A Career Solution from Directioneering

Lessons from a late career change

After studying to be a vet, Charlotte realised the job wasn’t for her, after all. Here’s how a career consultant helped her forge a new career path and find success and fulfilment in her new role.

Being a vet was all Charlotte had ever dreamed about, but after working for four years in large and small animal practices both here and overseas, she found it hadn’t turned out to be what she’d expected.

“It was quite daunting to realise I wanted to do something else, because I had always been so focused on being a vet.”

Looking for other ways to expand her career opportunities while still using her veterinary science degree, Charlotte decided to further her qualifications by doing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) course at Melbourne Business School.

“Going back to studying was a huge step, but luckily I was able to keep working part time as a locum, which gave me flexibility and the time to study.”

Unfortunately, as so often happens, she found when she graduated there were not many opportunities to use her new qualifications. At that point, Charlotte joined the agribusiness division in a major bank, thinking she would be able to maintain a link to her veterinary background.

But after 12 to 18 months in that role, she realised she didn’t like working in a bank, either. The job did not suit her personality and she was starting to feel disillusioned. She needed a change – and was going to need help making that change.

“I wasn’t sure how to make the next step by myself, but a friend had made a similar transition after talking with career coaches, so I decided to see if they could help me get back on track, too.”

How did a career coach help?

With help from the career coach, Charlotte took a closer look at her strengths and weaknesses, what puts a spring in her step and equally, what saps her enthusiasm.

“We talked about what it was I loved about being a vet, and what I had found was lacking. Then we did the same for the agribusiness job I was doing in the bank. The coach wanted to know what type of environment I thought would suit me, and how my ideal work/life balance could look.”

Next, they discussed the types of work that might suit her, and where she wanted to be. The exercise helped her recognise what she was interested in, as well as her skills and strengths, and what jobs were suited to those attributes.

“I had always thought I wanted to work with animals, but through this process I realised what I enjoy most is the science and medical aspect of veterinary work – not just healing animals, but making a difference to their health,” she says.

After talking through the outcomes from the assessments, Charlotte and her career coach were able to make a plan for how Charlotte could take the next step.

“I found I was most interested in the development of new drugs, verging on the entrepreneurial side of the industry. That led me to pursue work in the area of scientific research, which included talking to biotech and pharmaceutical companies.

“It was really useful to have a tangible pathway and plan, to get some ideas on where to go and how to get there,” she says.

“It was also great to be able to talk with my career coach about how I was finding everything, and to hone my approach and presentation as time passed.”

A dream job come true

Charlotte is now working with a small Melbourne-based biotech not-for-profit company which focuses on providing new treatments, particularly for developing countries. The role is more concerned with human health, but still prioritises helping and healing. It also gives her an opportunity to leverage her vet science background while using the knowledge and skills she gained through the MBA.

“I’m now finding that many of the reasons behind my lifelong wish to become a vet actually apply to my current job. I’ve always been interested in the medical and scientific aspect of veterinary science, and that was missing when I worked in the bank,” she says.

“I had reached a point of desperation where I was ready to just quit, but wouldn’t have known what to do next.

“Consulting with a career coach not only gave me a clear direction and steps to move forward, but has resulted in a great job that I really love, with interesting projects and motivated people.”

Looking to get your career on the right path? Contact TwoPointZero today.