In the U.S., there are 314,300 pharmacist positions. This number isn’t expected to increase or decrease in the next decade. As pharmacists retire or leave the workforce, new pharmacists will need to fill those positions. Pharmacists earn a median income of $128,100. How can you ensure you earn more?
We all know a pharmacist serves a very important role in helping patients feel better and complete treatment. The process of helping patients is very rewarding and helps you feel confident in the job you are preforming. Being a medication specialist, you understand the importance of prescriptions. Your role as a pharmacist helps improve adherence to medication. As a healthcare provider, you understand how to communicate with patients effectively and evaluate their ability to take certain types of medication. Working directly with patients is very rewarding and offers you the opportunity to work in different settings including ambulatory, inpatient and community. Therefore, with all of these amazing benefits to your career also comes a lot of hard work and dedication.
Receiving proper compensation
Everyone who works hard at a profession wants to be properly and adequately compensated. When you feel that you are not being compensated to your highest potential, you start to wonder if you should ask for a raise. As with any other profession, asking for a raise can be nerve racking. The situation is sensitive and should be properly planned beforehand to produce a desirable outcome. It is always important to be upfront and honest with your employer regarding the status of your salary and your feelings about it. It is important to feel comfortable in your career and your level of compensation.
How to ask for a raise as a pharmacist
Create an outlined list
The very first step when planning how you will ask for a raise is to make a list of what exactly you are looking for. For example, by outlining precisely what you are requesting, you can feel more confident in the process. Also, outlining what you expect your manger will say can help prepare you for best/ worst case scenarios. It is also important to write down what unique skills you believe you bring to the table. Start by outlining exactly why you feel you are a strong asset to the company. Even though you are requesting higher monetary compensation, you also bring a wealth of knowledge and skills to the table. Remember to keep this in mind when drafting your list. It is important to prioritize the value you bring to the company as a pharmacist.
Online career sites such as Glassdoor and Payscale provide information regarding the appropriate compensation range for your skills (see our article on how much of a raise to ask for, or try our pay raise calculator). You want to ensure you are asking your employer for a raise within reason. By understanding how much your role commands on average, you will be better equipped to communicate this to your employer.
Mention recent accomplishments
When you accomplish a milestone at work or master a challenging situation, you are entitled to adequate compensation. If you feel that your current progress is beyond what you are currently earning, you can ask for a raise on these terms. For example, using the milestone to make your case can be very effective. When beginning salary negotiation, you want to start off strong. By providing your employer with indisputable evidence regarding your value to the company, you enhance your chances of a raise. It is crucial to enter the negotiation fully prepared. State why you are deserving of this type of advancement. Other pharmacists in the company may be payed similarly, therefore you need to explain and prove how your skill set makes you more qualified. Also see our article:
Ask For A Raise By Showing Your Value.
In the event you are overdue for a raise, lightly mentioning it may be all that is needed to prompt the change. However, it is best to always be prepared with your reasoning and evidence.
Use specific numbers & figures
The bottom line for companies is profit. For example, in order for companies to be profitable, they have to maintain a certain budget- salaries included. By providing specific numbers showcasing yourself as an asset, you will be much better off. For example, “the launch of new operations allowed me to exceed my projected targets by 15%.” Including exact numbers and figures make it much easier for your employer to visualize the significance. Quantifiable evidence is much easier to understand and interpret. You will also feel more confident presenting your employer with numbers rather than self-statements. For example, by saying “I saw positive results in our new launch,” you are not defining how YOU are an asset. Including numbers and figures provides indisputable evidence.
Timing is key
Timing is a very important factor often overlooked when asking for a raise as a pharmacist. While this is true for almost every occupation, it is even greater in the field of healthcare providers. Healthcare providers are focused on urgent priorities, such as preparing medication for patients, reviewing physician’s orders, dispensing medication, labeling, preparing, etc. The role of a pharmacist can be stressful and demanding, therefore finding the appropriate time can be tricky. Furthermore, managers and supervisors are often even busier with instructing staff, overseeing operations, assigning tasks, training new pharmacists and more. If you ask at the wrong time, the entire situation can suffer.
Never ask in passing
Asking for a raise in passing is almost always guaranteed to end badly. At best, your manager will say something along the lines of “lets chat later, after work.” When you ask for a raise in passing, you risk jeopardizing the outcome. First impressions are important. You do not want to start off on a bad note. Asking in passing can prohibit you from receiving a raise in the future as you are making a bad impression overall. You want to remain professional and respectable.
Always ask to schedule a meeting
By requesting a meeting be scheduled, you are showing respect and consideration for your manager’s time. You can initiate this meeting in a few different ways. For example, you can write an email asking to sit down to discuss salary. Alternatively, you can introduce the meeting in person. Two weeks is a good time frame for scheduling a meeting. You want to give your manager time to prepare. Make sure to ask when there aren’t any other more pressing issues occurring. Picture this, the pharmacy is completely busy, with many patients waiting for prescriptions, and you bring up a salary raise. You will seem insensitive, lacking priority and unfit.
When scheduling a meeting, briefly explain the reason. For example, “I would like to sit down with you and discuss my contribution, performance and compensation at the company.” This way you are giving your manager a preview as to what you would like to talk about. This gives them time to prepare themselves and pull together all of their numbers/ figures.
Take budget cycles into consideration
It is very important to take budget cycles into consideration. Budget cycles take effect months prior. For this reason, you’ll want to strategically plan your request for a raise. It is important to lay the ground work for your raise early- therefore it can be made possible. By giving your manager a “head start,” they will be able to vouch for you to the financial department. Always keep a bird’s-eye view of the entire situation. By understanding the process your manager will have to go through in order to grant you a raise, you will be more understanding and accommodating.
If you would like more information about your company’s budget cycle, the HR department will be able to provide you with a specific time frame. Asking other colleges about the budget cycle can also be helpful, especially if they have been with the company for many years.
Be confident and unapologetic
Confidence is absolutely key to appearing competent. When you begin your request with “I’m sorry to bother you but…” or “I know the budget is tight but…,” you are setting yourself up for failure. By introducing the topic with an apologetic tone, you are showing you don’t believe you are worthy. If you don’t believe in yourself, it will be very difficult for others to believe in you as well. You need to remain strong and confident.
Asking for an increase in salary based on your outstanding performance is nothing to be ashamed of. Never lead with an apology. State your opinions regarding your value and use factual numbers to back up your claim.
Review & summary
Asking for a raise can feel uncomfortable, however by remembering these tips, you will be able to stand firm in your belief and ask for compensation you feel is appropriate. Always remember to be polite, considerate and straightforward. Never ask for a raise in passing. Pick the right time to mention the topic. It is important to communicate your appreciation for the job and enjoyment working with the company. Remember to stay engaged when discussing your raise. You want to show you are an enthusiastic and dedicated pharmacists. By showing your employer how invested you are in the company, they will be much more likely to approve your raise request. Ultimately, if you are a dedicated pharmacist and work hard to achieve success, your manager will notice this and oblige to your increased compensation.