January / February 2022

Women in Pharma® Editorial: Starting a Journey Focused on Your Total Self

Jennifer Lauria Clark, CPIP
Women in Pharma® Editorial: Jennifer Lauria Clark

ISPE Women in Pharma® (WIP) wants to kick off the new year by focusing on your journey in taking care of your total self. Whether it is your professional or personal mission to better yourself, Women in Pharma® will provide programming and support this year. We are supporting women and men globally with professional development opportunities and human skills needed to advance careers.

Over the next year, we will help link your physical and mental health to help make you the best version of yourself. There are ways we can be more efficient and can probably eliminate something so you can start doing something else.

It is no secret that tensions are high, people are tired, and many are burned out from the continued aftereffects of a global pandemic. We are also very busy. For instance, today I co-manage my household with my husband; am in graduate school pursuing my MBA; volunteer with Women in Pharma®, which I love and so continue to volunteer; help with caregiving for my stroke victim father with my sister and momma; have a full-time job I love as VP, Sales and Account Relationship Management at CAI; support my husband in a business we started in 2019; and try to “take care” of my total self.

Realize you are not alone in any journey you are on right now. We are all working hard to navigate how to take care of our jobs, our families, and ourselves. Often, taking care of our total selves falls to the bottom of the to-do list.

When I talk about total self, I mean beyond just the basic needs of eating healthy food, drinking water, getting rest, providing shelter for our families, and having access to healthcare. Who is taking care of you? Are you finding time to take care of your physical self to prevent aching joints or diabetes? Are you finding time for mental breaks and releases for your stress and anxiety to prevent depression and hypertension? Are you looking for the joy in the environment around you every day?

There is a woman who I admire in Women in Pharma® that is as healthy as I would like to be, has an amazing career, and travels the world. I do not compare myself to her. I appreciate the qualities we share and that we chose different paths in life highlighting the talents we possess. Her focus on mental and physical health is strong and her professional career benefits from her choices. She shares her talents willingly with others. Her choices push me to focus my mindset on exercising regularly, making time to travel, and spending time prioritizing work and home.

There is a man I admire at CAI. He has taught me more about leadership and being a better version of myself than I could ever learn on my own. He has pushed me to seek help in all areas of my life. He is my champion. He pushed me to jump in headfirst into pursuing my MBA. I always wanted it, and he gave me the nudge to go after what I wanted. My course work has benefited my organization in many ways and made me a stronger employee, owner, and leader. My mindset shifted to being more strategic and obsessing over less.

People often ask me how I do what I do. My number one response is always, “My husband is my rock.” He supports me and all my dreams and takes care of our girls when I am home and away. I also do this for my two girls, Reese and Riley. I want to be their role model.

So how do I really do this? It is simple. Change your mindset. Create a mindset the encompasses a healthy balance between work and play. I do not believe there is ever going to be a perfect balance for either. Some days I am going to give more to work than my kids. And other days, I give more to my family than I do to work. Make sure you work for an organization that allows you the flexibility to succeed in all the areas you desire.

I changed my mindset a few years ago after my dad had a triple massive stroke while working and traveling in our industry. Life is short and I want to be joyful every day that I have on this earth. This requires discipline, cognitive energy, and asking for help. Last year, we hired a housekeeper, a dog sitter, and a nanny to help us. It allows us time to spend more time focusing on our goals and dreams.

To protect my total self, every day I try to work out to relieve stress and generally feel better; meditate to clear my head and ground myself; show up to work ready to slay the day and give what I can today; and slow down in the evenings with family meals, cuddle time with my kids, and a few minutes with my husband before I pass out.

What is one thing you will do today to change your mindset and “take care” of your total self? Take your life into your hands and make it what you want it to be. Good luck, and I look forward to hearing about your journey at our next ISPE event.