Welcome to the first episode of The Pharmacist’s Voice Podcast! I am making a career transition from pharmacist to voice actor. This podcast will have solo shows and interview shows.
During the solo shows, I will share my journey and what goes into making a career transition. You don’t need to be interested in pharmacy or voice acting to enjoy this show. This podcast is for anyone who enjoys a good story and likes rooting for an underdog.
In the interview shows, I will talk to a variety of people who use their voices to advocate, educate, or entertain. Some will be pharmacists. Some will be voice actors. Many will be people we can all learn from.
In this first episode, I share my story. Why am I making the change from pharmacist to voice actor? The short version…I wanted a part-time job that I could do from home using my strengths, and I found a good match with the voiceover industry.
Want the longer version? Keep reading…
My family needs me at home. When the first of my two sons was born in 2003, I stepped up and did what my family needed me to do: I became a stay-at-home Mom. For almost 17 years now, I have either worked part-time or not at all. My children are 16 and 14 years old. I love my husband, and I love my children. Being a stay-at-home Mom has definitely had its perks, but I feel a strong desire to work outside the home. I feel conflicted, and I struggle with that feeling.
Childcare and life circumstances are barriers to my working outside the home today. My husband and I have two teenaged boys: one has autism and is on the low-functioning part of the spectrum, and the other is neurotypical or “normal.” Over the years, I have been very present for my husband and both of our children.
When our older son, Kraig, was diagnosed with autism in 2005 at the age of 2.5, he needed a lot of help. He still needs a lot of help. Over the years, he has had speech therapy, occupational therapy, specially-designed school programs, private tutoring, summer schools, and more. And, we have also done our best to include our younger son, Derrick, in activities and sports and just be there for him.
Over the years, I have had several part-time pharmacist jobs. When my husband and I were both at work, nothing got done around the house. Every dual-income family has that problem. Throw in a child with autism who needs one-on-one supervision at all times, and nothing gets done around the house unless both of us are at home. And, unfortunately, finding reliable, affordable, skilled childcare is a big challenge, so being a stay-at-home Mom is a necessity.
My availability to work is complicated. I have pockets of time that I can work when the kids are at school or with my husband or with a caregiver. But I really need to get as much done as possible while the kids are away so I am 100% available when they are home and I am in charge, which is most of the time.
There’s no pity-party going on here. Life is complicated, and I am using my challenges as opportunities. I can work part-time from home using my skills and strengths. I do have some time that I can work. I can still use my training as a pharmacist to earn money…I just need to get a little creative.
My husband and I love to read, and we have loved reading to our children over the years. Even now, we still read to Kraig. He can not read, write, or speak, but, he loves it when we read to him. At first, we read picture books. Now, we read young-adult books and series, like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and more. Kraig and I will be reading the Narnia series next, in case you’re interested!
Let’s talk about strengths for a minute. I love to learn, I’m inquisitive, and I love to problem-solve. I’m a self-starter, and I am great with follow-through. I may have stumbled upon the type of job Mark Twain had in mind when he wrote his famous quote, “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Getting paid to read and learn? Uh…yes, please!
I love to read, and I love being a pharmacist. Put the two together, and what do you get? Well, I didn’t know at first, but it got me to the voiceover industry.
But, how did I get to the voiceover industry?
Well, not only do I love to read, but I also love audiobooks. One day, it occurred to me that it sure would be nice if pharmacist continuing education was available in audiobook format. I’d listen to that! I did some research and found that publishers don’t make their content in audio.
I found a problem I could solve, so I started my company, The Pharmacist’s Voice, in November 2017. My goal was to narrate pharmacist continuing education journals and newsletters for a fee. I was on a mission to do for pharmacist continuing education what audible did for audiobooks on amazon.com. To date, no one wants to pay for my narration service. I didn’t like the rejection, so I shifted my focus to the closest example that gave proof of concept: nonfiction audiobooks, e-learning, and medical narration. If I can build a strong presence in those voiceover niches, maybe someone will be interested. If nothing else, I’ve discovered a way to get paid.
I’m still interested in narrating pharmacist continuing education journals, so if anyone is interested, please reach me through the contact page on my website: thepharmacistsvoice.com or e-mail me directly firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ll tell you more about my adventures in learning the business, technology, and performance sides of voiceover in future episodes.
And, speaking of future episodes, the next episodes of this podcast will alternate solo shows with interview shows. In the solo shows, I will talk about the type of work my business does, coaches who helped me, failures I have experienced, books that have influenced me, and more. My first four interview podcasts will feature
Tom Titkemeier, a retired pharmacist who is also my uncle. He inspired me in the 8th grade to become a pharmacist.
Harold Kinker, a retired pharmacist, who was my first boss at Walgreens in Toledo, OH.
Nate Kehlmeier, a friend I met through our volunteer work with the Wood County Opiate Task Force in Bowling Green, OH. He has been sober since 2008, and is the co-founder and CEO of the Recovery Institute of Ohio located in Sandusky, OH.
Dr. Asha Bohannon, a friend and fellow pharmacist entrepreneur, who I met in April 2018 at the Medipreneurs Conference in Asheville, NC.
I hope you’ll join me next time! I plan to publish one episode per week starting in January 2020.
Thank you for listening to the very first episode of The Pharmacist’s Voice Podcast! Please visit www.thepharmacistsvoice.com to subscribe and read the show notes.
Will I succeed in the voiceover industry? Subscribe, and find out!