Veterinarians Karen Bradley and Sarah Wooten map out their roads less traveled with directions on how to prepare and encouragement to get started and keep going.
Think putting in 50 hours a week at a veterinary hospital is your only (and most respectable) option? Sarah Wooten, DVM, and Karen Bradley, DVM, would like to have a word with you (okay, several). Their message? STOP LIMITING YOURSELF.
Wooten and Bradley speak from experience. Both have pursued nontraditional paths with their veterinary degrees, and both couldn't be more pleased with their decisions. So pleased, in fact, that they are passionate about encouraging others to expand their vocational horizons and did so at a recent CVC session. Here's some of what we learned from these rad nontraditionalists:
“Begin, improve, reinvent, repeat.”
Wooten's nontraditional path:
Wooten has what she calls a “slash career.” She's a veterinarian/journalist, a THIS-slash-THAT, and thus divides her time between private practice and writing articles and filming video content for various media outlets. It's a life of constant tinkering and being comfortable with the idea that you can't plan everything, she says.
Wooten admits this career path can be more financially unpredictable, but she's come to realize that stability is a price she's willing to pay for opportunities for growth and fulfillment.
In order to diversify her income, Wooten and her husband own rental properties and a teahouse and sell pet products online. She is a firm believer that when synergies between two careers merge, opportunities materialize that you never knew existed.
Wooten's best advice for slashers:
Up next: Co-captain Karen...
“Let's destroy the overwork model together!”
Bradley's nontraditional path:
After going from an associate to practicing emergency care to moving across the country and landing in Vermont at her ideal clinic, Bradley was convinced by the practice's owner to become really invested-literally. The Vermont practice owner believed there was no such thing as a long-term associate and financed Bradley and another associate so they could become co-owners. The process took 10 years and was a win-win for everyone: The owner made interest, and the new partners felt less risk.
Each of the three partners works 30 hours a week-a model that demands flexibility and creativity on everyone's part. The perks of the partnership include being able to share ownership responsibilities, to pool their respective skills and to enjoy some financial security with individual stakes in the business.
Bradley's best advice for co-captains:
Work may be unavoidable, but being miserable at work isn't. If you are currently dissatisfied, why not try something new? Be creative, define success on your own terms, don't rule out something just because it's foreign to you and never (EVER) settle.