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3 years mixed practice in Cumbria; fabulous first job using the breadth of my degree. LOVED IT, but was lonely. Moved down south for an internship, then week on – week off night vet to look after ailing family in my weeks off. Since then regular GP SA vet; mainly ECC and shelter medicine.
I knew I didn’t want to be a vet full time once having a family. I get bored and tired, and like variety and flexibility. I didn’t decide to become anything – I explored lots of options and at one point was going to become a clothing designer! But the wellbeing issues took precedence and I started website design, content creation, networking and support groups. Lots of opportunities came about as a result and I just said YES to everything until I figured out what fitted.
I self-taught web and social media skills through local Meetups and networking. Ask for a lot of advice and you’ll be pleasantly surprised how much help you get. The biggest barrier was my own self-doubt, but this has ebbed away through peer support, and trial and error.
Flexibility and variety – I can work when and how I want. However, I have so many roles I can become easily distracted and inefficient. Also, working a lot from home means I’m never away from work. It can be hard to set aside proper family time and make a genuine separation between work and home life.
Wake up, check email and social media (I’m admin for 17 pages and 4 groups!). Get kids up, dressed and off to school (biggest achievement of the day). Work 9.30-3pm computer based, usually with a half hour dog walk or run in the middle of the day. Collect kids and ignore work until after dinner. Play, cook, read, do homework etc. then once the kids are in bed I’ll work for another hour or so (if I can engage the brain!)
Someone with good organisational skills, self-motivated, picks up new tricks easily and happy to learn on the job.
Trust in your innate ability and skills; our vet degree is a great preparation for so many careers so have a play and explore what’s out there and what fits your skill set and personality. Most jobs are all about people; what they want or need, what drives them, their trust and loyalty, their personality and drivers. Cultivate EQ and learn to really listen. Then it’s onwards and upwards from there.
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