Tag: coaching

  • How to believe in that little idea...

    How to believe in that little idea you have

    How to summon your courage and believe in yourself. Top tips and inspiring community members.

    Posted: 27/09/2023

    Read Time/Watch Time

    5 minutes

    Who should read this?

    veterinarians, vet nurses, vet techs, employers.

    Author(s)

    Melanie Barham

    Region

    Global content

    How to believe in that "little" idea you have

    Will you believe in yourself?  Will you say your idea out loud?

    When I started writing about non-clinical careers in vet med, it was an idea I kept quiet in my head for a LONG time.  To be honest, I was so shy about the idea, about standing out or being a tall poppy that for a long time I just researched it, getting deep into articles about how to build a website and blog.  Imagine if I had never done anything?  I’d have missed out on a lot of cool things.

    I see this time and time again, where people in our profession have a super idea they are afraid to say out loud, let alone bring it to reality.  Not even letting that idea ever be said aloud.

    Down with that, friends.  

    What a shame it would be to get to the end of your life, career, or year and have never ever taken a chance.  What waste os exceptional brain power- yours!

    Since the days when I couldn’t even say that I wanted to share stories of non-clinical careers, I’ve gained a lot of confidence, a global community of colleagues, and so so much.  

    I LOVE cheerleading people to bring their ideas to light; it brings me so much joy and energy, and I love hearing how people have summoned their courage and done something amazing with their idea.  Most of them, like me, have watched that tiny bit of courage grow into new avenues and opportunities they didn’t even know existed.  

    As a recovering “hide your light under a bush” person who almost didn’t get up the courage to write that first blog, here’s a few top tips I can share if you’re feeling the same way.

    1. Write your idea down
    2. Share your idea with people who deserve to hear it
    3. Take 1 small first step, and then another
    4. Remind yourself of other times you’ve been brave and it’s been ok
    5. Write out the worst case scenario
    6. Watch Ted Lasso (not joking, I love this show)

    If you’re looking for support as a leader or an individual, check out group career coaching in the UK and North America.  We’ve helped people like Emily Singler from Vet Med Baby take her big idea from dream to reality. It makes change possible.  And we’ve got 10 cohorts of success to show it! 

    There’s still time to register for the fall cohort- check it out now HERE!

    Come on the journey with Vets Stay Go Diversify

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    I'm looking for a new job/career path.

    I need some career support to work out what's next for me.

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  • How to make change easier on yourself

    How to make change easier on yourself

    Here's some top tips from change science (yes, it's a real thing!)

    Posted: 05/09/2023

    Read Time/Watch Time

    5 minutes

    Who should read this?

    veterinarians, vet nurses, vet techs, employers.

    Author(s)

    Melanie Barham

    Region

    Global content

    How to make change easier on yourself

    Why is change so hard to make happen?

    I remember how “easy” it was for me to set my mind to applying o vet school.  It was arduous, and hard to study that much, but I did it with relative ease.  Other change like career shifts, changing how you work, bringing new ideas to your team…. so much harder.

    What gives?

    Change science tells us that change is more successful when:

    • You are in a supportive environment
    • You aren’t the only change agent
    • There are others who are going through the same thing
    • You have tools and support to succeed

    Hm, this does sound like I had the ingredients for success in applying to vet school.  Climb Mount Chore Re-evaluation… not so much.  

    Here are some additional top tips for making change easier on yourself from leading change scientists:

    Examine your competing beliefs

    Kegan and Lahey described the Immunity to Change process in their book (which I recommend so much I should be their brand ambassador).  TL;DR version: you might have a goal or change in mind, but you won’t be successful at making it happen if you have a competing belief.

    Willpower alone will not cut it

    The theory of willpower posits that, “I want the change to happen, so I’ll make it happen!”  But there are very few people in the world who actually achieve all their goals on willpower alone (American Psychological Association, 2021).  It is ONE change model, but for some reason, willpower has become an overwhelming, overarching singular theory.  

    Are you ready to make changes?  Is your team or the people around you?

    Evaluating readiness for change is part of the principle used in motivational interviewing (underpinned by the transtheoretical model of change… say that 5 times fast!).  Turns out, there’s at least 5 steps in being ready to really make a lasting change. So, if you are roadblocked, it could be that you (or your team), are stuck at the beginning phases of change, or haven’t made the leap to the next phase.  The good news is that using techniques like coaching can help you understand yourself and what you need to move to the next phase to make change happen.

    Evaluate what you are in control of, and what you’re not

    Often with change, we expect that we can change everything, or if it doesn’t ALL happen the way we want, it was a failure.  The theory of “Circles of Control” is a useful one to help set realistic expectations for success.  There’s a small circle that you can control directly.  There are areas you can influence, and areas you can have concern for also.  Don’t get stuck defining successful change by things you have no control or influence over.   Don’t get defeated by setting goals that you have no control over.  You can’t control if you’ll get hired, but you can control how many jobs you apply for, how much effort you put in, and how you show up for interviews etc.  Own what you can, and let go of the control of the rest.

    (image credit Positive Psychology, 2023)

    Change can feel hard, whether that’s leading the charge for a team, making changes to your career or job, or simply renegotiating your life and work parameters.  You don’t have to go it alone.

    If you’re looking for support as a leader or an individual, check out group career coaching in the UK and North America.  We’ve got all those elements of success included, for good reason.  It makes change possible.  And we’ve got 10 cohorts of success to show it!

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  • When something’s got to change

    When something’s got to change

    If you feel like you're out to sea, flailing about, you're not alone. Here's what to do!

    Posted: 21/08/2023

    Read Time/Watch Time

    5 minutes

    Who should read this?

    veterinarians, vet nurses, vet techs, employers.

    Author(s)

    Melanie Barham

    Region

    Global content

    When something's got to change

    As a mom, professional, and CEO, I’ve felt like I was on the edge of managing way too much many times.  Life can be overwhelming, and I know I’m not alone.

    Honestly, the image I have in my head at these times is a recurring one: me riding a large old fashioned bicycle teetering on the edge of a cliff with a very thin track to stay on, and me merrily cycling along in a straw boater hat with a glib smile on my face yelling, “EVERYTHING IS FINE!”  Yes, like some kind of Mary Poppins meme!

    At those times, I’ve made changes.  Big ones.  (I’m sure you’re not surprised; that image of me on the brink of madness is pretty graphic!)  Maybe you have lives similar times.

    Here’s some of the things I have done when I have felt like “things needed to change around here!”

    I’ve changed jobs.  Got help.  Been blunt.

    If this has ever been you, or if you’re at that breaking point where you feel stuck and unable to continue,  riding a wobbly bicycle on the edge of “this is way too much”…. Stop your scroll.  

    Come back to me.  

    You CAN make changes in your career, your life, your work parameters and home parameters.  

    Is it easy?  Not alone, no.  Making changes is seriously tough when you’re alone.  

    Here’s 5 things that have made change easier for me and many other people in their transitions to different life and work parameters:

    1. Make some breathing room

    Take a break, get your spouse to take the kids somewhere else, cancel everything.  Get yourself some brain space.  Even if it means disappointing someone, they’ll recover.  See what you can remove from your schedule.  Just go for a 10 minute walk, or do a short journalling or meditation session.  

    2. Pad yourself with people who care and who can support you in the way you need right now

    Know that not everyone is able to support you in the way you need, and that is A-ok.  My super blunt and direct friend is NOT who I call when I need a soft hug.  It’s ok if you don’t have anyone to do this, or you don’t feel like you have the right people in your corner. This is why coaches, therapists, and other impartial people can be so helpful.

    3. Get help- turn towards connection, not away

    Reach out to a colleague, mentors, or a coach.  And if you feel that you need additional support or aren’t sure if mental health struggles are at play, please pay a visit to your doctor or health provider.  It’s not weak to ask for help.

    4. Go easy on yourself

    Being at the precipice of change is not easy.  It’s messy, and we rarely do it perfectly.  It’s ok.  Be kind; you’re doing your best.

    5. Really: please go easy on yourself

    Yes I’m saying it twice for those in the back, and because we vet med enthusiasts need this reminder at least twice.  Making a change in how you do vet med is not a failure.  Changing parameters about your life is not embarrassing; it’s a sign of being reflective and making good choices.

     

    Change is hard, especially when your world is moving so fast you can’t even think straight.  This is why VSGD came to be in the first place!  

    And it’s why we firmly believe in offering support through programs like our group coaching program.  We are here for you if you’re ready to make your career more sustainable no matter your role.  Employer, parent, student, job seeker, stuck in chaos professional, or just as a person.   

    If you need support to get to career sustainability and satisfaction, we’re got life boats at the ready!  Group coaching sessions are available in North America and the UK and we have individual coaching sessions as well.  Check it out below, or fill in the survey and book a char to see if it’s right for you.

    It IS important to note that if you are struggling with mental health issues, please visit your doctor or mental health provider.  Coaching is not a substitute for medical care or therapy.  

    Come on the journey with Vets Stay Go Diversify

    I need some career inspiration.

    I'm looking for a new job/career path.

    I need some career support to work out what's next for me.

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  • Microvalidations: an antidote for difficult days

    Microvalidations: an antidote for difficult days

    Are you supporting your team and self with positive interactions? Here's how to use microvalidations to increase resilience, team cohesion, and improve your work life satisfaction

    Posted: 05/06/2023

    Read Time/Watch Time

    5 minutes

    Who should read this?

    veterinarians, vet nurses, vet techs, employers.

    Author(s)

    Melanie barham

    Region

    Global content

    Microvalidations: the antidote to Difficult Days

    The Gottman Institute says in healthy relationship, you should have at least 5 positive interactions for every negative one.  This applies to co-workers as well, and direct reports. Building other people up gives us as much or more of a hit of dopamine as receiving one, and it also boosts serotonin (see this article here).  If you want to be more satisfied in your career, and have a team that feels the same, read on!

    So I’ve known that Gottman stat for a while, but often thought: “cool; how do I do that consistently?” 

    On Friday, I read this article from HBR  and it struck me like a lightning bolt.  Microvalidations are small, impactful appreciations of someone’s character, work, or contributions.  They are the antidote to micro aggressions and negative interactions.  

    I loved the concept of micro validations, but what struck me was that I can remember EVERY SINGLE microvalidation that an employer has given me.  I didn’t know they were called that at the time, but the name is fitting.  One boss used to stop me before I left every day, and even on the crummiest day, he would say, “Melanie, thank you so much for your hard work today.” There would often be a specific example too. He shared with me that that had become his habit many years ago to never let an employee leave without hearing those words.  

    Providing micro validations isn’t limited to bosses and “bigwigs.”  We are all part of teams, and we rely on one another for success and especially when we have difficult days.  

    Microvalidations also increase our resilience and team cohesion, and interestingly, they have a great effect on us too.  

    After reading the article, I stopped, and took 15 minutes to send each member of my team a slack message.  It was a great way to end a Friday.  

    Here’s how you can try it too:

    1. Be specific
    2. Use their name
    3. Be sincere
    4. Write a note, call them up, send a text, or say it before they leave.

    e.g., A text to a new RVT/RVN: “Claire, I really appreciate your attention to detail, and how you are kind with your reminders to me when I forget something.  I’m so glad to have you on our team.”

    Here are some other ideas to use also:

    • Say thank you at the end of the day to your employees
    • Leave a note on their desk
    • Praise them in an external meeting in a specific manner “Sarah is incredible at pulling together the most difficult information and making it into a cohesive outcome; I’d love for her to take this on.”

     

    How do you micro validate people in your life?  What results have you seen from this technique or others on your satisfaction and the people around you?

    If you’re looking for more inspiration and support like this in your career, check out our coaching.  VSGD has a wide array of qualified coaches to help support teams, individuals, and career transitions as they seek to create satisfying workplaces and careers.  Having expert support with frameworks, research, and tested techniques can amplify and accelerate your success and goals.

    Chalkboard surface with the words "be kind" written

    Come on the journey with Vets Stay Go Diversify

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    I'm looking for a new job/career path.

    I need some career support to work out what's next for me.

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  • If You Are Feeling Lost, Start Here.

    If You Are Feeling Lost, Start Here.

    With these tips, you can confidently navigate the resources offered by VSGD and gain a better understanding of your next career steps. Remember that being "lost" doesn't mean you're stuck; there are always ways to progress.

    Posted: 28/05/2023

    Read Time/Watch Time

    10 minutes

    Who should read this?

    veterinarians, vet nurses, vet techs

    Author(s)

    VSGD

    Region

    Global content

    If You Are Feeling Lost, Start Here

    1. Take a deep breath.

    It’s not uncommon to feel a bit overwhelmed, whether this is stemming from dissatisfaction in your career, frustration around not knowing what steps to take first, or stress about how to fit in something this important around a busy schedule.

    The good news is that there are plenty of people just like you who have been there before and know what you are going through! We are building a supportive community to help guide you through this so that you can ultimately find the career path that is right for you, whether that means Staying in practice, Going on to new pastures, or Diversifying within the veterinarian field.

    2. Create your candidate profile.

    Take action and craft a standout candidate profile with us. This is the ultimate way to showcase your unique abilities to potential employers, whether you’re seeking to make a career pivot or looking to document your experiences and competencies for negotiating promotions or salary increases. We also encourage people to put themselves out there (if you don’t ask, then you don’t get). Reverse Recruitment is a great way to find a role that was built just for you.

    Employers also have the opportunity to showcase their business values by creating company profiles.

    3. Let us help with your job search.

    At VSGD, we have launched a jobs board that provides you with a variety of roles to choose from based on your needs. We firmly believe in the importance of transparency and flexibility in negotiations between companies and their future employees. Our job board features a range of clinical and non-clinical roles, with options for both full-time and part-time positions, as well as the ability to work from home. Be sure to explore our “Interview the Boss” sessions to gain further insight into the employers.

    4. Check out our career coaching services.

    We offer a dynamic developmental group coaching programme to help veterinary professionals gain the support and clarity to take control of their own careers, empowering them to identify their next steps towards a career that works for them. This is in partnership with VDS Training and guests. Find out more information here. Looking for 1-1 coaching for instant results? Check out our career coaches here.

    5. Think about all your transferable skills.

    Write down all the things you are good at, enjoy and would like to do more of. It’s important to focus the things you WANT to do, the things you feel passionate about or feel naturally drawn to rather than just the things you dislike or want to rule out.

    To become a veterinary professional you will have no doubt garnered an amazing skillset unique to you. Think about all the experiences you have had that led you to this point. Many of these skills are transferable inside and outside the clinic, for example:

    • Client management, team management, ability to work both alone and in a team

    • Empathy, patience, resilience

    • Problem-solving, critical thinking, ability to learn quickly

    • Teaching, mentoring, leadership

    Sometimes it’s hard to work out what you want to do with all these skills. VDS Training advisors Carolyne Crowe and Penny Barker present this webinar on “Working out what you want” in conjunction with VSGD.

    You can also check out the excellent session from VSGD LIVE! by Adrian Nelson Pratt on “Stop Selling Yourself Short- A CV and Interview Clinic” if you want help to dust off that CV into something that sells YOU!

    Need further CV/Resume support? Invest in yourself by looking at our CV review and branding packages.

    6. Find your ‘people’.

    It never hurts to expand your social and professional network. Which is precisely why we run fantastic events to facilitate this! VSGD celebrates the diversity of talent, expertise, and skills originating from the veterinarian profession. The VSGD groups are intended to provide a forum for free, independent and safe exchange of information between veterinary professionals considering diversification of their careers as well as for professionals to receive advice on how to remain satisfied in the clinic. Taking action and surrounding yourself with other career pioneers in the community can really give you the spark that you may need. Come to an event or chat with us in the VSGD online forums – we’re sure you’ll find people you vibe with!

    Vets: Stay, Go or Diversify

    VSGD Careers

    Vets: Stay, Go, Diversify – North America

    Vets: Stay, Go, Diversify – Down Under

    These are closed groups, not directly available to the public. Membership of the groups are limited to those with direct interest in the aims and objectives of the group. Members must have a vet degree, a qualified nursing/tech degree, or be students of respective training.

    7. Check out our resources.

    We have compiled career interviews of career pioneers, as well as practical blog posts on pertinent topics to help motivate you and online courses for support on landing that job and understanding the power of negotiation. PLUS we have loads of CPD video content available to stream online, recorded from our live events.

    We also offer Secret Support for anyone wanting to ask a question to our community anonymously. Secret Support allows for safe, open, honest and anonymous discussion of sensitive topics with other members of the community. We cover all kinds of topics and welcome any kind and constructive comments regardless of viewpoint. Email us at community@vsgd.co if you have something that you would like to be shared with our Facebook community.

    8. Let’s stay connected.

    Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and stay ahead of the game with the latest events, job postings, and words of wisdom on how to uplift and fulfil your career. Trust us, your inbox will be filled with career inspo that you won’t want to miss.

    Need more help?

    We are here to help. We have an amazing, supportive community, and tonnes of resources! Email us and let us know what you need. We’ll do our best to point you in the right direction.

    Come on the journey with Vets Stay Go Diversify

    I need some career inspiration.

    I'm looking for a new job/career path.

    I need some career support to work out what's next for me.

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  • So you want to diversify?

    So you want to diversify?

    It can be pretty daunting to think about how to work out what you want, and then, how to achieve it. So VSGD founder Ebony has compiled a list of practical steps to help you create a strategy for success.

    Posted: 22/03/2023

    Read Time/Watch Time

    10 mins

    Who should read this?

    Vets/VNs/Vet Techs

    Author(s)

    Ebony Escalona

    So you want to diversify?

    If you are thinking about diversifying but are not sure where to start, well, you wouldn’t be the first one to feel confused or overwhelmed.

    We frequently get asked “how to diversify”, “where do you start?” and a few “I’m struggling to work this out – help!” type messages. It can be pretty daunting to think about how to work out what you want, and then, how to achieve it. So VSGD founder Ebony has compiled a list of practical steps to help you create a strategy for success.

    1. First things first, you cannot just WANT to diversify.

    Running away from something you do in practice or any other job for that matter will just stay with you in any new roles you find. We have to reframe the pain we are pushed from, into a pull that we are drawn to. Companies can tell a mile off if you are running from something, and they won’t want that in their team. What about their business excites you?

    Reframe: “I don’t like the late finishes with no recognition at work” to: “I’m seeking a flexible working calendar with great team comms and a feedback network”

    2. Identify what “themes” and “functions” you are drawn to

    Theme is the sector or work or cause you are passionate about. So for me it would be career development or equine welfare.
    Functions are the skills and competencies you want to flex in those themes you have identified. For me – hosting and mentoring.

    Watch this Themes and Functions Trailer with Nick Askew from Conservation Careers

    So what are they for you?

    Is it welfare? The human-animal bond? Education? AND why are you specifically passionate or curious about it?

    If you struggle to answer this then recount in your mind what are you doing when you have that state of flow or satisfaction or just a big fat smile? THAT is what you need to do more of. Really ask yourself when do I feel my best? Get a piece of paper out and write down everything that makes you feel good- veterinary and non-vet related.

    3. What are your non-negotiables and values?

    Non negotiables are the things that must be in place for you to be able to work at your best. Do you have to live in a certain location in the world? Do you need certain hours to fit around childcare? Would an inclusive workplace to neurodivergence help you to thrive?
    And with that, really question what you value. What must you display in order to feel authentic and you? Not what you think you should value but the things that are YOUR internal compass. These are not choices but ways of being that need to be uncovered by each and every one of us.

    Try these exercises on for fit

    Pick a peak moment in your life – perhaps a role or a specific time within a role where it felt great for you – write down the behaviours of yourself and others, the impact you might have been making and any other important observations of note.

    You can take this one step further and plot your squiggly career – download our worksheet here 

    4. Explore

    Once you’ve started with these first steps, you can start to explore the avenues of work that you might think will allow you to display the actions and pursue the passions you are interested in, rather than just moving around in the dark feeling your way for what might be the right door.

    Tip – use our jobs platform to set alerts for certain type of roles and sectors and use LinkedIn – head to jobs and type in your ‘theme” AND ‘function”

    E.g. Public health AND policy would give you these roles

    5. Schedule time in your diary daily to do the above.

    If you work full time, then maybe set aside 2 hours on a Sunday. This is dedicated time for you to:

    a) Identify organisations that have similar values to you
    b) Stalk people on Linkedin or use the search bar in VSGD
    c) Make contact with them and ask them for a 10 min chat on phone to SPECIFICALLY ask them about their roles and the realistic nature of displaying the actions and passions you want to support
    d) Ask your friends to put you in contact with people they might know in those organisations too. Our friend network is golden! You have thousands of people right here in VSGD across a number of communities
    e) Sign up to the organisation’s career notifications! NETWORKING is key to gaining your next move. Take a read of our blog “build your well before you are thirsty” and have a listen to this short Harvard Business Review podcast

    6. Work on your CV and elevator pitch

    You’ll need this to transfer the skills you have to the skills those organisations want. Watch back stop selling yourself short at VSGD live with VSGD’s Head of Coaching Adrian Nelson-Pratt, or why not check out our 5-week guide to getting a job and our Career Accelerator course.

    7. Get a coach

    It will be the best investment you have ever made in yourself. I promise. This person will hold a mirror up to you and keep you accountable.

    “Coaches are like personal trainers for the mind and will ask the questions you are needing answers for and support you to help you reach your goals in a quicker time than you may do own your own, particularly if spare time is the limiting factor!” Olly King, VSGDer.

    Why not join our group career coaching programme which kicks off in Autumn 2023 (use VSGD10 for a 10% discount too)

    8. Test the water

    Volunteer or see practice with people whose roles you might like go and find out if it floats your boat. Look at their roles and teams- where are their problems or gaps? Can you help plug one or help work our solutions for them? Always have in your head- How can I help you? Keep this mantra with you everyday

    9. Get comfortable with dead-ends, no and rejection

    A no is just one closer to your yes! What is for you will not pass you. See the lesson- what can I do differently next time?

    10. Support others

    Help someone else every day in whatever role you are currently in. Supporting others raises our energy to support ourselves and can really highlight our strengths.

    11. Get feedback.

    Ask 10 people who you respect and like to email you with what they think are your top 3 strengths and 1 thing they think you could work on to be a more authentic and better you. Ask them to be honest. Take this feedback and use it to shape the way you tackle and find your next role.

    Watch back VSGDer Julie Ross TED-style talk from VSGD LIVE– remember what is on the back of your shirt? What do you want people to say when you walk out of the room about you?

    12. Remember career changes are marathons not sprints.

    Pace yourself and make a plan based on the above. There will be dead ends and squiggles and every action you take will give you information and lessons about your way forward. The answers are in you, I promise. Tap into what feels good – when do you feel in flow, when do you feel drained? These are clues to the way you best work. Finding out what you don’t like is also just as valuable, and remember to enjoy the journey on the way. This is our one life, let’s remember to smell the roses on our veterinary passport meanders!

    #VetPassport #VNPassport

    13. Have fun! Be curious!

    Remember how you were as a child- imaginative, playful, inquisitive, funny. Bring that into your quest. How privileged are we to be able to reinvent our careers. You might find that actually the grass is not greener and that tweaking where you are gives you the thumbs up feeling.

    14. The energy you put out in the world directly reflects the energies you receive

    Surround yourself with positive people. Remember there are radiators and drains in this world. You want to be a radiator and surround yourself with warmth too (they don’t just help with the season change).

    Bonus point: Tell us what types of roles you would like to hear more of and VSGD will sort some more FB live Q and A interviews for you showcasing more #VetPassport #VNPassport

    Come on the journey with Vets Stay Go Diversify

    I need some career inspiration.

    I'm looking for a new job/career path.

    I need some career support to work out what's next for me.

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  • I’m an RVN & feeling lost! Getting...

    I’m an RVN & feeling lost! Getting your career back on track

    Begin your journey of self-enquiry to find out what roles might just be a fit for you

    Posted: 19/01/2023

    Location

    Global, Online

    Dates

    21st July 2022

    Speakers

    Susie Nee (VPG)
    Adrian Nelson-Pratt
    Lacey Pitcher

    Join Vet and Coach Adrian Nelson Pratt, RVN stay-versifier Susie Nee from VPG and VSGDer Lacey Pitcher for some tangible career tips and questions to ask yourself.

    Coaching is an incredible tool that holds a mirror up to ourselves and allows us to get to know ourselves better. Powerful questions and tools enable your strengths to be found, transferable skills to be polished and career clarity to be gained to help us take that next step. And that’s what we need to concentrate on, that first step. The journey is as important as the destination. The answers are always inside us, we just need to trust the process. Rewatch this interactive session with some of our career coaches and nurse career advocates to help you begin your journey of self-enquiry to find out what roles might just be a fit for you.

    Come on the journey with Vets Stay Go Diversify

    I need some career inspiration.

    I'm looking for a new job/career path.

    I need some career support to work out what's next for me.

    Curious to know More?

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