9 Things I’ve Learnt from being a pharmacy manager

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So besides being a blogger, my day job is that I’m a pharmacist manager at a wonderful pharmacy in Warrington; seriously, I love my job and the people I work with.

I’ve been in my post for just over a year now, and the lessons I’ve learnt have literally been life changing so here they are

  1. Find your happy place – This has become a theme in my branch, and we frequently remind each other to “find your happy place”.  People will annoy you, that is a fact of life. It is your CHOICE how you respond and if you let that affect your mood and resolve for the day. Some people are just angry, as in, angry just because; it’s like they wake up in the morning and think “who can I annoy today?” Decide to be happy. Take a second, breathe, and find your happy place. Reset and keep going. It actually works. Life is too short and besides that, it takes too much energy to be angry all day.
  2. You don’t always have to talk – So in my team, we are all women. This is amazing because there’s so much love and joy, but as you all know, women like to talk. Ask a group of women how to change a light bulb, and you will get a 3 hour conversation with suggestions. I’ve learnt to wait until things have calmed down and everyone has gotten the emotion off their chest before coming in to make a final decision. This way, I can focus on all the other things I have to do, but also listen objectively to everyone’s opinions without getting emotionally caught up in the “argument”. Too many times, we add our two pence too quickly and it gets lost in the mix of things. Be quick to listen and slow to speak, especially in a heated or emotionally charged conversation. Trust me, it will save you time, emotion, and energy. Patiently wait for the right moment and wisely put your opinions across.
  3. Puzzles make the best teams – I am convinced that the reason my branch works so well is because we are all crazy, and we are all different lol. Seriously, like a puzzle we are all so different with different temperaments, characters, work ethics, and strengths. Individually, we would fail, but my branch works because together, we work together.
  4. People work in cycles – I’ve noticed that people go through stages of life like a cycle that you can almost predict. The calm phase, the stressed phase, the angry phase, the holiday to reset, the calm phase. This cycle may be different for every person, but once you can know someone enough to know their cycle, you can be prepared for what is coming next, you can understand them, and you can better support them. Take the time to “learn” the people around you.
  5. Be happy with you are – This is so important. Be 100% comfortable with who you are in life. Don’t apologise for it and don’t change it (unless it’s a bad habit/character trait). If you are a fast worker, it can annoying when people work less fast, but that’s not who THEY are, and if you try and slow down you may find that you become unholy no grumpy because you were never designed to be slow. If you’re a perfectionist, don’t apologise for it. Be happy and comfortable with who you are because you bring something that everyone else needs.
  6. Be happy with who they are – This goes hand in hand with my last point. Except if it’s a bad character trait, don’t think people must always conform to the way to you do things. If you’re a fast worker, don’t expect everyone to work fast. In fact, expecting people to meet your level at times can just cause you more frustration. Be happy with who they are. You do your best and they will do theirs. Let them do their best and you encouraging them in their best will actually indirectly encourage them to step their game up and do better.
  7. Dwell with understanding – I have a member of staff who used to work in the back, but I noticed she was brilliant with customers and delivering health care services. She worked slower, but her rapport with the customers meant that when I moved her to working at the front with me, she thrived. I have another member of staff who is so passionate about her job and takes so much pride in it that she can come across very harsh at times. Another member of staff is the same age as my grandma. Because I’ve studied their characters, I approach each person differently and my understanding of them helps me to tolerate certain behaviours they can exhibit. Understanding really does make your life so much easier.
  8. There is a difference between a responsibility and a job – In my team, I’ve learnt to delegate responsibilities, whilst encouraging everyone to know the entire job. When people in a team start thinking of things as “jobs”, things will get left, avoided, disregarded, people feel taken for granted, and disunity sets in. I’m currently working to change this culture in my branch by training everyone to do all tasks, whilst making a single person responsible for that task. It is everyone’s job, but one persons responsibility. This encourages unity in a team, and puts less pressure on the one person that can do a job. This principle works in families too. *Cue controversial example* I believe it is a wife’s responsibility to ensure her family is fed, but it is not her job. The husband can also help and should also help. If he sees it as her job however, he probably will never help.
  9. Never stop learning – my oldest member of staff is 73. She works just as hard as anyone else on my team and she inspires me so much because of this fact. She rarely complains, if she’s free, she’ll do any amount of overtime she can, she has learnt how to use the new systems on the computer, and she just keeps going. If there is life in you, keep going and keep learning. Age is not an excuse. Simple

I’ve loved writing this post, and I hope you can pick up something from it! 

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One thought on “9 Things I’ve Learnt from being a pharmacy manager

  1. Really powerful, educative, practical & inspirational! It is always good to ‘reflect’ & ‘relearn’. I thank God for your team. Thank you for seeing & stirring greatness in each person.

    Thank you for the well written nuggets. Keep soaring & keep sharing!
    God bless

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