When I ask my clients, “What’s your biggest struggle?” I get the same answers coming up time and time again.
I want to share these with you, so that if anyone reading this is currently feeling any of these things, you will know you are most definitely not alone!
What I hear on repeat are these things:
- No self-belief
- Lack of confidence
- Not feeling a sense of purpose/goal with work
- Toxic or low morale team or management at work
- Poor work-life balance and overwhelm
- Fear of change
- Fear of failure if try something new
- Not knowing where to start with making change
- Financial reality meaning change feels scary
- Finding the time and energy to even think about change
- Not sure if problem is me or the career
- Fear of making the wrong decision
- Geographically fixed and can’t see any other options
If you resonate strongly with a few of these at the moment,
I see you.
I feel you.
I’ve been you!
This is a real problem for us within the profession as there are still far too many people feeling this way far too much of the time.
I named this newsletter after the fated Apollo 13 mission to the moon in 1970 because it feels like that’s what happens for us.
We put all our energy, learning, training, skillset, time and money over a period of many years into making it onto the spaceship and becoming an astronaut – i.e “Vet”, and then BOOM – finals are passed, MRCVS’s are gained and we are launched up into becoming fully fledged vets.
I guess the Moon in this analogy is the lifestyle and the happy feelings from our career that we were aiming for back when we choose our careers as young adults or even children.
Somewhere a few years into our journey to the moon, we realise there is a problem.
We realise we are not going to make it to the moon in this particular spaceship or driving it the way we currently are.
Suddenly the motivation, drive and passion needed to carry on driving it is no longer there, and yet you’re stranded in space, not having been in this situation before, with no manual existing for how or what you should do next to ensure the successful survival of your career and for finding your way back to yourself and what you want.
Oh, and it feels like the eyes of the world are on you while you’re doing this, and saying, “but surely being a vet is the best job in the world, how could you not enjoy it?” so if you change something and it doesn’t work, everyone is going to see.
This creates real polarity in me when I hear it.
It breaks my heart but at the same time it fires my passion for what I do like a bloody rocket!
Having navigated my way out of the broken spaceship 14 years ago now and found the moon (it’s amazing by the way, and well worth tolerating the uncertainty of the journey there….), I know how to get you safely out of that spaceship or I can teach you how to fly it in a different way.
Either way the profession needs you right now, and it needs you to be feeling happy, engaged, fulfilled and able to function healthily emotionally and physically. That can look like a lot of different things – some clinical and others not. Even if that DOES mean moving into something completely non-veterinary related, that actually still helps the profession because if staying means repeated burnout and poor mental health then ultimately that’s not beneficial for practices and patient safety.
The message I want to give any of you who tick any of those boxes above at the moment, is that no matter how stuck you are feeling right now, or how clouded your vision of the way forward is, you can absolutely navigate your way through this and find the right path for you.
Even during this uncertain time during the pandemic.
Even in the midst of a global financial recession.
My mentor and former boss Alan Robinson taught me that where there is a threat, there are always opportunities as well, we just need to look for them, believe in them and take action to find or create them.
If you’re not in a position to take action just now, then let the message above just be a comfort that when the time is right, change can happen.
If you DO want to take action then get in touch and let’s see if I can help. As you can tell, I’m pretty fired up about my mission to transform the lives and careers of vets at the moment!