I’ve been looking at LinkedIn a lot recently and observed how many of my equivalents across other businesses have moved between companies in recent months. It seems to be more common than ever before.
Over the past decade, there’s been a definite shift in the sector. Ten years ago, there would be very few changes among the senior managers in pharmacy multiples. The suits may switch job titles, but seldom companies.
The opposite used to be true in the pharmacies themselves – pharmacists and managers would move around, often very frequently. Usually on the promise of better hours, a different culture, more convenient location or simply a wad of extra cash. There were exceptions of course, but not many.
Now the situation seems to be reversed, as a good job working in a pharmacy seems to be much more sought after, and people hold onto them more tightly and stay in them longer. Sure, there are changes within companies, but much less often between them. Does this mean community pharmacy is now more rewarding than ever, or employers have finally got their offers right? Or is it more sinister, and pharmacists are more fearful of change?
In contrast, head office personnel and area managers seem to move businesses much more frequently than ever before. While I know some of the changes will have been planned, I also know that a great many of these moves will have not have been in the career plans of the individuals even a year ago. It can be a dangerous job to hold in this sector.
One thing that these changes do bring, is a reduction in the differences between companies. It feels like there is less variation between pharmacy businesses than there was 10 years ago. I’m not sure that’s a good thing. Novel ideas and good practices from each company now seem to cross-fertilise much faster, and even the pharmacies themselves now seem to look more similar.
Perhaps this makes it easier than ever for area managers to move into someone else's shoes?