The Jobcentre

I had made the application online after pestering from my mum to make myself part of the unemployed statistic. I had received a text message letting me know when my appointment was and now I stood outside the building. The building I never thought I’d enter in the whole of my life.

The Jobcentre

I was early for my first of 5 appointments and I hadn’t told anyone where I was going. I looked around as I walked towards the Jobcentre that was a 15 minutes walk from my house. I didn’t want to be seen. It was cold and I was early, I didn’t want to go in yet but it was way too cold and I didn’t want anyone to see me standing around outside the Jobcentre when I should have been at work. I took a deep breath and pulled open the door.

I didn’t know what to expect but I wasn’t expecting it to be so orderly, I was ushered to the front desk by a security guard (why they needed one I don’t know) to tell them I had an appointment and I was told to take a seat till it was time. I sat done next to a lady who seemed to know I was a first-timer.

“This place used to be much worse, you’d be waiting for ages to be seen and the noise and so many people…” She carried on, but I wasn’t listening I was glancing at the time. I didn’t want to be late.

The time for me to see my advisor came so I smiled at the lady next to me and went up the stairs to the second floor where I was met by yet another security guard! I chuckled as he told me to take a seat that I’d be called by my advisor.

As I sat down, I made some observations:
– it was a very open design so you could see everyone talking to their advisors (didn’t like that)

– There were a mix of advisors, a young black girl that was loud and a bit rude, a few white men and women (mostly middle-aged), an African woman(didn’t want her, rang to close to home lol)

– I was kept waiting!

I came on time and watched some advisors fraternise amongst themselves and I began to get annoyed. I shouldn’t really be here I thought as I shuffled in my seat. I just need some money to stop me from having to ask my parents. I stood up and walked over to the security guard.
“Erm, excuse me. Why am I having to wait so long when I came on time?” I asked, not trying to be rude, but probably sounding rude anyways.
“Oh sorry, who is your advisor?”
“I don’t know, I am new here”
He seemed at a loss of what to do next, then he said I should take a seat while he looked for an unoccupied advisor.
Then a lady called me over apologising for making me wait and we discussed job seekers allowance. She was very nice and asked me what kind of job I was looking for, I explained that I was looking for a job as a Pharmacist and she was a bit shocked as she looked at my qualifications and didn’t understand why I was unemployed etc.
The talk ended with her promising to look for work for me and I had to look also then I left.

It was slightly demoralising but knowing that there was someone willing to help was a positive.

So if you are struggling like I am go to the Jobcentre, they keep going on about how unemployment levels have reduced and I don’t think so, I just think people aren’t speaking out about it.

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Well at least they gave me money towards my petrol

Woke up at 5:30am, actually 5:15 as I was in and out of sleep. Got ready and left my house at 6:30. Google maps and my satnav said it should be only a 1 and a half hour drive but I wanted to ensure I got there on time. Traffic can be funny sometimes.
So I arrived early 8:15, decided to use that chance to take a quick nap before the shop opened. I awoke again at 8:45 and saw that the shutters were up so I went to make my presence known. The shop looked small but the dispensary was huge, they had an upstairs office and the place was clean and organised. The staff were very helpful and all seemed to know what they were doing. I was left to check the final dispensing and check the controlled drug stock. I worked from 9am till 6pm with an hour lunch. It was a relaxed day, but I was always kept busy. My kind of place to work, the staff were friendly we joked, laughed and talked about weight loss (all the staff were women). I even did an MUR lol.

They began talking about locum pharmacists and I asked why they didn’t have a regular pharmacist. They explained that the last pharmacist needed a pay rise and so was moved to a larger, busier store. They haven’t had a regular pharmacist since September! They even began selling the idea of me coming to work full-time which I thought was great as it showed that either they really liked me or they were desperate lol.
So the day ended, I had a smile on my face. We said our ‘see you laters’ then I made the journey home.
I was really happy, the job went well, I did everything I had to do, the staff loved me so I was silently sure I would get the job as I wasn’t told there were other candidates.
Then today I received this email:

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I am saddened and annoyed, Yorkshire is friggin’ 4 hours away!!! No I don’t want to go to Yorkshire!!! I emailed back to find out what is the difference between me and the other candidate. Imagine if I said yes to Yorkshire and I am made to again travel there for the day only to find out there is another blimin’ candidate that is better.
Sigh…sorry I’m upset…I feel like giving up.

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Nothing else to say really…think I’ll go for a walk, it’s not like I have a JOB or anything.

Ah well the only positives are I got paid and they gave me money towards my petrol.

This is true.

The Excessively Examined Life

“If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain how he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.” 
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I like this quote and will expand on it.  But first I have to figure out how to use this WordPress blog formatting, etc., and change the Christmas theme, and make sure there aren’t a zillion duplicate posts going to Facebook or others….

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Working tomorrow……*aaaargh*…..excited!

Hello all,

I’m working tomorrow I think I spoke about it in a previous post. It’s a small pharmacy, part of a chain, in Wellingborough. So I’m going to have to wake up at 5:30am so that I get there between 8:30 and 9am. (Need to make a good first impression)
I’m excited/nervous, it’s an opportunity for a full-time position. I think what is going to happen is that either the other staff or maybe the pharmacy manager will evaluate me as the day goes. Which will mean that I have to be on top form for the whole day, help all the staff, be super friendly and do as many MURs as I can lol.

MURs(Medicine Use Review) for those who do not know are chances for pharmacists to sit with patients and find out how they are doing with their medication. The sad thing about it is that many pharmacist managers or pharmacy owners I should say make this a priority meaning they enforce targets on their pharmacists which means we are pressurised to meet these targets. Some pharmacists aren’t actually hired unless they have this accreditation, this is highly annoying as it is not a requirement!

But I’m not here to bad mouth pharmacy as a career (well not in this post lol) I’m just saying that some pharmacy owners or managers should try and help pharmacists out. At this current time there is a surplus in the supply of pharmacists but the demand is low. I have already pointed out some reasons in my previous post, so I shan’t rehash it all. But if more pharmacists took on newly qualified pharmacists then pharmacy as a career would seem like a more exciting prospect. Right now if someone told me they wanted to study pharmacy I wouldn’t encourage them, there are no jobs out there. You come out with a great degree and then nothing to show for it. People look at you like you’re strange, they begin to ask questions like ‘but you are a pharmacist, why don’t you have a job??’, ‘how long were you studying for, that you don’t have a job?’, ‘maybe you should look at a different career’.
It’s like a doctor not having a job. It is strange, don’t you think?

Anywho that’s material for another post, lol, let me get back to what I wanted to talk about. So I’m working tomorrow, I think I’ll be okay. It would be nice to find work in London, I will continue to apply for positions in London but if I have to move out to get some work and EXPERIENCE then I will do.

Wish me luck 🙂

‘Me Getting Ready to Hunt’

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Job hunting nowadays involves using the internet rather than handing out cv’s. I do have business cards that I hand out at opportune times but I usually find vacancies online (the problem usually is, is it the right vacancy?)
So if you are looking for Pharmacy technician, Pharmacy manager (have to have experience), Medicine Counter assistant roles etc then go ahead and look at http://www.chemistanddruggistjobs.co.uk
For Hospital places,
http://www.jobs.nhs.uk

Good luck

Why create a blog?

Well I should have probably started one awhile ago but I thought I’d wait. I decided to create this blog to give pharmacy students, pharmacist, employers the harsher view of Pharmacy as a career.
When I decided to study Pharmacy I was excited about the job prospects I could either go into Community, Hospital, Veterinary or Industrial pharmacy. I was glad that I was studying a professional course that meant I’d have a job at the end. A course I enjoyed.
I found out quickly that I would like to work in Hospital pharmacy so when it began time to apply for pre-reg places. I applied to various hospitals using Pharmalife. I found I wasn’t successful and around this time I had to look at independent community placements. I found one that was close to my house and got a place. I learnt a lot about community pharmacy and various services and when it came down to the pre-reg exam thanks to my tutor I was able to pass first time.

I decided that first I’d apply to locum agencies and carry out locum work in the meantime while I apply for full-time positions. Then the issues began. First I was told I needed to undergo MUR accreditation, which I did (used University of Reading) then I was told I had to undergo NMS accreditation, the new version of CRB check – DBS. All of this before I can work, these courses cost money (take that into consideration).
I decided to follow my passion for hospital pharmacy in the meantime, I applied for numerous hospitals ‘Band 6 Rotational Pharmacist’ , I would even get interviews only to find out I didn’t get the job due to lack of experience.

Now, this is annoying. Why interview me then???

IF YOU DO NOT HIRE ME, HOW WILL I GET ANY EXPERIENCE???????

Aaaaaaaaargh, it drives me crazy to think that these people were once like me. A newly qualified pharmacist just trying to get in, but it was probably easier during their time as they didn’t have much competition! Now I have to compete with probably 100 other pharmacists for one role. Community pharmacists have a habit of working till they almost die in the job so meaning new people find it harder to get into independent pharmacy unless they are family or get their own. Boots, Lloyd’s etc usually don’t have any positions available if they do for some reason I don’t even get an interview even though I have all the qualifications. It is probably because I haven’t worked their before. I even applied for places faaaar away.

YET to no avail, most places want applicants with at least 3 years experience.

Sigh but all hope is not lost I’ve been fortunate to be emailed about an opportunity for a full time position in a place near Northampton (I’m from East London btw). Let’s see how that goes eh? Lol.

– The unemployed pharmacist (hopefully not for any longer)