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Archive for July, 2013

Backtrack: More Things Newly Licensed Pharmacists Should Do

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

OK, I received a nice email from a fellow pharmacist, Mark, last week before the crazy of the 21 Flavors meeting hit (crazy in a good way, of course) but – I got distracted writing a piece for a national publication on that meeting, which I hope will hit in September, the PR for it (which is here if you’re interested), and another piece for my August post over at SheTaxi.  Anyway, I wanted to go back to Mark’s comments.

He replied to me about my post on 5 things new pharmacists should do.  He also gave me three additional items below that I thought were pretty good to mention as well, and things I didn’t really think of immediately, so I asked if he was cool to share them, and he was – so here they are, verbatim:

3 More Things A Newly Licensed Pharmacist Should Do: (By Mark)

1.) Find a hobby or interest that is totally unrelated to pharmacy and pursue it. Maybe it’s poetry, music, gardening, watercolor, or woodworking, etc. But something that has nothing to do with pharmacy. There will come a time in your career, when you’ll really need an escape from pharmacy. You don’t know it now, but you will. You’ll need some friends or acquaintances who know nothing about pharmacy, or care to know. Don’t talk pharmacy to them. Just be friends on a different level. Someday they will be your savior!

2.) Find an older pharmacist you like, and talk with them about things that bother you. Maybe over a cup of coffee, or on a walk, or anywhere away from the pharmacy.  As a young grad, you will see things about many older pharmacist that will discourage you. You will think to yourself, that you don’t want to be like them, but unless you’re careful you will. The pharmacist who’ve meant the most to me, were not the ones who freely offered advice on every subject, but rather those older, quieter ones, who just did their jobs with a pleasant attitude day after day. Getting to know them took an effort on my part, but I’m so glad I did. The good ones, won’t come to you, you’ll have to seek them out. It’s awkward at first, but so worth it!

3.) Determine that you will always try to help people. I know this sounds simple and obvious, but it’s not easy. Actually it’s very hard at first, especially for young grads.It takes a conscious decision of the mind. There will be times when your customers will ask you to stay late, or deliver something to them, or help them find something unrelated to pharmacy. I work with people who say “that isn’t my job”. They make fun of me for going out of my way to help others. Young grads want to establish themselves as people who are in charge, but doing it the wrong way can ruin your life. Commit to being a servant in your daily practice and it will pay a lifetime of dividends.

The price you pay for a superior attitude is everything you have. You’ll become bitter and entitled. Being around those kinds of people is uncomfortable to me. They treat me as if I’m doing a disservice to our customers by spoiling them. But these customers have written me many notes and cards of thanks, and brought cakes and cookies, and brought their babies by to show them off, etc. Sometimes after helping them on the floor, they want to shake my hand and say “thank you, you were so helpful”. Shaking hands is a dirty habit I don’t like, (I keep hand sanitizer in my pocket) but it’s their way of saying “what you did was right” and I so appreciate it. So determine right from the start that you will lay down your pride and life for those you serve. If you try to hold on to it through arrogance and pride, you’ll lose it. This admonition from the greatest servant who ever lived is so important! Be a pharmacist, but do it with a servant’s heart. It will make all the difference in your career.”

Good advice.  Mark’s right.  So, I guess now there’s 8 things you need to do if you’re a freshly minted pharmacist.
Get to it!

From 21, to T-20

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

Now that I put the finishing touches on my article around 21 Flavors for a national publication (coming to a major pharmacy journal near you soon), tomorrow marks T minus 20 days and counting until a big new change for me.

What, exactly is that change? Well, stick around and I’ll tell you. But not on this post…at least not yet!

(A girl has to have at least a couple of secrets, right?)

Anyway, as I get closer to a new way of life for myself, I’m wondering – what should I do to prepare? Should I write down some goals? Should I write a mini bucket list for this next big era?

I have a few ideas on what to do, but I haven’t committed any of them to paper just yet. I’m still working on them in my head. And, I’m working on the ORDER of priority in my head.

When you have a big new chapter coming up in your book of life, how do you mentally prepare for it?

The clock is ticking…

Google Sites v. Weebly

Monday, July 29th, 2013

Sorry, folks, I’ve been busy cranking out – websites this weekend!

(I know – slacker, right?)

I ran out and learned html all on my own this weekend!

Not.

Seriously – I’m SO EXCITED that humans without an html brain can actually create their own websites now, that I’ve been playing in them like a kid in a candy store for the past 5 days!

I tried Google Sites first.  It took me about 2 hours to build a site in it – but the site had quite a bit of content, and it was my first time messing around in websites-R-US.  Tonight, I tried the other online freebie for non-tech-nerds, Weebly.  Again, it took me a solid 2 hours to build a site that I needed, mainly because I had to transfer a lot of documents to get them into the resources bundle, and create an assessment or test for the website education.  Also, I found this comparison of the two sites that was super duper helpful in showing the benefits and detriments of both sites when comparing them.

Why am I telling you this?  Friends, simply because we are NOW F-R-E-E!  Free to create whatever website we’d like (minus, the…er…lascivious ones…).  No more calling tech support!  No more stressing about the crazy < and > signs on every piece of code!  No more sweating it out in Dreamweaver, or even struggling to stick a plug in into WordPress (which really, hasn’t been as easy to use for the techno-challenged like moi).

This finally lets us focus more on the content, and sweat less about the tech stuff.  YAY!  I was telling one of my fellow femmepreneurs this weekend about it and I really honestly feel, liberated now that we can do web design on our own.

Go forth, my friends!  Play with creating your very own websites.  It’s fun!  If I can do it, certainly YOU can do it!  I look forward to seeing your creations soon!

p.s. – I got a birth announcement when I launched my Weebly site.  Nice touch & props to the Weebly folks – it really does feel like I birthed something fun!

21

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

More on the #21Flavors meeting on #medicationadherence today.

We successfully managed all the moving parts for this shindig, which included the following:

One gong (stand and bonger – is that a word? I don’t know.)
7 tables full of pens, markers, sticky pads, dots, bubbles, tops, slinkies (or is it slinkys?), stress balls, crayons, blue books, and glitter (and there was glitter EVERYWHERE – the cleaning crew is sending me angry chi as I type this, certainly)
15 different colors of paper for the 50 agendas we passed out
20 exercise balls
20 speakers, with 105 slides total, and
21 talks – each 5 minutes, with one+ idea on how to improve #medad
40+ audience members
40+ boxed lunches
40+ books
65 individual ice cream cups (OK, really, it was 63, because I had to ensure quality on them before they even reached the meeting – a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do…)
in a total of 240 minutes.

Needless to say, I’m a little tired.  However, would I do it over again?

In a heartbeat.

It was a blast, and honestly, there were some fantastic ideas presented.  Best of all, some of the ideas got together and went bowling, and I think even cooler projects are going to come from this conversation today.

What would I do differently?

Next time, the reflection time would need to be a panel discussion and Q&A instead of what we did this time.  But other than that?  I don’t know if I would change much.  I loved that 21 people each had a shot at sharing something.  I loved that we kept it moving…I loved the gong.

I loved the ideas – from the amazingly simple (like, drink water before you actually take your meds) all the way through the complex (like wearable tracking jewelry and google glass, to apps, to games for kids on how to manage their diseases and meds).  Best, I loved that the #1 word everyone said after this meeting today was that it was “fun.”

When was the last time you attended a meeting that was edutaining?  If it’s been awhile, I have a recommendation for you.  Set up your own #21Flavors event.  Call it 21 Flavors of _____.  Invite 21 speakers.  Have them present one big idea around whatever your ______ is.  Have fun, and get your ideas together to go bowling.  That’s what we did today.  And although I’m completely exhausted, for all the reasons above, I’d do it all over again.

21 Ideas for a Creative Brainstorming Session

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

4 1 3

 

 

 

 

 

So, my good friends, we’ve been a little busy at work this week, putting the finishing touches on a meeting that has been in the works for months now (pharmacy stuff, of course).  It’s called: 21 Flavors: Ideas on How We Might Improve Medication Adherence.

For those of you who might not roll in this world, people not properly taking their medications costs this country an extra $300 billion every year.  That’s not a number to be discounted (even though we’re about–what–$17 trillion in debt overall now?  I digress.)

On top of this big problem, we could use more than a little bit of creativity in my first profession in order to solve it.  (And I’m not going to point the finger JUST at pharmacy – I think everyone in healthcare could use a little more right-brained action.)  Therefore, the organizers of this meeting thought it was time to spice things up a bit.

The pictures in this post are from my office today – world headquarters for staging of this event tomorrow at the fabulous Butler University, and co-sponsored by Community Health Network.  That thing on the left on the picture on the right?  Yup.  That’s a gong.  We’re going to keep our 21 speakers moving – they each have 5 minutes to present ONE idea to improve medication adherence.

What I’ve given a lot of thought to for this event is how to spark creativity in everyone in the room.  That can be as simple as putting a pen and a blue book in front of the audience members, or as complex as letting anyone who wants to sit on a stability ball instead of a chair and take notes on their iPads.  That means watching the timer for the gong to come out.  That means HAVING FUN while LEARNING, rather than just listening to someone talk at you, and instead participate WITH you!

Does my office look crazy right now?  Yes.  But that’s OK.  If that’s what it takes for all of us to get healthcare back on track in this country, I’m more than happy to be the crazy idea lady for pharmacy…and I’m glad the organizers of this meeting have given me the opportunity to run like a wild child on this event.  I think it will be fun!

Oh, and if you want to watch the fun, we’ll be tweeting Thursday afternoon on Twitter with the hashtags #21Flavors and #medicationadherence.  Check out the ideas as they come forth, if you’re interested in saving healthcare!

The Second Screen Phenomenon

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

When we all got our iPads, this probably happened, but I just now figured it out.  (Of course, you know my fab 13, I can be a little slow on the uptake…)

Anyway, I read an article recently about the second screen phenomenon, which I thought might have only been limited to my family, but as I returned from vacation this weekend, quickly realized that it has spread to everyone, not just me and my peeps!

What is the second screen phenomenon, you ask?  Look around the next time you’re in front of a TV.  You’ll notice that the “watchers” also have a second screen that they’re staring at, which is now the PRIMARY focus of their attention.

Ex: me at the national evening news time.  I’m watching Brian Williams on the second screen, and checking email and pinning on Pinterest on my first screen – either my iPad or my iPhone.  I hear Brian, and I’m listening, but I’m focused on my first screen now and watching it while I’m listening to Brian.

David Muir might be able to pull me in to the TV as my first screen; however, he’s still going to battle against Pinterest – and it is hard to compete with cute little kittens and cool book covers.  (Just keeping it real, David!)

Why am I putting this out there?  I don’t know.  Other than to say it is something I’ve been thinking about all weekend.  Are there some opportunities here with this phenomenon…?  Could something like Viggle get our attention on our iPads by listening in to hear Brian or David in the background and sell us stuff or give us a shot at donating to a good cause they’re talking about automatically?  Could TV programming actually integrate with stuff online beyond the Twitter hashtag?

These are just some of the ideas keeping me up at night…

To Go To Grad School, Or Not: THAT Is The Question

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

It’s not enough just to ‘be or not to be’ anymore.  Now, we have to move beyond Hamlet and into the real world.  Yes, just today – I got a round of questions regarding…grad school.

After the exhilaration of getting in wears off, the next decision for those contemplating grad school is: how am I going to pay for it?

These days, that’s really not a question to be trifled with.  Before you say yes, you really, really need to get educated BEFORE you get educated.  Namely, you need to know the following about that graduate program you’ve applied and are ‘in the club’ at:

Questions to ask before heading to grad school:

1.  What is the entire program going to cost me–and do I qualify for any scholarships? (Not just tuition costs here either – think about books, technology, parking, housing, travel, your time and all that other jazz…the ‘hidden’ costs can add up – quickly.)  Then, figure out how much debt you’re going to go into before saying yes.

2.  Ask the following of the admissions director: Can I talk to 3 grads of this program that are 2-5 years post graduation?  (If that institution says no, run for the hills – they may be trying to hide something…)

3.  If you DO get a shot at those grads 2-5 years out, ask them:
a. If you had to do the program over again, would you, and why or why not?
b. If you had to do a program over again, would you still have chosen this school?  Why or why not?
c. What did having the degree get you at work–more clout, more pay, a promotion, top shelf network connections in your field, none of the above, or all of the above?

4. If you can’t get past #1 above, or think the debt you’re about to go into is too much for you to handle, maybe you want to think about deferring that admission one more year, save some more money and work hard before finally saying yes.

Trust me, I hate like h*ll to say this, as I’m usually ALWAYS pro-bettering yourself.  (That is, I think it is a wise dollar spent on investing in you.)  On the other hand, when you’re talking six-figure level debt just to go to grad school, I’d advise that you stop, set aside the glittery “you’re in!” letter, and really consider the full weight of the debt you’re about to go into and ask if it is worth the return on investment.

That’s my best advice to grad school…or not.

The Best Exotic Marigold Week

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

‘Hey. Albert. That last word on your post is wrong.’

I know what you’re thinking – and I didn’t mean to say “Hotel,” but definitely ‘Week,’ as it’s been a crazy mixture this week of weird, hard, sad, and fulfilling…kind of like the movie.  I’ll try to break it down for you…here’s the recap.

First, as I predicted, the emails and posts flew into my walls and inboxes yesterday regarding my best advice for the young ladies.  Surprisingly, most of them came from young women, who were also married, but also supported a lot of what I said. Yes.

Everything from “I married young, but not everyone should,” to stories of young smart friends of these women who sacrificed more than their fair share for their husbands (included, but not limited to: leaving amazing day jobs and careers to move somewhere for him, or because of him or to raise the kids), all the way up to young women admitting they want children, but don’t want to stay at home and raise them, and does that make them a b*tch for not wanting to do so?

I’m here to say on that last comment, ladies, no.  It does not.  It just forces you make terribly tough decisions on what is the priority in your life at the time–and I argue, everything should be up for negotiation COLLECTIVELY with the dude in your life, to share some of this burden.  I think that’s fair.  What is not fair is when the entire burden falls on her.

What I can also say is that just because you’re a woman, it doesn’t mean you automatically want to be Earth mom with a ring of flowers in your hair and fresh sheets every day, frolicking about barefoot.  Or Super mom trying to do everything all day everyday like a Martha Stewart/Oprah/Mother Teresa trifecta.  Or any other traditional guilt-ridden-impossible idea you have in your head on what a mom should be.

Instead, I’m here to let you know that it’s OK to reinvent what it means to be a woman and mom in this era, and all traditional bets on who does what in a relationship are off (with the exception of carrying around the baby for 9 months–hurry up, science!).

Enough on that matter.  Ladies, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate them–and I’m always amazed when my fab 13 are actually reading and paying attention to what I say.

Now, on to the sad and difficult.

I lost a friend from law school this week.  Death is always sad, but it is especially tragic when it is someone so young, and my friend was devastatingly young.  My entire law school class is crushed by this, and we wish his family well in this tragic time of loss.  I’m still heartbroken.  He will be missed.

Next, the weird.

I received an email from an unknown person and source (the first red flag) about some blog contest I was “nominated” for – and after half a dozen emails and clarifications, turned out I wasn’t the person nominated after all.  Odd. Bizarre. First world problems, I suppose, but…really?  Really.

Last but not least, the fulfilling.

So, as you know I shared my bar fail in a video recently with the new crop of bar takers at T-minus less than 2 weeks here this week–in hopes to encourage them to succeed from my own personal failure.  Tonight, I received a totally random email from a gal whom I’ve never met, who thanked me for making the video for her, as she too is working and studying for the bar.  Sister–I feel your pain!

There you have it.

Oh, why the title of this post?

As I ended my day yesterday, I traded Tweets with a friend and we were talking about the sad part of the week, when I asked her if she had watched The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel…?  She had not.

In the movie (which, BTW, I highly recommend) is a quote that runs throughout, which goes something like this:

“It will be alright in the end.
If it’s not alright, it’s not the end.”

I like that quote – because although it’s been a tough week, and even if it remains a tough week at the end, it’s STILL NOT THE END, simply because it’s not alright.

Yay!

My Best Advice to Smart, Young Women

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

What I’m about to say is probably going to generate a s&*@! storm of controversy, but I think after two interesting articles I read online this weekend and a penchant for stirring the pot, I’m going to go ahead and put it out there.

Let me preface this by first saying that I’m no relationship expert.  I had one failed marriage, and currently, a complicated relationship with my cat.  So, by no means am I an expert in the relationship realm.  However, what I do know a thing or two about are things like–personal independence, finances, and being a fiercely hard-working entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial woman. So, that’s the lens where I’m coming from on this…keep those ideas in mind.

I often get asked by intelligent, upwardly mobile young women what and how to move forward in their careers and lives.  It’s a bit of the nature behind my day job in higher ed, but it’s also in the crowds I roll in as an entrepreneur and someone who can straddle both the day job and entrepreneurial worlds too.

When I saw this article on WSJ.com this weekend, all I kept thinking of is my best advice for these young aforementioned women which I’ve given privately when asked, and now, which I’m about to daringly put out in public, is this:

Ladies: don’t get married.

Or, if you have to get married, get a prenup.

(Hint, both parts up here are controversial.)

I’ll explain now.

First, I don’t think anyone (man or woman) should get married until they are at least 30 years old.  Why?  Because you don’t really have a clue who you are just yet as a person until age 30, and how can you possibly drag another into your life if you don’t even know who YOU are yet?  Spend some time getting to know and falling in love with y-o-u, first.  It’s not selfish.  In fact, it’s better than being in a lousy relationship just to “be” in one.  And I’m no psychologist, but Meg Jay is, so watch her TED talk on it.

Second, note that the class I mentioned above (young, intelligent upwardly mobile women) are just that – on the right track to success.  By getting married, many young women (and I argue, still, the majority) get derailed.  The husband’s needs/wants/career ambitions end up being primary in many (not all) cases to the wife’s, and if I really want the sisters I mentor to be successful, I’m not going to suggest they fall second into any life situation, including marriage.

When I read this article in the NY Times, while it was posted by a few in the comments as “sad” in a few ways, and though its title focused on the wrong thing (sex, instead of women and their independence), I found it liberating.  FINALLY someone had the guts to say that women are just as ambitious, if not more so than men, and many younger women now realizing this are more than OK with delaying the “social norm” of getting married right after college.  To this I say, rock on, young ladies!

Now, is every marriage out there unbalanced, where he gets to do everything he wants, while she stays home and/or inherits another job of running a house on top of her day job and/or raising the kids?  No.  I know some cases (even in my own family) she is the breadwinner/career rock star, and he stays home and runs the house.  Is this right?

Who knows?  I think there’s more than one way to make a relationship work–with and without marriage.

I will say that I think a good marriage can help give kids a more well-rounded childhood–single parenting has to be the toughest job on Earth, and props to the single parents out there making it work.  A woman or man who is in an abusive, violent relationship with a significant other and kids really does not have a choice but to leave that relationship in order to give his or her kids (and him or herself) a shot at a better life.  So, if you really want kids, marriage may be a good way to go.  Just be careful and choose wisely–and don’t grab a guy just because it’s convenient at the time…it may not be later.

Another friend on Faceplace asked me after I shared my best advice this weekend if I meant less smart, older women should get married.  Nope–I didn’t say that.  But then again, I don’t get asked by older women how to move their careers forward, either, because they usually know who they are and what they want.

Another wanted to debate me about this in general…as he’s pro-marriage.  Note the “he.”  I think the rules I mention above DO NOT APPLY to men, because I’ll say it, while I’m out on my controversial limb: I think men get a lot more benefits out of marriage in many if not most cases than women do, therefore, the rules are completely different for them.  Should young men get married?  I don’t know. I’m not a dude.

I’ll still stand by the same advice to my younger-single-with-no-children-on-board sisters, however: don’t get married.  Unless you really, really want to.  If so, hire a GREAT attorney, make sure prenups stick in your state, and make sure all parties sign a killer prenup with fair representation on all sides before you do.

You now have my best advice in this realm, albeit controversial.  But it’s still my best advice…

Failing the Bar Exam…With Class

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

For those of you not familiar with the wonderful world of law – in two weeks, graduate law students around the nation will be taking the oh so intimidating bar exam!

One of my lawyer friends posted this cute story from Above the Law today. After chuckling, I thought I’d share my very own bar exam fail and words of encouragement for my friends at my law school alma mater in video format with you, and the thousands of students about to embark (or embark again) on the experience of the bar exam.  Watch my own video on the subject – and I won’t say whether or not it is classy – I’ll let you decide…

…and if you’re one of thousands of students about to take the bar exam, GOOD LUCK, and then get your butt off of my website and the internet and GO STUDY!