Before becoming a community pharmacist, I worked in a closed-door, home infusion pharmacy that provided intravenous medications. I worked in a cubicle. I didn’t see any of my patients but I talked to them on the phone often about their drug therapy. My boss always dressed professionally and beautifully. She had well-fitting blazers and unique jewelry. The entire office dressed as she did.
Fast forward to 2008, I got a job In a retail pharmacy. I noticed that most of the women there dressed like they were going to a casual funeral: Black slacks, black top, black shoes. This surprised me. They were seen by sometimes 100 people every day. I assumed that if that many people were looking at you each day, you would want to dress up a bit. Maybe the black represented how they felt each day- like their jobs were depressing.
I had a choice, I could go to the store and purchase items of clothing so that I would look like everyone else. Or I could dress like I did in my previous job, in dresses, skirts, and blazers.
Dress for the Job You Want, Not the Job You Have
I had a vision for what the community pharmacist should and could be to people. I wanted to really listen to people to find out why they weren’t taking care of themselves. What was holding them back from making the necessary lifestyle changes that had to be made in order for their pills to work? I wanted to dispense more than pills. I wanted to give advice they would actually listen to, inspire them to be better, and to brighten their day just a little bit because everybody needs that.
I wanted my clothes to embody my vision. I wanted to stand out. We pharmacists are required to wear the white lab coat, so of course, I follow that rule. But underneath, and to this day, I wear dresses, skirts, really cool jewelry that the people love and footwear that is functional and fashionable. I feel good. I’m being true to my own aesthetic and my vision. It’s fun. It’s inspiring to me.
Even if you wear scrubs to work, find a way to express yourself. Maybe it’s Batman underwear, funky socks, or a vintage pair of earrings.
Even if you work from home and your only contact with your clients or coworkers is virtual, I encourage you to have fun with what you wear. Wear your favorite color top over your pajama bottoms. Go through your jewelry and layer some forgotten pieces. Dare I say, you could wear a formal dress to that zoom meeting as long make it look work-appropriate by putting a blazer over it.
Maybe someone who does things their own way is labeled a “rebel.” Maybe they’re a visionary. Maybe they “march to the beat of their own drummer.” If you’re anything like that, go ahead and dress to honor that part of you that deserves to be seen.
Here’s to your inner rebel, the wolf in you that wants to be his or herself in a herd of sheep.
Here is the video that goes along with post!