Sounds simple? Well, we all know it’s a bit more elusive than we’d like for many people.
At my lowest, I used to pause at the bottom of the stairs on my way into work each shift to slow my breathing. My heart rate started its slow climb on the drive in, giving way to a stomach-churning sense of anxiety as I wondered what might await me on that particular day. The feeling remained until I finally arrived back home 14 hours later. Rinse, repeat.
There were a lot of reasons for that stress. It was an understaffed ER with monstrous turnover, very little feedback, and an endless march of critically ill pets whose owners relied on me to help source payment. I blamed myself for my discontent, thinking if I just worked a little harder maybe these problems would solve themselves.
I found a better home in GP, but it still only solidified what I had said when I first applied to veterinary school: I didn’t want to be an associate or owner. I had other things I wanted to do in the field.
Unfortunately, there were no other options to be had. Clinical research positions- my area of passion- were few and far between, and sales jobs weren’t really my thing. So practice it was, and while I wondered what else I should have chosen to do with my life, my friend Kevin (the one who inspired All Dogs Go to Kevin, btw) told me I should start a blog. He even named it for me: pawcurious.
I knew what I was good at but not what I could really do with it, so I just put it out there and started writing. Voila! I had a personal brand, whether or not I realized it.
Instead of trying to mold myself to fit into the world, the world started to mold around me. People who needed a veterinary writer for articles, quotes, or news pieces came to me because I was the first one they could find. Before I knew it, I had writing jobs, a book contract, and- most importantly- a line of sight out of work that I didn’t enjoy and likely never would.
How the world has changed since I started my blog in 2009. I used to be told, “we don’t talk about mothers and work-life balance because it’s too controversial.” Now, this is front and center and no longer something we can afford to ignore. Professionals are leaving the field in droves not out of desire for something else like I did, but because they have to stay home to school their kids. They would love a flexible working arrangement but have given up on finding a clinic that will work with them or explore remote work.
On the other hand, veterinarians, technicians, and other paraprofessionals are realizing that in addition to hunting for the perfect fit, it’s good to let the perfect fit find you. Wear a huge target on your back. Pheromones for a fabulous fit.
The same principles apply no matter whether you are a vet in search of a great job opportunity or a clinic in search of your idea clients. Branding works! It’s the shortcut to a better tomorrow, and it starts with your elevator pitch.
Mine: I help vets and techs love what they do. If you’ve read this far, well, it worked as intended.
I’m giving a free webinar with my friend Cheyanne Flerx talking about elevator pitches and discovering your brand this week. If you can’t attend live, register and you’ll get the recording! If you love your work already, I am so happy for you. If you’re looking for more and not sure where to start, I sure do hope you’ll join me.
See you there!