How many of you have a full-time job and are also pursuing another project in your spare time? Many of you have asked me what it’s like to be a pharmacist and also find time for blogging on the side. Today i’m sharing what I do to keep myself and my blog on track.
Life as a Pharmacist
My full-time job is working as a pharmacist for a global pharmaceutical company. I started my current job in November of 2016 as an associate director in Medical Affairs. So what exactly is Medical Affairs and what do I do on a daily basis? Most pharmaceutical companies have two kinds of scientifically-focused groups. One is Research & Development (R&D) and the other is Medical Affairs. R&D focuses on drugs and devices in early development, while Medical Affairs provides scientific support for drugs in late stage development. That is typically drugs in phase III studies that are about to hit the market or are already approved and currently on the market.
Medical Affairs employees are the drug and disease experts within the company and have multiple functions. Some of these include regulatory review, medical information, publication planning, scientific congress support, and connecting with key opinion leaders. On a daily basis, I work with my team to set and execute the medical affairs strategy for the drug and disease state I work on within Oncology.
Another major function of Medical Affairs is to provide scientific input to the commercial organization. For example, reviewing promotional materials for scientific accuracy. Those drug commercials you see on TV are created by pharmaceutical companies and heavily reviewed by Medical Affairs. In many ways, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals serve as liaisons between R&D and marketing.
I LOVE being a pharmacist. My job is challenging, thought-provoking, and truly varies everyday. I work with a wonderful group of people that are supportive and team-oriented. I also LOVE writing and fashion. That’s where my life as a blogger comes in.
Life as a Blogger
Currently, i’m on maternity leave with my son, Dylan, so I’m focusing on my family and spending time with my babies. While the kids are asleep, however, is a totally different story.
I have a set two nights per week that I use for writing and blog-related activities. Julian is incredibly supportive and makes sure that after 7pm, he handles all kid-related activities so I can focus on the blog. On those days, I try to cram in writing time, editing photos, social media, SEO, scheduling meetings, and checking emails. It’s also a time I can catch up on anything else that is pending so I don’t miss deadlines. I’m extremely protective of this time and try to be as productive as possible from 7pm to midnight. I also like to catch up on social media in the morning during Dylan’s 5am feeding. This way, I can respond to comments and like/comment on other Instagram accounts and blogs that I find interesting.
To keep myself sane, I use this Ban.do planner for my blog editorial calendar and content planning. For life and everything else, I have been using this planner for years. I also use this notebook (mini grid design) to jot down ideas throughout the day. These erasable gel pens are perfect to color code events key themes. For example, purple for blogging events, blue for social media, black for editorial content, and so on.
I start my day by taking 15 minutes to write out my to-do list and prioritize what I think I can complete that day. I am all about using lists to complete tasks. It feels SO good to cross things off. There is something so calming about putting that line through each item. One change I recently made is to highlight the most important items by listing them at the top. If i’m writing whatever comes to mind in no particular order, i’ll put a star next to items that I need to complete ASAP.
Having a set schedule was life changing for me because I no longer feel like I have the weight of a blog post on my shoulders all week. Now I know i’ll always have this set time to work towards accomplishing my goals. Previously, I wrote whenever I had an hour here and there but I never felt productive. I was also constantly stressing over when I would get the next opportunity to write. With these designated days, I can focus on my blog and the rest of the week, I can truly unwind and be present with Julian and our kids.
If i’m being perfectly honest, as much as I love writing time, I would love to just kick back after the kids go to sleep and binge watch a show for a few hours. I’m always thinking that I could be doing something more productive though to not waste the precious alone time I have. I try to prioritize and focus on what I can actually accomplish. Hopefully this will get easier as the kids get older?!
Between being a pharmacist and a blogger, I sometimes feel like i’m working nonstop. Before my maternity leave started, I would come home from work, spend time with J and Perry, figure out dinner, and then jump on the computer after putting Perry to bed. If you’re a blogger, you know that unless you have really made it, you cannot live off blogging alone.
Many bloggers dream of being able to quit their jobs and blog full-time but that’s not always a realistic possibility. For me, I blog because I really love it. I look forwarding to creating new content for you guys and i’m always thinking of what to put on the blog next. I get to combine all of my interests (style, writing and photography) into one and create a place you can find style inspiration and relatable content. Essentially, my goal is to create something you find value in.
Speaking of blogging, thank you so much for your sweet comments on this Instagram post. I always struggle with how much of myself to share on social media so your kind words mean so much to me.
This is what it means to be a pharmacist and blogger. Really it’s having any full-time job and blogging on the side. It’s not easy but i’m not complaining. I’m very fortunate to have the career I have and also be able to pursue my greatest passions in life. Do you have a side hustle? Tell me about your story in the comments section below. I’d love to hear about it so we can help support each other! Thank you for reading! xo, Tanya