Monday, 19 January 2015

The Career Path

Any jobs involving sleeping a lot and eating? I'm the cat for it!

Careers are tricky things to manoeuvre. At the very start, you make a choice. You decide, yes, I like animals. I'm going to be Veterinarian, lets enrol in Veterinary school and make this happen. They push you out of Veterinary school with some medical knowledge and shut the gates. 

Wide eyed and lets face it, poorly prepared for real world situations you start making some tentative enquries to anyone who would think of hiring you. The opportunities are slim, you're like that blind and deaf newborn kitten, just needing a warm, nurturing place to grow into that fantastic Veterinarian who's shiny and amazing and everyone wants to see. For a pretty average wage, you're doing night shifts - waking up to greyhound caesarians and they expect you to work every single Saturday. You work hard but seem to still lack in confidence.  You make mistakes, a lof them. Clients berate you for 'being too young'. You know every Vet in that clinic is better then you. A kind but critical talking to from your boss leaves you crying in the toilets. You're pretty fragile.

Two years slogging it at the bottom and you've had enough, you up and quit. There's a better situation out there for you- better pay, better working conditions, nicer clients. Yes, good timing and just being normal and friendly at an interview has landed you a much nicer job. You still have a lot to learn and lack in self confidence but they can leave you on your own now without any fear of dire consequences. You feel you need to do more, sign up for a long distance education course. A new Vet comes along. Supposedly a senior but with questionable skills. Makes you realise that you're a much better Vet than that. It's perversely confidence boosting yet frustrating because they're getting paid more to be a poorer Vet than you. A lot more. Again, unfair. It tells you that it doesn't matter what Vet you know you are, it's how you project that outwards. Be confident. 

Three years on and there's no where to grow. It's time to radically change the situation, time to try a different market - London. You've got five years under your belt now. You can pretty much qualify for any job you want. Two years seems to be the minimum amount of experience people seem to ask for. You take that 6 month career break. Then take on some locum work. Try new things out. It's hard and disorientating at first but you can adapt. It doesn't actually ask much Veterinary wise - you're skills are sufficient. It's more about being friendly and getting people to like you. That's fine. You're asked back at most of your places.  You meet other Vets, gives you something to compare yourself against, learn a few things from them - you're doing OK.

And now an opportunity comes. You find a pretty ideal situation. They need a permanent Vet, and they're sponsor you and your partner. You're managing the place, just you. They seem impressed with your resume though you really haven't done anything that special. But you've been consistent and a decent variety of experiences. Seven years out? We'd love have you on board. You stall. Do you want this? It's hard work. You're bound to them. You play it cool, ask for more. Then you'll be happy. Don't sell yourself short, that's how they do it in the big world.  This is the first time you've had to 'negotiate' but you project confidence. 

They agree. You're working hard but growing exponentially. Finally, the respect, the title, the money and it's still going up. You're on the right path.  A brand new clinic, it's going to be 24 hours. I'll be captain of the ship. It's a lot to take on and things won't be perfect. I've got targets to reach and people to please. It's a massive corporation. But  when I tire of it I can go back to Sydney and open my clinic if I wanted to. It's nice. It's nice to finally feel in control of where I'm heading. You're finally that shiny, amazing Vet that people are asking to see.

No comments:

Post a Comment