Trainee Pharmacist to Store Manager Leadership Progression – Hass’ Story
Meet Hass, one of our Store Managers in the East Midlands. Hass joined Boots UK as a Trainee Pharmacist after completing two pharmacy summer placements during university. Read on to see how Hass’ career developed into a leadership position, the fundamental skills he learned during his early Pharmacy career, and his advice on career progression routes for pharmacists.
Tell us about your career so far
I completed summer placements with Boots UK during my second and third year at university. I then went on to complete my Trainee Pharmacist year at the same store in Nottingham.
Following this, I briefly went onto work as a Relief Pharmacist for around two months before being approached about a Store Based Pharmacist role at a busy store in Nottingham.
After 18 months there, I was offered a Store Manager post at a smaller store in the area, where I gained valuable leadership experience. Following this, I went on to manage one of the busiest dispensing stores in the company, and after four years I decided to take up a position in one of our top stores nearby in Leicestershire, where I am today.
Why did you choose to start your career at Boots UK?
In my opinion, it is the biggest and best pharmacy chain in the UK! Boots very much dominates the pharmacy market and I really wanted to be part of it. Not to mention that I live in the same city as our Support Office! The training and progression offered by Boots is second to none and well recognised amongst Pharmacists. Patients trust the brand and therefore trust the people that work there.
What was the most important thing you learned in your early Pharmacist roles at Boots UK?
The patient always comes first. Treat everyone as individuals. You never know the circumstances or any underlying issues that patients have in their personal lives, and so you need to be respectful of the patient in front of you and sensitive to the fact they may have had a life changing diagnosis or may be struggling with different things in different ways. Never underestimate the impact that you can have on patients’ lives and well-being.
Tell us about your progression to a Store Manager role
I’d never thought about management before, however, when I reflected on it, as a Responsible Pharmacist, you are accountable for the day to day running of the dispensary and ensuring all legal and clinical governance processes are being followed. Therefore, it didn’t seem like anything I couldn’t achieve. I decided to give it a go. It’s the best thing I did as it allowed me to help more patients and lead the pharmacy agenda from the front.
What skills gained during your Foundation Training Year have played a fundamental part in your Store Manager role?
The development of leadership skills from the Trainee Pharmacist year was a massive asset and has vastly helped me during my career. The Foundation Training Year course gives you the confidence to lead the dispensary and healthcare team and build strong relationships. It allows you to network with other healthcare professionals in addition to internal and external stakeholders.
The Foundation Training Year course teaches you that the reputation you have with patients, peers and other healthcare professionals is paramount. This is key to gaining the trust of others. Completing the training course with Boots puts you on the front foot as Boots is known for being trusted and at the forefront of customer care, which is at the heart and soul of the training. This has allowed me to empower patients to take control of their healthcare needs and therefore championing their right to feel good!
Do you have any advice for Pharmacists who are thinking about a career in management?
I would recommend if you are thinking about it, just go ahead and do it! The support provided by Boots is immense and it gives you the confidence to make decisions. There are courses you can enroll in such as the First Line Leaders course which gives you the advanced leadership training you may need.
I would encourage you to speak to your line manager and register your interest. That will allow healthy conversations to take place and discuss the pathway which may suit your needs.
What other careers have you seen team members develop into?
In addition to the management route, you could also go down the clinical route which can allow you the chance to gain a Clinical Diploma and even become an Independent Prescribing Pharmacist.
Boots UK is such a big company, there are field role support options such as Pharmacy Support Manager and even many Pharmacy Support Office roles such as joining the Learning & Development team or Chief Pharmacist’s Office. There are many opportunities and various roles to suit everyone’s career aspirations.
If you have any questions about a Pharmacist role with us, click here to speak to our in-house recruitment team on live chat.