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Good Workplaces - Personal and Career Development

We speak to thousands of members of the veterinary profession every year, with career conundrums, and life crossroads, being a common reason for people reaching out for help. It is easy to feel stuck, frustrated and lost sometimes. However, our veterinary passport can be our privileged ticket to many destinations, we just have to figure out where and how

If you don't ask you don't get

We must be the number one advocate for our development as no one else is going to be as invested in our journey as us. To achieve this, it’s important to keep discussions open with your line managers and teams about what you’d like to focus on next. And remember, an investment in you is an investment in a motivated team player that will ultimately give back to the business.  

Tip - Get regular career development check-ins in the diary to take the pressure off big asks once in a blue moon. Sharing and shaping our goals with others makes us more accountable too. If you are struggling to get buy-in, think about how you can frame your development in the interests of the organisation too.

It doesn't have to be linear

Long gone are the days where the only way to develop in your career was to climb a ladder. Embrace the squiggle career! Purpose is built, not found, so sometimes we have to head down dead ends to realise what works and what doesn’t. Embrace the sidesteps and lateral moves. 

Tip - Embrace opportunities in and out of your workplace. Volunteering can be an incredible way to build skills, expand your network and give back. Take a look at this short talk on Why Liminality Matters For Our Veterinary Passport

Development is diverse

Clinical CPD is obviously incredibly important but don’t forget to focus on YOU too. If we take the time to get to know ourselves as well as our cardiology and ortho, we can begin to figure out what our strengths are that we enjoy that someone will pay us for!

Tip - VDS Training is here to help you develop your non-clinical skills, check out our range of upcoming courses here.

You don't have to be striving all the time

There are seasons to our development, and we can’t always be in grow mode. There will be winters and it’s OK to press pause and to focus on other parts of our health and wellbeing too. Veterinary is just a part of our identity and there will be many other fab facets that make you you. We need to nurture them and just ‘be’ too. We are after all human beings, not human doings. Life moments are development moments too, the transferable skills you pick up in parenthood are vast! 

Tip – Want to figure out where you need to be spending your time? Check out our previous blog with instructions on how to conduct your own wheel of life exercise.

Reframe cost to investment

It’s great for employers to support our development with time and money allocated but it’s not just down to them to foot the bill. It’s our responsibility to invest in us too. We are the finest instrument we will ever own after all. 

Coaching to MBAs, certs to masterminds. If you reframe them as an investment the costs are easier to swallow! And the learning you take from each of these will be a gift that keeps on giving. 

Tip - Think about spreading the cost over time and create a career money pot that you can pop a percentage of your monthly earnings into. This way you build up your own development budget.

Mentor Magic

We never have to figure it all out alone. Having sounding boards and mentors can really help and they don’t have to be in your place of work either. Look outside your sector too as the diversity of thought and experience can help us think outside the box and expand our networks.

Tip – Think about a specific thing you would like help with within your career right now, who do you know that could help? Perhaps there is someone doing what you would like to do – could anyone you know connect you

If you want support with your career development why not join the VDS and VSGD group carer coaching, commencing in September? See if it is a fit for you here and use code BVA5 for 5% off the programme too!


About VDS Training
VDS Training are passionate about developing all members of the veterinary team, to help you overcome the personal and professional challenges you face on a daily basis, and to build practical skills and techniques to make a real difference to you and your life.