Our parent’s generation, the Baby Boomers, taught their kids to seek job security, stability, & attractive retirement packages. “These are the things that matter,” they told us. They were a product of parent’s who had survived The Great Depression. Their parents might not have “had it all” growing up, so, for the Boomers, having it all– a big house, fancy cars, & a stable, 40 hour/week job with a comfortable retirement– was very important.
However, the millennials are here to shake things up a bit. For as long as we can remember, we’ve had access to the Internet. The Internet gives us a window into opportunities. We know that there is a big world out there & life doesn’t have to be the way it always has been. We were also raised in a time with a financial uncertainty, & those fancy retirement packages weren’t always guaranteed.
Still, when I raise the idea of working as a contract pharmacist to my friends who grumble about day jobs, many people still think this idea sounds crazy! My friends overvalue their cushy salary & retirement package because those were the things they were taught to value.
In this blog post, I am going to discuss benefits of being a traveling, contract pharmacist that I enjoy.
Paid housing, travel, & stipends
In my last blog post, I was thrilled to report that I just accepted a 13-week summer job in Nome, AK! While this new job loses the flexibility of creating my own schedule that I had in my previous job, transportation, housing, & a tax-free stipend for living expenses are all included in the contract.
Having done a lot of research on contract jobs in the last few weeks, I know that there are many contract jobs that offer these benefits. I’m really looking forward to this new job as a way to save money for my next traveling adventure!
Flexibility & Freedom
As a per diem pharmacist for a staffing agency in Oregon, I had a lot of flexibility to create my own schedule. I was usually able to pick up plenty of day jobs & was fortunate to travel nearly every month. Although I didn’t have paid time off, with a little bit of planning & a lot of saving & minimizing, I always felt I had enough money.
If I didn’t want to take a shift or it didn’t fit into my travel schedule, I politely declined. I greatly enjoyed the flexibility & benefits of creating my own schedule & think this arrangement could be ideal for parents, adventurers, travelers, or anyone who just wants more free time & balance.
This has me wondering– who decided that 40 hours per week is the magical number of hours we should all work?? While some people enjoy following schedules & routines, life has taught me that nothing goes according to plan. I’ve learned to love & embrace the freedom that contract pharmacy allows.
I did have to work hard to pay my student loan debt in order to create this life of freedom & it wasn’t always easy. However, getting out of debt to have financial freedom was one of the best decisions I could have made for myself & now I can more fully embrace & enjoy all of the benefits of this type of work.
Opportunity for learning
If you’ve read my previous blog posts, you probably know that I am a highly adaptable individual. This is a strength that I engage in my job as a contract pharmacist. Being adaptable gives me an ability to accept & embrace challenges & to learn quickly in new situations.
I embrace & enjoy change, new learning opportunities, & new environments. Life is rarely dull. Having so many different work experiences has enhanced my resume. One of my favorite work experiences was at a veterinary pharmacy– an opportunity that had even never occurred to me!
My new job in Nome is in a hospital pharmacy– something I don’t have a lot of experience with since pharmacy school. I’m going with an open mind & an eagerness to learn new things.
The more I am able to learn, the easier it is to learn & the more I enjoy the learning process.
Opportunity to experience new places
Aside from saving money for future travels, I’m about to spend 3 months experiencing life in an eskimo village! I’m trying to manage my expectations because I know that life will be a lot different– & possibly more difficult– than life here in the lower 48.
Still, I could not be more excited to immerse myself in a new culture & way of life. I’ve just decided that Alaska is going to be the starting point for my next adventure. Who’s ready to start planning a camping/road trip with me from Anchorage to Texas in September??
Keep Doing You
For all of the millenials who are getting crap from older generations for not putting money into savings & investments or for wanting to embrace & experience everything life has to offer without being tied down by stuff– keep being & doing you. I am proud to be a millenial who knows that the future is always uncertain & that there is only this moment. The future will always figure itself out.