Awards season is upon us…

Winning an award is a fantastic achievement, and it can also send your career in unexpected directions, as Leanne Beverley discovered

In the next few months, a number of awards ceremonies will be celebrating pharmacy teams and individuals across the country. These ceremonies are great for highlighting the ‘best of the best’ in pharmacy, celebrating people who go above and beyond, and acknowledging their achievements.

Perhaps you are reading this thinking you don’t need to shout about what you do as you’re ‘just doing your job’. Well, that’s what I used to think too – until 2008. I remember the pharmacist I worked with at that time suggesting that I enter a Pharmacy Technician of the Year award. I had never thought of entering anything of the kind before and was delighted that he thought I was eligible for such a prestigious award. I entered, but thought nothing more of it. The pride I felt when I was shortlisted and then chosen as the winner was wonderful, not only for myself but also for the company I work for. 

Since then I have been lucky to go on to win a range of awards throughout my 16 years in community pharmacy and would strongly encourage others to enter – whether you are new to a career in pharmacy or a long-standing member of staff. Being shortlisted and – even better – winning an award is an excellent motivation and boost. Not only does it make you feel valued and appreciated, but it highlights the high standards that all pharmacy professionals should be aiming for, and it enables us to raise awareness of our diverse roles. 

Winning awards is not about showing off or thinking you are better than anyone else, it’s about representing your profession and highlighting what an excellent job pharmacy staff – who are the backbone of the pharmacy – do. It can also be an outstanding addition to your CV, and meeting people at awards ceremonies opens many opportunities to showcase personal talents and achievements, as well as your profession as a whole. 

For instance, as winner of the Pharmacy Technician of the Year and Spotlight Award in 2014 at the TM Recognition of Excellence Awards, I was invited back to be a judge the following year. I sat next to Avicenna CEO and fellow judge Salim Jetha, who invited me to speak at the Avicenna conference to tell delegates what pharmacy staff are capable of achieving in community pharmacy. This in turn has led to me giving other presentations where I can proudly be an advocate for my profession. 

As a judge for the past three years, I’m always delighted to see so many fantastic entries – although it makes the task of selecting a winner a tough one! The closing date has passed for this year, but there’s always next year – so what are you waiting for? Go for it!

Leanne is an accuracy checking pharmacy technician and supervisor at Monarch Pharmacy, Coventry. She is an NVQ/BTEC assessor for pharmacy training providers, including NPA and Scientia Skills, and is the business development officer for the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK (APTUK).

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