5 Work Trends in 2022

This is a simple title for this post, but a very complicated working world we’re living through. However, here are a few trends I’ve noticed/witnessed in the world of work of late, as an aficionado in particular of healthcare and pharmacy career development for the past few years as a recovering pharmacy professor and career coach in healthcare:

  1. Meetings look like an efficient Brady Bunch — First, let’s back up and state that I’m grateful for the pandemic normalizing ‘remote work.’ While many of us worked remotely long before the pandemic (for me, that was in the pharmaceutical industry a long, long time ago), I believe that remote work is here to stay….for many jobs. However, that’s made meetings look like the Brady Bunch. Does anybody remember that story…about a lovely lady, who was bringing up 3 girls, etc.? The beginning of the series looked like a bunch of zoom or Teams photo screens.

But, you know, I think that’s okay. It’s made meetings a lot more efficient, and now everyone gets to play s/hero and give people time back if the list or meeting agenda has been knocked out early. I’m a fan of that efficiency. (I think Alice would be proud.) I do admit that when you DO meet up with your coworkers IRL, it does seem a bit surreal, but I also think it makes our time f2f that much more precious. (And I personally LOVE the pet photo bombs.)

2. Dual Titles — I was intrigued recently when I conducted a poll over at LinkedIn about the % of the audience that had more than one title these days. Almost 70% of those responding said YES! Although I’m certain these types of polls attract via bias those who fit the YES box, and I only had 36 votes on this poll, I am noticing that more people are wearing more titles at work. Personally, I’ve never been into titles. But, I know others might be. I don’t know if that’s a product of companies trying to get 2 heads for the price of one, or it’s a bargaining chip for jobs, or something else going on, but I find it fascinating that more people these days seem to be hired as Swiss Army Knives for their positions at the company:

LinkedIn — independent poll I ran in July 2022.

3. More ‘Whoopsie jobs’ and decreased tenure — I also notice, although it’s not usually announced much on social media — that people are leaving jobs more quickly — as short as 3 months. I call that job you stayed in for 3 months a “whoopsie job” — for whatever reason(s) that job/candidate/company were not a good mix. I also think that people moved on post-pandemic much more often, because we probably all realized that life is short and it’s important to move on if you’re just not a good fit. Your mental and personal health are just not worth the nails down the chalkboard screeching of a poor match.

Personally, I have in my past taken at least one “whoopsie” job, but I’m glad I did. I wish we’d celebrate finding out quickly if something isn’t a good fit — like a try-on period for a new job, like new clothes — a fitting room if you will for new positions. And, I used to tell my students that it’s more important to know what YOU DO NOT want to do at work, than what you DO wish to do. Sometimes, that means trial and error. Sometimes, it’s an error. That’s okay! The Whoopsie job(s) taught me what was important to me as a working professional, and makes me greatly appreciate jobs that ARE a good fit for me, like my current role, but which leads me to my next trend….

4. Working for a cause instead of just coin — I studied social benefit corporation structures back in law school in 2010. Since then, I have been fascinated by and continue to follow hybrid social enterprise companies, where profit is important, but not the ONLY motive for a corporation — sometimes mission takes over. With low-profit limited liability companies, social benefit organizations, public benefit corporations, and B corp certifications, companies can and often do put MISSION before profit. Several healthcare organizations have gone to these social enterprise models.

Now, there are 3 types of companies you can work for in healthcare:

  • 1. For-profit organizations (which, frankly drive record profits at all costs, and which make many of us throw up in the backs of our mouths a little when thinking about working for them, esp. in healthcare),
  • 2. Non-profit organizations (where the mission is noble, but often work their employees to death, if I’m being honest — with limited resources), and
  • 3. These newer social/hybrid enterprises, where yes, making a sustainable amount of profit is important, but it’s not EVERYTHING. Sometimes mission drives the bus.

Personally, I’m lucky in my own time and place within my career to not go after the largest salaries working for an evil for-profit-at-all-costs empire. I realize as well that not everyone has that luxury. But many are taking this option on and not selling our souls in order to be a part of a big, vertically integrated profit-at-all-costs healthcare empire.

Was the dark side/Darth Vader a nonprofit enterprise, or for? Surely not a hybrid. Either way, thankful to have more than the profit and nonprofit motives solely in Corporate America these days…

5. There’s a blue ocean of possibilities — A lot of pharmacists complain that once in retail pharmacy, they are “stuck” for life. That is absolutely untrue. I’m living proof of that, and thousands of other pharmacists have moved on to different roles as well. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that pharmacists are needed now more than ever and that through technology, remote work, data analytics, IT, and health benefits, we have nothing but the sky and the ocean as our limits on career paths these days. Often my best career coaching tip in the past is for a pharmacist to look at jobs that do not even have the title pharmacist in the job description! Look beyond that degree, because there’s a lot of ways we can help the cause in healthcare.

Blue ocean, blue sky — just try when you bump into a rock to be grateful for the experience and move on!

And, coupled with this are growing salaries. I’ve seen many posts in specialty drugs, oncology, pharmacy benefits, and more that have salaries above $200K AND many of the jobs are remote!

There’s more possible than ever, you just need to know where to look.

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Erin L. Albert is a pharmacist inter alia and works for Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drugs, Public Benefit Corporation. Opinions are her own above, and not necessarily those of her employer. All photos above are from Pexels.com, except the poll from LinkedIn.

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Erin L. Albert

Erin L. Albert

Pharmacist, author, lawyer, intrapreneur. Opining is my own. www.erinalbert.com