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Archive for August, 2016

The Final Countdown on SXSW: We NEED YOUR VOTE!

Monday, August 29th, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 7.35.32 PMIt’s the final week for @SXSW 2017 #panelpicker voting – and I need ALL HANDS ON DECK here….!  If you voted for our 2 panel pickers, THANK YOU!  If not, I need you to please drop what you’re doing RIGHT NOW and go vote thumbs up for the two following panel pickers:


And, OK, I’ll give you my own David Letterman top 10 list for reasons why you SHOULD vote for our two panel pickers on or before 9/2/16 – ready?

Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Vote for these 2 Panel Pickers before 9/2/16:

10. Because we can get more adults interested in STEM at SX, which in turn can get more kids interested in STEM.

9. We could see a teleporter, a flying hovercraft in our lifetimes.

8. We can help teach other teachers how to help students learn how to write and publish books, so there will be even more and better books out there to help educate the next generation on public health topics.

7. Because I said so. (OK, that’s playing a parent card, I know, but I’m running out of reasons.)

6. Because = more STEM pros = more drones, and the possibility of never, ever having to step into another grocery or retail store again. Ever.

5. Because personalized medicine, and only having to have one pill that contains everything we ever need in one dose, courtesy of a future STEM superstar.

4. Because personalized chemotherapy, and only having the chemo target the tumor cells, not making a cancer patient sick or lose their hair via a STEM superstar who invents and hones targeted chemotherapy for the cancer cells only.

3. Because aerospace, and discovering the final frontier and if we are not alone in the universe.

2. Because solar energy, water preservation and cleanliness can both be waaaay better.

1. Because we can always, always improve the world in which we live.

5 Super Useful Items of Late

Sunday, August 21st, 2016

In an era where it’s easy to complain about stuff that doesn’t work (I myself threw down some massive frustration with a government website this weekend as just one example…) it’s nice to pause and instead discuss things that are actually useful and DO help.

These are items that have proven super useful to me of late, of which I am grateful for:

1. The Wayback Machine – When you want to see your company’s very FIRST website back in 1991, or when you’re looking for something at a website that is no longer there.  This sweet little site can just save the day!

2. - No, not for cheating at Words with Friends, but to actually write stuff that rhymes!

3. Hopper - This is an app that helps you keep your eyes on flight fares.  If I could only get this for clothes, hotels, and other items…my life would be easier.

4. YouTube – This was 100% straight up my teacher on creating the STEM Princess coloring book movie trailer this weekend.  Chances are, if I didn’t use it, I’d STILL be sitting in front of my macbook in iMovie shouting vulgarities.

5. My Canon Vixia HF G10 – On my old macbook, I had to buy some software and transfer video clips over through it in order to then be able to edit in iMovie.  With my new macbook, however, someone fixed that problem, so it makes uploading and editing video WAY easier.

If you get frustrated, I get it.  Maybe just pause and think of a few things you’re grateful for instead, and that may return you to a Zen-like state.

At least for a second…

Check out the #STEMPrincess3 Video Short

Saturday, August 20th, 2016

We know how to rock a Friday night.

Check out this video we put together on the #STEMPrincess series – specifically coloring book beta, (book 3).  Caution: it’s cool.

Better yet – get the book yourself, color some pages, and put it up on social with the hash tag of our SXSW campaign – #ColorMeSTEM and/or #ColorMeSTEAMED! (Vote for our panel picker, please:

The 5 Roads out (and in) of Retail Pharmacy: An Update

Friday, August 19th, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 9.51.12 AMEPIC love on the 5 roads out of retail pharmacy miniseries we’ve been cooking up for our pharmacy friends over at the pharmacy podcast.

It’s been AWESOME putting together an all-star line up of professionals to help my pharmacists out there live their best career lives.

If you didn’t hear the episodes, here they are:

Part 1 – Pete the Planner, on Money  - and don’t forget Pete’s deal just for you, starting Sept 6!
Part 2 – Hazel Walker, on Networking
Part 3 – Tony Guerra, on how he worked the other 3 points in the article to his ideal gig
Part 4 – Yours truly, I’ll talk about the very humbling experience of going over to pharma post retail, then my hops back to retail & where I’m going to turn the tables and put the Fellow on as a co-host!
Part 5 – We answer ALL questions from the audience with a recap show – if you have questions, please tweet them to @ErinLAlbert or @pharmacypodcast, or both.  (You can PM me too if you don’t want the world to know your question.)

On part 4, I’m going to park my show notes and career path here for it – because it’s a bit complicated.

And yes, since it feels kind of bad to encourage some to leave retail pharmacy, I’m also committed to creating the NEXT miniseries on….5 Roads in to LOVING Your Retail Pharmacy Career!  Right now, I have the shell of the parts I want to discuss in an article, a few of the people I’d like to interview on this in mind, but we still need a sponsor for this mini series.  If you’re interested in sponsoring it, let me know.


Loving my Haters…and My Friends

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

Ya gotta love the haters.  One of them recently posted that one of my Pharmacy Podcasts sounded like an “infomercial.”

Friends, let me tell you–I took that one personally, because I work my *$$ off to bring the very best content I can to the podcast in order to help pharmacists get their biggest, best careers on.

Thankfully, I also have amazing friends.  One of my friends also helped me out on the podcast.  Pete the Planner was the guest on episode 1 of the 5 part mini series, The 5 Roads out of Retail Pharmacy at the podcast.  He discussed the first road out of retail – managing your money.

We all have hangups about money.  And, most of us also like to spend it.  But because Pete is cool as he is, he passed along a deal and discount for fans of this blog and fans of the Pharmacy Podcast below, which is on his new class about – making YOU a millionaire.

That may sound “infomercial”-like, but it’s really not.  Just like I want to help pharmacists find their best careers, Pete genuinely wants to help people achieve financial independence.

So, I’m going to give you the discount code and 411 to his upcoming live class below, beginning Sept 6.  And hey – when you do achieve millionaire status, DON’T FORGET THE LITTLE PEOPLE!!!  Especially…THE HATERS.


Pete the Planner says you have to be a millionaire. No, really.  It’s just math.

Hoping to be a millionaire doesn’t exactly work. Because hope is a bad financial planning strategy.

Don’t believe in hope. Believe in math. Math tells us most people can become a millionaire. Reality tells us that hope is why most people don’t.

The Million Dollar Plan shows you exactly how to become a millionaire, and more importantly, exactly how to remain a millionaire. It it NOT a get rich quick scheme or a scam, it’s simply a long term plan.

Pete’s 4 week LIVE training course starts September 6th. Signup at use coupon code: PHARM for $100 off the course.


5 Roads to LOVING Your Community Practice Pharmacy Career

Monday, August 15th, 2016

heartOk, I’m starting to feel a bit…guilty.

In writing an original post, then creating a 5-part mini series about the 5 Roads out of Retail Pharmacy, I’m worried that I may appear to be discounting or even trashing retail pharmacy.

I’m not.


I learned a LOT of valuable lessons about managing people and caring for patients through my various retail pharmacy practice experiences.  I also learned a lot of soft skills through those experiences as well – like patience, fortitude, endurance, creativity and problem-solving – that I never would have learned inside a classroom.

So, I’m going to propose that I do this.  I’m going to write 5 Ways to LOVE your Community Practice Pharmacy Career, right here, right now.  I’m going to include ideas that I employed during my retail pharmacy times that helped increase my personal job satisfaction, or that others have employed, and hopefully it will in turn help you, if you’re in pharmacy, healthcare, or maybe even any profession.


5 Roads Into Loving your Retail Pharmacy Career:

1. Own it – why not own your own store?  It’s becoming a reality for many pharmacists these days.  Shout out to one of the wholesalers in particular who helps pharmacy owners take their businesses and their professions to the next level.  Many pharmacists long to be their own bosses.  In fact, back in the day, EVERY pharmacist was a business owner, because there were no pharmacy chains.  So, if you’re going to be in it to win it, why not own it?  I’ve never owned a pharmacy, but I acted like an owner when I was the pharmacist in charge of my first pharmacy – so “ownership” doesn’t need to be literal–it can be a mindset here too!

2. Niche it – I have a friend in retail (large chain) who created a really interesting niche for herself in community practice pharmacy, which led her to meeting the US Surgeon General!  There are pharmacies (yes, even in chains) that specialize different areas of pharmacy practice.  So, even if you work in a huge chain, ask yourself the following: what are my passions within this profession?  Also, ask your CUSTOMERS what their needs are as well.  Do you have an older population, a younger/new family population, or something else? Find and fill their needs, and in doing so, you may just have created yourself an amazing career corner in practice!  Even better – once you become the “go to” guy or gal, can you help train others about it in your company?  Who does compounding in your neck of the woods? If everyone is a hot potato with it, why not own it and run with it?  What about wellness?  What about preventative care?

3. Get out of the fishbowl – Just like Hazel Walker described this week on the Pharmacy Podcast, you need to build a network inside the profession of pharmacy and OUTSIDE.  That INCLUDES networking in your local community, with the patients you serve.  My first couple of pharmacy experiences had me surrounded by glass around the pharmacy – so we used to joke that sometimes, we needed to “get out of the fishbowl.”  Examples of this: could you get out into the community and discover nursing homes that need adherence packaging for their patients that you could help with?  Is there an acute facility in a rural setting that could use your pharmacy’s help?  Do you have a hospice program in your community you could partner with?  If you’re the new kid on the block, why not get out and say hi to the doctors in your local community?  Get out of the fishbowl and investigate!

4. Step up – Volunteer. Do extra work. Show upper management that you want to train/teach/beta test/write/speak/ manage/help/recruit others and grow within your company or chain.  Be the liaison between your pharmacy school alma mater and your chain.  Take students on rotation and precept. The more you do and do well, the more you’ll get noticed, which is critical if you want to move up in the company you’re working within.

5. Play nice with others – This is a combo of all the 4 previous steps, but ask yourself how you and your pharmacy business can play nicely with others.  Is there a visiting nurse service you could partner with in the community?  Is there a way you could organize a community task force for disaster relief if, God forbid, something happens to your community?  What about a tox away day? Can you set up a phone tree with other pharmacists to prevent theft and diversion in pharmacy?  What can you do with strong non profits in your area that would help the community?  Can you bring the community IN to your pharmacy to hang out and be a spot of joy and hope for your neighborhood, instead of another icky task they have to check off of their list?  Ask yourself one more time what your strengths are, and how you can add them to your world around you to create a better retail pharmacy world. Maybe that’s through a broader, interprofessional pathway that could lead you to feeling FANTASTIC about your career of pharmacy.

After all, you picked a great profession!  The sky is the limit….!


Taking the #STEMPrincess Advisory Board Challenge 1: Find Women of Earth in STEM

Sunday, August 14th, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 8.32.19 AMOne of the items we discussed at the STEM Princess Advisory Board this past week was showing more REAL WORLD EARTH WOMEN in STEM.  I totally agree with this.  So, this morning I challenged myself (after my ad board challenged me) to head over to Youtube to see if I could find real women of Earth doing the gigs that each of the 20 STEM Princesses do over at planet STEM.  Game on!

A few of my results are below.  If you want the entire spreadsheet of real world STEM Princesses of Earth, I hope you’re an owner of the first STEM Princess book, because they’re all in the google doc/resource guide, which has a link to it on the back cover of the first STEM Princess book.  (If you have the book and the URL, it’s on page 2 of the google document.)  So, this one in its entirety is for the loyal and original fans of this series!

Please note: the women I’m about to share don’t endorse the STEM Princess project, necessarily – I just wanted to link up amazing women doing the STEM jobs in the real world so girls everyone CAN BE WHAT THEY CAN SEE.  If anyone objects to the links below who are the video owners of the women’s footage below, tell me and I’ll remove the link…but I hope that is not the case.


STEM Princess                   Gig                             Real Woman of Earth Rocking the Gig

Abigail                    Aerospace Engineering              Cady Coleman at the international space station

Bella                               Bioinformatics                     Wendy Kan at Genentech

Fiona                           Forensic Scientist                  Prof. Jeni Smith, Penn State University

Grace                   Geophysicist/Seismologist          Dr. Charlotte Keen, Canada

Harper           Hazardous Materials/Toxicology     Valerie Meyers, Toxicology at NASA

I found many others.  This was an interesting study.  But I will tell you that I didn’t have much to choose from in all of the fields.

So, if you’re a woman in STEM, I’m going to challenge YOU like the ad board challenged me: to tell your story, preferably often and preferably online…so that women around planet Earth can be what they can see!


Your Career: Not A One-Way Street

Saturday, August 13th, 2016

onewayI already lamented this to my fab 14 with my email blast to them and them only (you can sign up over to the left <- if you want to be in the know first), but it’s something worth expanding upon…because it’s about you and your career, and you’re always worth discussing!

Careers are no longer a one-way street.  You don’t just go to high school, get into the best college, get a job, work there for 40 years, retire, and go off into the sunset.  That used to be the easy path, and what the majority of US workers did.

The good news and bad news is that it is a lot more complicated than that now.

What I mean by this I’ve previously discussed in Multipationals, but I don’t think I went to the full limits that I should have in that book about this topic.  Now, you have to think about your career as a 5-way intersection, with some streets being 2 way, and others one way.  And let’s throw in a roundabout here too.  You should, if you’re smart, have a portfolio of careers.  You should have a full or near full time gig, a part time gig or two, and one of those things on the side should be your very own.

In less than 4 years from now, 40% of us will be in this type of career path, where it’s a range of gigs, with different groups and tribes and employers, and in different lengths and durations.  You may or may not be considered a W2, a 1099 or if long enough, converting from one to the other as your relationship with some employers.

The hard part, I think, is coming up with the ideal career portfolio mix for YOU and where you are in your life at the time.  How much time per week do you want or need to work in your primary job? Do you get bored? Do you thrive with variety? How much variety? Then, what and how do you want to work – from home? In a space with others? Does it geographically matter where you work?

The career portfolio is really hard to rock well at this point, since there appears to be little direction on how, exactly to come up with a precise or ideal mix of career gigs for an individual.  I’ll tell you straight up that colleges aren’t training or inspiring most students to prepare for this change, either.

I’ll end by asking – if you have a portfolio career, and you’re happy with it – how did you come up with the right formula for you? Was it trial and error? Did you have a mentor guide you to your ideal mix? Did you straight up get lucky? I’d welcome your comments…


Just for the Fab 14: #6OnSaturday

Friday, August 12th, 2016

I have 13 14 fans. (I upped it one after I saw responses from my boss me around campaign.  Thanks again if you gave me some food for thought there.)

The Fab 14 are awesome. And fabulous.

And since they’ve been my loyal cheerleaders and fans since this tiny blog started, I’ve decided to give them my best stuff exclusively moving forward.

On random Saturdays, I’ll be inboxing the #Fab14 a new little ditty I’m calling #6OnSaturday.  It shall be henceforth 6 little gems or nuggets of the best stuff I see on the net, stuff I’ve been pondering, or new projects I’m working on – BEFORE THE REST OF THE UNIVERSE GETS IT.

So, if you want to be #15, you might want to put your email address in the box over <- there and sign up.

First official #6onSaturday drops tomorrow.

XOX, my Fab 14!

The Thrill of Victory, and the Agony of Defeat

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 7.21.33 AMOlympics time!  Yeah – remember that line at the beginning of a major network’s sports opening?  (If you’re too young and don’t, you did not grow up at the optimal time, I’m sorry.)  And if you did, do you remember that horrible skiing accident and the dumbbell dude lifting the weights like a baller?

That was me yesterday.  Not so much on the skiing and the weight lifting (in fact, me doing either of those would probably be an excellent set up for a comedy), but mentally that was me.  I had bad news and good.

The bad news: no moving forward with HSN.  Worst part: I don’t know why the #STEMPrincess series was rejected from HSN.  Timeline?  Cost?  I just don’t know.  It was a disappointment, to say the least.

The great news: the first #STEMPrincess Advisory Board met!  I literally have a pile of 200 sticky notes with ideas, but I also have the next golden ticket item that I’ll be pursuing around this 3 book series, thanks to the ladies of this board, who all were inspiring and passionate about helping out.

So…as you have your own thrills of victory and agonies of defeat, I just wanted to share a few with you this week of my own.  Because NOTHING drives me more nuts than the wantpreneurs out there making it look sooooo easy to make millions of bennies.  It’s just not that easy.  The hustle/struggle is hard, and real.  Hopefully, you’ll have some people who have your back, as I and my #STEMPrincesses do now!

Cheers – and can you help a girl out by up voting my two panel pickers for SXSW next spring? and Thanks!