I was asked to review a new book today for a fellow writer. Not terribly unusual, perhaps, for some. However, what it made me think of as I went on my walk tonight, were some of the best professional moments of my career thus far.
You see, I consider it an extreme privilege to help a fellow writer by reviewing his or her new book, especially if it isn’t even out in press yet. Books are like babies–they take a TON of work, and you don’t always trust just anyone with your stuff. There’s a lot of talk of writing, but not much action, either. Of course, I immediately poured through the book to critique today between meetings and gave her an honest quote on it, and I hope she found it useful, but I was extremely grateful for the honor of helping her out.
So back to my walk: I got to thinking about some of my favorite professional career moments thus far. There are some obvious choices – like starting a business, going to school, etc. But, here are some that come to the top of my mind, randomly–beyond the extreme pleasure in reviewing other writers’ books, as I previously mentioned. I’m certain there are others, but I’ve slept since then. Here goes:
1. I helped a mom keep her child off of ADHD drugs, by suggesting other options between her, her child, and her child’s doctor. She came back to thank me a few months later, and she kept her child off of the drugs. As a pharmacist, one might think this is an odd story to recall as a top professional career moment, but it’s easily in my top 10, even though it happened a long time ago. I think any healthcare professional has an obligation to prevent issues from happening in one’s health in the first place. And granted, some kids and adults truly need drugs, for a myriad of reasons. But I’m glad to see that non-drug therapies also work too, and I can make a difference, even without a prescription to fill.
2. Holding my first published book in my hands for the first time. This one may make me sound like a tool, but I don’t care. Writing a book is hard work. And by the end, you’re sick of looking at the book. It’s a process, and a journey, and a combo of good, bad, and ugly. But, in the end, holding the book in your hands truly makes it worth the hassle. It’s all love once it is back in your paws, ready to rock the world!
3. Graduating from pharmacy school, the first time. Still the hardest degree for me to earn, ever. The rest came easier for me, including law. Props to the students earning their PharmDs today – not sure how they do it 6 years straight through, and not sure I could do it again, if I had to do it over again.
4. Hiring my first employee – that was pretty cool.
5. Helping pharmacy students think like entrepreneurs. Still hands down, my favorite class to teach is entrepreneurship in pharmacy. And that can take many different forms – from part time gigs on the side, all the way up to owning one’s own pharmacy. There’s a spectrum of ‘trepping out there, and whether or not students actually start a business down the road, I’m more interested in them getting the mindset of thinking like an entrepreneur, which will serve them well over their own careers.
6. Helping pharmacy students write books. I’ve got 2 writing/book projects under the umbrella of student book projects now, and working on a third. A fourth crashed and burned. When one of the students last year who didn’t even work on the student books project came to the signing and said, “this is cooler than even graduating from pharmacy school!” that pretty much rocked my world. I love writing, but I love helping others discovering that they love writing just as much if not more.
7. Buying my first real estate investment at age 18. This one I must give a shout out to my family for allowing me to do. It taught me several lessons, and bought me Organic Chemistry class tuition at Notre Dame one summer after selling it. Investments and passive income rock. I’m a big fan of capitalism, and I wish they taught more of this in school. I was lucky to get it at home.
8. Helping others launch or change their own careers. I can’t really recall a specific case in point right now, it’s been a long day–but I’ve always tried to help out my friends and contacts get to their own career Shangri-Las, whatever those may be. I’m still working on several of my friends – so if you need some good peeps, let me know.
9. Setting up a mentoring program for other women. I worked with a women’s organization a few years ago and had a shot at setting up a mentoring program. I think that might have been even more work than writing a book, because it involved writing content, working with teams of people, and bringing together people that are somewhat different. Despite it being a ton of work, it in the end I think had at least a little impact. If nothing else, the mentees learned a little more about the most important lesson of all: unearthing themselves.
There you have it. I always keep my eyes peeled for other awesome career adventures, but these are the 10 that bubble up in my mind tonight.