SOFT SKILLS FOR THE INDEPENDENT PHARMACIST

May 08, 2015 | Pamela Youngberg Dickson

This week I ran into a young woman who’d played basketball for me years ago. She’d finished her post-secondary training and was in the process of interviewing. I could see how frustrated she was—and she admitted that, based on how the interviews were going, she was starting to believe that she was completely unprepared for the job, despite all the hard work that had gone into getting her there to the opening gate. I gave her the pep talk as best I could, from what I knew of her as an 8th grade athlete: she worked hard to master the little things; she was a team player; she was tenacious; she had great court sense, alert, always looking for opportunities, etc.

But it got me thinking about so-called ‘soft skills’—the development of which seem to be overlooked in school--and certainly overlooked in job search and interview training. I’m sure we’ve all worked with a technocrat with no social skills or a no-nonsense, task-oriented manager who can’t get past his or her own set of to-do’s to see the bigger picture. Turns out one of my internal mentors, long-time pharmacist Tim Gallagher, has seen a lot of good examples—and bad—of lackluster soft skills in the pharmacy business, too.

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