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 in practice or any other job for that matter will just stay with you in any new roles you find. Instead flip it and ask yourself what are you drawn to? It has to be a pull to a passion or purpose.
2. Identify what you are specifically passionate about
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. Watch back the superb session from VSGD LIVE! “Working out what you want” by VDS Training and VSGDers Carolyne Crowe and Penny Barker.
3. What are your non-negotiables and values?
Do you have to live in a certain location in the world? 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
Once you’ve stared 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
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 search bar in VSGD c) make contact with them and ask them for 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 10,000 people right here! e) Sign up the organisations career notifications! NETWORKING is key to gaining your next move. 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 on VSGD live with VSGDer Adrian Nelson-Pratt from Emerge Veterinary
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 like a 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
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. 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
13. Your vibe attracts your tribe.
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 #VetPassports
Remember, you can watch back over 20 hours of CPD from Vets Stay Go Diversify LIVE! to give you heaps of career inspiration and start your networking rounds. You can watch a single session or the whole shebang! These recordings support the running of VSGD and a percentage of the session from “We are all human-healthy minds for medics and vets” goes to Vetlife.
Founder of VSGD