What do I want our patients to be able to say about Boots? Quite simply, ‘Boots cares for me personally’."
Casting your mind back, why did you decide to join Boots initially?
A couple of reasons really, firstly, the most obvious was that I was a Pharmacist, so I was looking for a pharmaceutical company to join. I wanted to choose a company that not only offered great opportunities to develop myself, but also professional training and development to further my career. Secondly, the heritage that the company offers, it’s a proud feeling to know that what we do here at Boots started so long ago and had, and will continue to have, such genuine care at the heart of what we do.
When I came out of university I picked Boots to do my pre-reg and I’ve been able to develop my career with leaders and great people around me who I’ve been able to learn from ever since. Hence 20 years later, and I’m still here.
How would you summarise your career at Boots so far?
Probably first of all, the variation! My career with Boots hasn’t followed a particular path, the opportunities have been endless, and I’ve had fantastic opportunities in stores and support office across different roles, functions and even countries.
After qualifying and finding my feet as a new pharmacist across various shops I was fortunate enough to soon find myself managing one. I found through this that I really enjoyed leading and developing people. The people who led me were all passionate about my development and this combined with the heritage of the company, I knew Boots would be a long term career for me.
I went on to really broaden my experience working within the Boots Ireland business, which has helped make me the leader I am today. I worked on websites, getting the boots.ie site up and running, I was Commercial and Marketing Director for a couple of years and then Managing Director of Boots Ireland for three years.
So yes, for me, Boots really is about the variety. I hope that my story shows other pharmacy colleagues the variety that a career at Boots could offer them too.
What’s the best advice you’d give to an up and coming pharmacist?
Just enjoy it and make the most of the variety that your pharmacy has got to offer you. The role of a relief pharmacist can offer so much opportunity, meeting so many people, working in different stores, learning from different leaders and of course working with different patients – learn from that variety! And as you come through, make sure you spend time on developing yourself – your awareness and ability to communicate and lead others. Just don’t stop learning. In fact, never stop learning, when you come out of education, see that as the beginning, don’t stop there, learn from the variety of chances around you and chase different experiences.
There are so many options that aren’t core Pharmacist roles, but still have Pharmacy at the heart, including those in HR, Marketing and Commercial, – at Boots your career as a pharmacist can develop and change with you.
Just enjoy it and make the most of the variety that your pharmacy has got to offer you.
What are you most proud of throughout your career with Boots so far?
What am I most proud of? The people that I’ve helped develop. Watching people progress in their career because of my leadership makes me proud. And of course, the difference that we make to millions of people, every day, through the work that we do, that goes without saying.
Lead your people well, with the right values and the right culture and you’ll be successful.
What do you want our patients to be able to say about Boots?
Quite simply, ‘Boots cares for me personally’.
To follow Richard’s story on LinkedIn click here