How I Landed a Job Totally Different From My Last One
Our mission here at The Muse is simple: to help you find your dream job. So, there’s nothing we love more than hearing about it when you do!
Today we chatted with Sarah Newgaard, who transferred her experience working for a family-owned independent pharmacy after college into a role as the newest Customer Happiness Specialist at iMedicare. She now spends her days helping pharmacists use the company’s software to understand Medicare plans and find the ones that work best for them and for their patients.
Why were you excited about this job when you found it on The Muse?
I was attracted to iMedicare because of the opportunity to take what I learned from working at a pharmacy and apply those skills and experiences to a very different role.
That said, it is also exciting to work at a startup and take part in building something. iMedicare aims to empower independent pharmacies in an economic climate that makes it challenging for them to compete against chain and mail order pharmacies. I love my independent community pharmacy and the pharmacists and staff who offer personalized service you can’t find at a big box pharmacy or through mail order. The current system is making it harder and harder for these independent pharmacies to survive. I am excited to be working for a company that wants to help independent pharmacies, while also helping the patients they serve.
What’s something most people would find surprising about working at this company?
I read an interview with The Muse CEO Kathryn Minshew where she said they have a strict “no jerks” hiring policy, and I could definitely say the same thing about iMedicare. We are a diverse bunch, but everyone is really nice and gets along very well.
For example, during the first few days at a new job, it is easy to feel a bit overwhelmed. I remember several people went out of their way to send friendly welcome messages and GIFs on Slack before we even met. It’s a friendliness that I find refreshing and rare.
What’s your favorite part so far about working at this company?
I loved how working at the pharmacy involved wearing a lot of different hats—there were plenty of different roles and never a dull moment. Similarly, iMedicare allows you an opportunity to work on a variety of projects but also focus on where you want to grow. For example, I came in with no engineering knowledge, but for the last few months I have been working with the development team, learning how pricing and drug classification data is pulled from different sources and brought together on our platform. They have been really supportive in teaching me how the process works and I have enjoyed the challenge of working on this and helping to optimize the process.
It also feels really good to work with people who feel passionately about wanting to make a difference and help independent pharmacies.
Is there anything from The Muse that helped you out in your job hunt?
I read a lot of Muse articles, and I found many of them really helpful in refining my cover letter and resume. One of my favorite people in the world, Jen Dziura, sometimes writes for The Muse. Her career and life advice has been a huge inspiration to me for several years now. I definitely recommend checking out her writing.
What advice would you have for someone who wanted a job like yours?
Don’t necessarily limit your resume and cover letter to a traditional job history. Many organizations aren’t looking for a cookie cutter list of skills but candidates who demonstrate curiosity and a growth mindset. You may have a passion or experiences that you wouldn’t think to include on your resume but could highlight a transferable skill set or offer a unique point of view.
I would also recommend finding a mentor, someone who can offer perspective and wisdom while navigating career decisions and encouragement when you feel stuck. I feel so blessed to have a mentor who helped me every step of the way in my job search, from practicing answering interview questions to saying “You are amazing. You got this!” on days when I doubted myself. Find someone who inspires you to be the person you want to be and makes you believe it is possible.
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