Account Manager, Companion Consultancy, Co-Founder, WellVet, Director, Vetsnet CIC, Locum Vet
Portfolio professional at a glance
I do LOTS of stuff for free, so am not realising anyway near my earning potential. But money doesn't make you happy. We have a lot of fun on a budget.
Around 45 per week
Very flexible- can dictate my own hours to fit around family life. I do a lot of roles outside of the 'day job' and locum to bring in a bit of extra cash. You need to set boundaries and stick to them, giving yourself proper time and space away from work
Write some articles, create robust social media personal profiles, demonstrate creativity in projects
Minimal - opportunity to do more through different roles, but I avoid this with young family
Good written English and communication
Creativity, strategic thinking, social media knowledge and skills
Creativity, independence, self-motivation
What were your first career steps and how did that work out?
3 years mixed practice in Cumbria; fabulous first job using the breadth of my degree. LOVED IT, but was lonely. Moved down south for an internship, then week on - week off night vet to look after ailing family in my weeks off. Since then regular GP SA vet; mainly ECC and shelter medicine
So how did you decide to that you wanted to diversify?
I knew I didn't want to be a vet full time once having a family. I get bored and tired, and like variety and flexibility. I didn't decide to become anything - I explored lots of options and at one point was going to become a clothing designer! But the wellbeing issues took precedence and I started website design, content creation, networking and support groups. Lots of opportunities came about as a result and I just said YES to everything until I figured out what fitted.
What did you need to do to get into this career path?
A can-do will-do attitude is all.
Most jobs are all about people; what they want or need, what drives them, their trust and loyalty, their personality and drivers. Cultivate EQ and learn to really listen. Then it's onwards and upwards from there
Were there any barriers to entry and how did you overcome them?
I self-taught web and social media skills through local Meetups and networking. Ask for a lot of advice and you'll be pleasantly surprised how much help you get. The biggest barrier was my own self-doubt, but this has ebbed away through peer support, and trial and error.
What are the best bits about your current role and are there any downsides?
Flexibility and variety - I can work when and how I want. However, I have so many roles I can become easily distracted and inefficient. Also, working a lot from home means I'm never away from work. It can be hard to set aside proper family time and make a genuine separation between work and home life
Could you give us an overview of a typical day/tasks?
Wake up, check email and social media (I'm admin for 17 pages and 4 groups!). Get kids up, dressed and off to school (biggest achievement of the day). Work 9.30-3pm computer based, usually with a half hour dog walk or run in the middle of the day. Collect kids and ignore work until after dinner. Play, cook, read, do homework etc. then once the kids are in bed I'll work for another hour or so (if I can engage the brain!).
What sort of person would thrive in this career path?
Someone with good organisational skills, self-motivated, picks up new tricks easily and happy to learn on the job
What advice would you give to someone becoming a portfolio professional?
Trust in your innate ability and skills; our vet degree is a great preparation for so many careers so have a play and explore what's out there and what fits your skill set and personality. Most jobs are all about people; what they want or need, what drives them, their trust and loyalty, their personality and drivers. Cultivate EQ and learn to really listen. Then it's onwards and upwards from there.