comes to looking for a great place to work.
One of the best ways to find out about any company is to talk to current and past employees. As a pharmacist you should look at your network of old classmates and coworkers to see if any might be working for the company you are interested in. Use social media to see if any of your contacts might know someone that could talk to you. Finally, building a strong network of connections on sites like LinkedIn can also help you gather some honest feedback about a business.
Research the company online to learn about their vision and mission. Their website, Facebook page and even Twitter account will help you learn what is important to them. According to a Muse article “One way companies share how they stand out is through their mission or values, which are typically prominently displayed in the “About Us” section. Read closely to learn what might be different about this organization than others.” Go to Google News and see if the current buzz about this company appears to be consistent with their stated values. Compare their vision to other like-minded companies and discover what makes them unique.
The financial stability of a company is important too. You don’t need to be a business or accounting major to look at the stock price history of a company for the past 5 years or so. Additionally, you can research the profitability of individual hospitals or health systems online with a simple Google search. While economics may not be the only important factor when choosing a job, it ought to be considered by pharmacists before taking a job offer. According to a report in Becker’s Healthcare, 21 hospitals closed in 2016. “Hospitals across the nation face a myriad of challenges, including reimbursement cuts and dwindling inpatient volumes. These issues have caused many hospitals to close in recent years.” You don’t want to take a job on a sinking ship.
Often you, as a pharmacist, can benefit from the research already done by others about great workplaces. For example, a Forbes article written last year takes statistics and data gathered by others and listed the “20 best work places in health care.” Becker’s Hospital review similarly offers an article entitled “150 top places to work in healthcare.” Pharmacists can also go to websites like Glassdoor to see anonymous reviews on companies left by current and former employees, although the anonymous nature of the data must be factored in to any decision.
Finally, it should be a part of every pharmacist’s job-search process to partner up with an experienced pharmacist recruiting company like Pharmaceutical Strategies. Pharmacist Michael Diviak worked with Pharmaceutical Strategies and said they “gave me the ability to try out a new pharmacy setting and I went from a fast paced high stress retail setting to a fast paced low stress oncology hospital setting. I felt that I was an important part of the team within Pharmaceutical Strategies. They always made sure that my needs were being met and that I was happy, something that rarely happens as a pharmacist.”
Researching and choosing the right employer is a critical step in the pharmacist’s career plan. It can be intimidating if you lack the knowledge and information needed to make the right choice. But with a little time and effort it can be possible to find just the right match for your career goals and aspirations.
 The Muse. The Ultimate Guide to Researching a Company Pre-Interview by Lily Zhang. https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-ultimate-guide-to-researching-a-company-preinterview. Accessed 6/24/17.
 Becker’s Hospital CFO Report. 21 Hospital Closures in 2016 by Ayla Ellison. January 6, 2017. http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/finance/21-hospital-closures-in-2016.html. Accessed 6/24/17.