How to Become a Pharmacy Lead/Supervisor?


by Jennifer Bennett

Congratulations, you have shown interest in advancing you career by applying for a supervisory position. Being a supervisor is a challenging role, but it can definitely be rewarding. Sometimes everything goes smoothly, but other times you feel like you are in an episode of Romper Room. Whether you want to move up in a current job or have applied with a different company, you should be prepared. Educate yourself through formal classes, on-the-job training, and talking to someone in a similar position. Know as much as possible about the company you are applying to; this will help you tremendously. Know yourself and what kind of leader you want to be. However, before your interview, we should talk about a few things.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a supervisor as one that supervises, especially: an administrative officer in charge of a business, government, or school unit or operation. I supervised teams in previous positions, which does not come close to defining a supervisor, at least from my perspective. Ethically speaking, a supervisor treats their team as they want to be treated. Jump in with projects; prove that you are part of the team instead of only supervising the task. We can all relate to the supervisor, who gives assignments but does not offer to help. They just walk away. As a supervisor, there are times when you have tasks of your own you must accomplish and simply cannot jump in with your team. However, once you earn their respect and trust, your team will understand and complete the mission, allowing you to work on your duties. Be the type of leader your team wants to emulate. Be the type of leader the other leaders want to know how your team is more successful than theirs. Your personal ethics play Jason Momoa's muscle-size role in the kind of supervisor you become. 

At first, it will seem like you have a million responsibilities, but before you know it, things will run like a well-oiled machine. you will have a lot to do, though. It is more than keeping up with paperwork and attending meetings. It is listening to an employee talk about issues at home, looking at pictures of a new grandbaby, or accommodating a sick call. In you area of oversight, you are responsible for training new employees, scheduling, ensuring work is done safely and efficiently, and identifying and encouraging career advancement opportunities within your team. You will also need to find solutions to disputes, ensuring the work flow is productive and completed timely. If you inspire, motivate, and empower your team, they will strive to improve. 

In pharmacy, whether you are a lead technician or supervise, you must prove you have what it takes. Let me talk about the over-the-counter part first. I have been there, so I understand this role very well. If you are already working in this area, it will make the transition to a supervisor role easier. Know the department like the back of your hand. Learn the order process and how long it typically takes to receive merchandise. Be able to identify best sellers. In the interview, let them know how you can increase sales. Show them you know your stuff! As a lead technician, know your medications. Be as educated and certified as you can possibly be. Please do it for yourself. Others will follow.