I was having breakfast with a local-author-mom-friend* and we were talking about young professionals: 1) how to stay competitive, 2) regardless of career, and 3) how to explain it in a way that’s not scaring people away from their chosen field. And then she mentioned upskill and reskill.
Upskill: Take your existing level of expertise and widen it.
Reskill: Learn something different.
As pharmacists, in this current climate, we want to upskill and reskill in order to stay competitive, and we learn this early on when applying for jobs and residencies. Students are told, as early as their first year, to build up their CV so as they approach graduation, they are putting their best foot forward, regardless of what they want to pursue.
I can remember, a long time ago, walking into the Midyear meeting residency showcase, and all I saw was sea of navy blue suits. And I thought – how am I different? How am I going to be a competitive candidate? I had to dig deep and reflect on my skills and my strengths. I had to objectively look at my CV and admit where the holes were.
Students don’t have to do a residency, but they should adopt an upskill and reskill mindset not only for professional opportunities, but also for personal and professional growth over time. Are you aware of your strengths? Do you want more on your CV? What support do you need in those areas?
The pharmD degree is an awesome foundation, but we all need to stay hungry for learning more to stay ahead of any curves in the road.
How are you upskilling and reskilling? Tell us about it.