(Closed) Major career change? Advice?

posted 4 years ago in Career
Post # 16
Member
4240 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

Pharmacy school is hella expensive.  Yeah you earn a pretty penny but you also have to SPEND a pretty penny to get there.  You aren’t even a year into the career you originally chose.  Frankly that is too early to determine if you want to change your career because you really haven’t given it a chance.  If you said you were in this field for 5 years and hated it then yes, by all means, but it’s been 9 months, and to be honest this sounds like it’s mostly the JOB that you hate.  Find a new job, something where you visit other locations maybe?, and if you hate that too, maybe this is the switch for you.

I will also say, everyone at one point or another struggles with their job.  Even if someone is super passionate about it, there’s going to be crap to be dealt with.  I am a teacher for a subject that is pretty specialized and I really am incredibly passionate about it and I’m passionate about teaching my kids, but I also get worn out and burnt out a lot.  The grass is ALWAYS greener on the other side.

I also know plenty of people who are perpetual students and it sounds like that may be kind of what you are going for here.  You liked being a student so you want to become a student AGAIN and spend another $xxx,xxx on your education.  Financially even if you could afford it with your husband that wouldn’t be a move I would recommend…

Post # 17
Member
384 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

Do it now!!! If I had listened to myself at your age I wouldn’t be working in a boring, uninspired desk job 🙁 Time is on your side!!!

Post # 20
Member
141 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2018

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tayegs :  Tayegs, I can completely relate to your post and think you should 100% keep an open mind to going back to study. I completed my business degree in 2011 and was working in a related job and hated it so left after less than a year and thought it was just the industry I was in so changed jobs another 2 times and absolutely hated my life and ended up on anxiety medication myself. I then did some temp jobs in different places so I could see whether I saw myself in certain positions/industries and nope nothing felt right. I ended up seeing a careers counsellor and after a few sessions and working under a lawyer I felt like I needed to go back to study and am now half way through a 3.5 year law degree. Sure its hard, all the work I do is unpaid to gain experience in the industry, but I have a supportive fiance – just like you do as well which makes it a heck of a lot easier!

I guess you just have to ask yourself whether you are fairly sure this is something you want to do – and it seems like it is because you have some exposure to the industry and enjoy it.

If you truly arent happy and know you wont be happy sitting at a desk doing this sort of work I say take the plunge!!!! I know the debt is horrible, but its an investment in your future 🙂

Post # 21
Member
1008 posts
Bumble bee

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tayegs :  Overall, going back ot school isn’t a bad idea, but I’d be really concerned about the scarcity of a full time pharmacy position after you finish. Don’t forget, you’d be going back to undergrad, and then the full pharmacy program. Would you be paying out of pocket? If not, loans do pile up, and if you aren’t able to find a position that can adequately pay those loans, it becomes very stressful very quickly. 

If I were you, I’d start by reaching out to other professionals and asking for informational interviews. Talk to business people, and talk to pharmacy people, and really explore your different options. Also, sit down with your husband and do some projections of the cost of you going back to school, along with if you decided to have a child and needed to take time off, etc. The different scenarios could tell you a story. 

Post # 22
Member
141 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2018

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Joyful2019 :  Completely agree, great advice!!

Post # 23
Member
1991 posts
Buzzing bee

I think it’s too early to call it quits in business. There are a lot of jobs you could do with a business degree that would be working with your hands, customer oriented, fast paced,  and involve working with a team. 

Just because this specific business job isn’t panning out the way you would like, doesn’t mean you need to throw in the towel and go back to school for more degrees. If you’re saying you’d be spending 30k for the next 7 years…that’s a lot of money.  Yes, you’ll make money as a pharmacist, but you can make 6 figures with a business degree, too. Depending on when you want to have kids, if you graduate pharm school at 32, you’d probably need to work 1 year before wanting to take time off for an extended maternity leave like you described. You would spend all this money, then work for a year, then take time off for kids….you wouldn’t really be working enough to pay back your student loans until you’re 35-ish. That means you’ll be paying back those loans for a LONG time. 

I don’t mean to be harsh, but completely switching fields after 9 months seems to be extreme. A business degree is super flexible-get a new job with the degree you have before you sign up for 7 years of school and a lot of student debt. 

Post # 25
Member
1264 posts
Bumble bee

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tayegs :  I’m not a pharmacist but one of my best friends is and I asked for advice for someone considering going to pharmacy school today.

That’s good that you have a taste of the field having been a technician.  Too many students go to pharmacy school not knowing what to expect when they get out.  The actual job is way different than school and being an actual pharmacist is way different than being a tech.

My friend works at a hospital.  She worked as a tech in retail, then did retail for a couple of years when she first graduated. She hated retail with a passion.  Patient’s were always crabby and mad at her for the cost of their medications.  She got really tired with dealing with insurance and formulary restrictions.  Her pharmacy was held up once at gunpoint and it prompted her to move into the hospital setting.

In the state we live in, there are now 6 pharmacy schools.  All that BS about there being a shortage of pharmacists is that – BS.  If you want to work in a rural or less urban area, there are jobs.  But if you want to work in a big metropolitan area, at least in my state, forget it.  Competition is fierce.  My friend just got a permanent position after working PRN for 3 years as that’s how long it took for a position to open up.  She was working full time hours but she didn’t have the benefits until just now.

She works at the same hospital as I do (I am a PT) and she is so stressed out.  She is expected to go through so many patients in her day.  There’s literally not enough time to do what her bosses expect her to do.  All her coworkers are stressed.  Because of the ACA, they cannot add staff.  Pharmacy is one, if not, the most expensive departments in all the hospital because of the cost of the medications.  They have to cut and cut their budget time and time but are also expected to carry the most up to date drugs and therapies which are super expensive; as a result, more work is put on the staff.  She doesn’t feel like she is respected by the nurses or the doctors because when she calls them, their first reaction is “what did I do wrong?”

She said you really cannot take time off away from pharmacy because the medications and protocols change so quickly.  She knows of two pharmacists that took a couple of years off to be SAHMs and cannot get jobs because again, the competition is too tough.  On the plus side, it definitely is a field you can do part time or PRN, but places expect you to be available to work; you can’t just say oh I want to work once every 6 weeks.

As you know too, be prepared to work all shifts – day, evening, weekend, holidays, even overnights.  My friend has worked every shift, sometimes even within the same week.  There’s no such thing as a “day job” unless you’re in management.

Then there’s the cost.  Pharmacy school is expensive.  Add that to the cost of getting your prerequisites done, which because you have a business degree, I’m guessing 2 years to get those done?  32 isn’t that old to be starting your career, but it will be tough (in my friend’s opinion) to be a new pharmacist at that age as you’ll be competing with people that went to pharmacy school when they were younger that have the years of experience already.  Not to mention the opportunity cost of taking that time off to go to pharmacy school and the prerequesittes.  My friend said you definitely can – and should – work as a tech while you’re in school, but you’re basically working evenings and/or weekends.  Her hospital tends to hire from within so if you’re already a tech, you have a good chance of getting at least a PRN job when you graduate.

So like another poster said, if pharmacy is really your passion, then do it without regrets.  But i honestly think in your case you may have a “grass is greener” way of thinking.  If you hate your current job, I would really find another job using your degree before you chuck everything out the window and decide to go to pharmacy school.

My friend is burned out with her job; she is sticking with it because the hospital is close to home, but I know she is not passionate about it anymore.  The other thing keeping her there is the money unfortunately; she is in a position where she knows she cannot find another job making the kind of money she makes so she feels stuck.

Hope some of that helps.

Post # 27
Member
5419 posts
Bee Keeper

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tayegs :  Here’s another perspective. I’m a person with a lot of interests. I would love to have or find my one true passion in life. I’ve searched and have gone back to school even.  That’s why, when I hear that someone has found their passion and the field they want to work in, I cringe when I hear they are not going to pursue it. Go to pharmacy school. Maybe not this instance. But make a plan for how you will do it and then begin. If you need to take baby steps due to finances then do it! 

Post # 28
Member
1264 posts
Bumble bee

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tayegs :  I’m glad you found my post helpful. My friend did not say “don’t do it” but she wanted to paint a realistc picture . 

One thing I forgot to mention is salary. My friend has 5 years experience and does not make $100,000, so your state must pay much higher than mine. Again, because of the ACA, salaries do not rise like other fields. There is no such thing as bonuses unless you’re in management  (generally speaking).  Raises are maybe like a 50 cent per hour increase. In my state there also have been several layoffs of pharmacists due to company mergers and acquisitions .  You never heard of this until recently.

My friend also suggested since you already have the business degree, you may want to consider renewing your tech license and becoming a tech supervisor or something along that area. Drug companies also love to hire people that have healthcare experience .  The pharmacy buyer at our hospital is a tech with a bachelor’s degree and she makes more than the regular technicians.  You may also want to consider something in health care administration which is definitely a day job.

You’re right in that pharmacy school only takes students in the fall and my friend said it’s really competitive just to get in. She helps with a lab class at her alma mater and sits on the interview committee. For this fall, they had over 600 applicants for 110 spots. There were more; those were the ones that met the minimum requirements .  What happens if you go through all this and are wait listed or don’t get in?

Edit –  another thing since my friend is sitting here next to me – similar to nursing, be prepared to work mainly the undesirable shifts like evenings and weekends all the time when first starting out. you start at rhe bottom of the totem pole .  But because there are so few day positions, and even then you rotate through evenings and weekends, no one leaves so that’s why those positions are so hard to come by. If your husband works normal hours it can be tough on a relationship to work different shifts. 

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