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The defining first twelve months

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Twelve defining months should define a bright future.It was around about this time last year when I sealed my place onto the register of pharmacists with the General Pharmaceutical Council. It was to be one of the most breathtaking moments of my life. Here I was, after years of struggling it out to seal my Masters in Pharmacy and after passing my pre-registration exam, I finally made a major breakthrough in my life.

But only then to find out that I wouldn't be able to start work immediately, my joy soured. The job market was in meltdown (and, to an extent, still is if you are looking for a permanent position) and here I was, caught up in the storm. After sending CV after CV, cover letter after cover letter, it seemed like all those years of hard work were about to count for nothing. I could have very easily walked away from pharmacy, for good.

But in February earlier this year, I began to locum as a pharmacist. And, frankly, I've never looked back.

Being a locum has allowed me to work in many different pharmacies, with many different people, in different communities across Scotland. You notice different prescribing patterns and take part in all sorts of activities, although it has to be said that the beauty of being a community pharmacist in Scotland is that everyone is united in delivering the same kinds of public health services such as smoking cessation and the minor ailment service. 

The Anas Hassan in late 2012 is nothing like the Anas Hassan in late 2013. I've become far more self-confident, self-determined and ambitious. But I'm not the finished article. My pre-registration tutor told me on my final day of my placement south of the border that my education was really only beginning. And that is so true. There's so much more that university can't teach you and being on the frontline as a pharmacist is a very enlightening experience in all sorts of ways.

I don't know what the next twelve months will bring but it bring so much joy that, despite the many knockbacks that could have been enough for me to say goodbye to this profession, I'm still more determined than ever to make my pharmacy career a sweet, fruitful and rewarding experience.

The moral of this whole story is, never give up. And never be written off either. Life has a place for you, so take it up wisely, just go for it and be a winner.

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