If you’ve ridden the rollercoaster of the pandemic, don’t be surprised if you start thinking about your career path. Maybe you’re like millions of people around the world just re-evaluating where you fit best. When you think about work, does it make you excited or are you fearing the worse rather than a sense of opportunity?
Don’t get stuck in the mud – imagine doing work that you’d love to do! I’m going to give you three tips to prepare for reconnecting to your career purpose.
The great news is that professionals in the veterinary field can cross sectors easily with transferable skills, and many people actually find they rekindle their joy of practice with a few adjustments.
Working with a coach on career vision, change and diversification might be just the thing to help you find clarity on your direction, explore options for diversification or build confidence to apply for a new role.
Perhaps you’re worried about stigma around switching or change? Unsure of how to reinvent yourself or find work you really want to do? How about seizing the opportunity you’ve been given but not knowing where to start?
These are my three tips for reconnecting to your career after uncertainty or change.
Take back control
Identify your concerns and write them down.
What can you and what can’t you influence?
What is actually within your control? Highlight this.
It is normal to have many things in your sphere of concern and be able to influence some of them, however we can only control the things within our direct control. These are our mindset, our choices and our actions.
Once you’ve established what is within your control, then you can choose your actions or more importantly in the current circumstances, you can choose your response to your concerns.
What will I keep doing?
What will I start doing differently?
What will I stop doing?
What must I learn to accept? This does not mean liking it, rather accepting and choosing a productive response.
Being furloughed, made redundant or having your job role changed may well be a concern but not be within your control. You may have to accept it and choose a response instead. This is a common challenge that I address with my coaching clients.
Work your values
What are the things you hold dear, that support your beliefs, drive your intentions and describe your identity? Is your work aligned with those values?
Maybe your employer has struggled and not treated their people well during the crisis? Has that jarred you?
Perhaps you didn’t really feel settled or really like the work? Were you stuck in a rut and not sure how to get out?
If so, then this is an opportunity to reframe your job or career. Try answering these questions.
What words describe the work you’d like to do? Meaningful work that will make you feel fulfilled. What does fulfilment mean for you?
What words describe the kind of place you want to work? What kind of culture and management style, for example?
What would you do if you didn’t have to do the career you’ve been doing so far? You know, the dream job.
Taking the opportunity to work on your values now, to find the purpose in your career, gives you clarity deciding your next step.
Prepare your shop window: Resume/CV, LinkedIn, Cover letter
When you have a secure job, it can feel like a high-risk strategy to update your CV, promote your LinkedIn profile or start networking. Good news: there are things you can do without announcing your intentions to the world.
Build a keyword led, competency-based CV with a strong profile statement. The classic style of CV is reverse chronological – listing jobs and responsibilities. A better CV in the current market will be a skill or competency-based CV that highlights your skills by keywords. Transferable skills come first, with less emphasis on the jobs you’ve had and more on the things you can do.
Your profile statement becomes your elevator speech. What would you say if you got in a lift with your dream employer and had 30 seconds to make a memorable first impression? That’s 100 words to talk about your skills, experience and career aspirations.
Be a LinkedIn ‘All-Star’ profile. If you work on your CV first, this should flow from there. Check out LinkedIn help for how to build a killer LinkedIn profile that gets you noticed, but don’t forget, being findable and searchable on LinkedIn requires a keyword led approach.
Think about your network – personal and professional. In the current situation this is almost certainly virtual. Which networking communities do you follow on LinkedIn or social media? What about the local business community, growth hub or business accelerator? Are you engaged and interactive in these communities? Do you post your own content, comment on posts and watch webinars? What could your contribution be? What would it say about you as potential employee? Make a contribution, you won’t regret it.
We’re here to help you with any of your career development needs, so secure a FREE, no obligation Coaching Exploration with one of our coaches.
There is a silver lining – uncertainty and change might just have given you a free pass to explore your options, reconnecting to your career.
We send out regular updates with articles about creating a sustainable career in vet med, along with job opportunities and more. Employers, we’ve got great articles for you too!