It’s funny, for a decade we have pushed the focus of CONTINUOUS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT throughout the Veterinary and Medical fields with such a force and it would seem, according to all of our research and feedback from professionals within our field, it’s had quite the reverse effect.

Let us explain – So, in psychology and psychoanalysis, we have comfortably concluded that when it comes to examining the fundamental processes and progresses of the developmental SELF in all its multi-faceted arenas (Work, family, home, finances, social, health, travel, learning, leisure etc) that the most balanced and successfully tuned in people that seem to have a flow with life, are the ones that know that EVERYTHING STARTS IN THE HOME! If you have a well organised, comfortable, safe, loving and well managed home life, then you will have a comfortable, organised, successful and well managed life in all its other areas, especially the work place. It all begins in the home. We might live in a man’s world according to the way the game is played ie: The structure of the working world, which was designed and created by Men way back when but, the home is created by women. Listen, we aren’t playing tit for tat here but the energetic’s on a psychological field of discovery and understanding speak for themselves. You can be a stay at home dad for sure but the role you’re playing stems from a feminine source just the same as a woman that heads out to work is partaking in the masculine source. It’s not to say you can’t or that you shouldn’t, absolutely not, in fact, a balance of both is good for you as both men and women have both polarities existing within them at all times but, it’s how we use these fields that can either balance us or push us in to one extreme of another. At the moment and for such a long time, we have had the extreme of a very masculine force being pushed on to everyone within the work place and what we have noticed is that the lack of the opposite energy has not only been lacking, it’s been completely absent and we’re actually lead to believe that we must conduct our lives in the busy working man’s world with zero inclusion of the feminine presence. Almost as if the introduction of that opposite energy would be BAD FOR PROGRESS or that it would HINDER THE POWER that it takes to succeed in the corporate world! Hang on a moment, let’s take a look at this! MONEY NEVER SLEEPS – LUNCH BREAKS ARE FOR LOSERS – OVER TIME = PARTNERSHIP SOON – You get the picture, are all rhetorics we have heard play out over the many years we’ve all played our role in pushing the machine forward! We’re so pushed in to dividing the family. LETS EXAMINE: Everyone leaves the family home so early to get out to work, kids at breakfast clubs in school because your commute is so long you didn’t have time to see to their needs so you delegate it to the services offered in your absence. The ability to slow cook meals and prep for the days ahead is near impossible if you’re a 2 person working family and noone stays at home so unless you’re able to hire in help, take aways and fast food it is – You then spend all day separated from your families (Sure, most people are thrilled about this but that’s a dysfunction for another conversation) but you then don’t see them again until a very busy often overloaded working day, the return of your huge commute and you might catch them for an hour or so between dinner and bed but by then you’re exhausted so it’s a disconnect in front of the telly or some wine or beer to take the edge off and then you head to bed to swicth the day off and repeat 5 days sometimes 6 out of 7, 4 weeks a month, 48 weeks a year (Your statutory ENTITLEMENT for TIME OFF is 28 days paid! – Your allowance! That’s it! That’s your life) None of that looks anything like a healthy balance of WORK / LIFE which has been the one thing that we in-particular have been offering people within the Veterinary field for the last decade. From HR we’ve been pumping out job ad’s offering everyone this incredible thing called WORK / LIFE balance and after some years of repeating the same slogan and hashtag over all our notices and conversations with people, we sat back and asked, ‘WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?) Because noone is sure as hell getting a WORK / LIFE BALANCE! Nope, nowhere to be seen is that happening in Veterinary! If anything, it has gotten far busier, far more concentrated, condensed, intense and further away from our homes, families and free time we fall in to the pits of the corporate world and for what? There have been no pay rises to speak of and most from within our research panels and focus groups have stated that they would actually prefer the time off and work less for the same salary than actually receive an increase as they know that with that increase would come an even harder and more demanding work load. So, the illusive WORK / LIFE BALANCE rhetoric continues but more and more we hear stories of suicides, depression, BURN OUT and overwhelm, stress and anxiety caseloads and a general sense of severe unhappiness and disillusion from within the fields of a very distressed Veterinary sector. But push through folks because MONEY NEVER SLEEPS! It’s gone horribly wrong and the one thing that could have saved the day, if only it were ever ‘allowed’ to be, would have been the balance of the WORK / HOME life scenario. That rather than act as if bringing in some slower, gentler vibes would destroy the illusion of POWER AND COMMERCE it could actually be more productive. That introducing longer lunch breaks might actually give people a bit more enthusiasm throughout their busy days and that by offering people the chance to work from home wherever possible or in lieu offer a 4 day work week instead (as we are seeing is now the case) could in fact give people more of that WORK / LIFE BALANCE that is more beneficial to a business as then their staff performance is far more up beat and productive on the days that they are clocked in. But we aren’t enabling this. There is such a huge weight now hanging over everyone and it’s time this changed.

CONTINUOUS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT has only become such a bore. We’re pushed in to completing further hours of study and participation to stay ahead in the game. To show we know what we’re talking about but again, from the research, so much of it is repetitive, time wasting and quite frankly pushed on us by those that got grants to further an agenda that highlights even further the corruption within our industry by those that ‘lead from the top’ by designing the manuscript on who will learn what. Peer review stands for nothing and there is no freedom of speech or independence as we’re all bought and paid for by those that don’t want us to spend time away from their money making machine BUT

CONTINUOUS PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT is something that, if those at the top were clever enough to know, would only further enhance their business models as when people are ‘allowed’ to have extra time at home to recharge, reflect and slow down, then their time at work would be far more productive. SO many studies have shown over the last decade that productivity DOES NOT come from burnt out states it comes from balanced states. That if you want a strong and healthy work force, you must acknowledge that humans are not robots and that they need balance and rest in order to function and thrive.

So where do we really go from here with this whole WORK / LIFE BALANCE thing?

We have spoken to a number of practices and professionals to feel out the masses and get the stats on the whole WORK / LIFE BALANCE movement and we’ve got some great feedback that clearly states that:

  1. There is no such thing as work / life balance there is seemingly only WORK
  2. That those in management positions are dispondent and short sighted with any discussion of work / life balance, especially in corporate practice
  3. The majority would chose the same salary but a day less work than a pay rise but more work (although funnily, the opposite seems to be whats more suitably offered)
  4. Over 83% stated that they would be happy to support continuous personal development incentives and protocols that work in balance with their continuous professional development (we view this as the active equivalent of work / life balance)
  5. The majority of professionals believe that it is the responsibility of their employer to commit to seeing that continuous personal development incentives are installed in to the work place while those that stated otherwise suggested that the incentives were up to each individual but needed to be supported and respected by their place of work

We are in the process of forming what we like to call the WORK LIFE BALANCE COOPERATIVE which is a group of those of us from various departments within the Veterinary industry that actively see that Businesses of all kind operating under the Veterinary umbrella are seen to be supporting the WORK LIFE BALANCE concept and that CONTINUOUS PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT incentives are actively installed and encouraged throughout businesses.

As we cannot force practices to join us on our project mission, we have decided that the best idea is to use our research platform to find out what practices are doing to initiate WLB support in to their work force and then we will leave it up to you, the practitioners and employees of the sector to voice your feedback as to what practice has been successful in installing an incentive and what practice has not. This isn’t a name and shame scenario but it is rather a ‘take accountability for your poor choices and consideration towards your staff’ towards those that fail to upgrade their ethical leadership.

It is time to be very clear about getting to grips with balance so that those within our community are not shamed for having burnout or are not punished for showing emotions. We are all human and we are all in the same boat, some of us however are better at coping than others and each of us comes to the professional table with varying degrees of capabilities, energies and levels of performance. We need to stop judging, criticizing and shaming each other for all being different and not being able to perform like linnear robots. Let’s be honest, we’ve got AI and the robots in that could take over your jobs at any minute and then what are we going to do? (more on that later)

But for now, we wanted to take this time to introduce our incentive. This cooperation has been a while in the works and comes from a place of fire and passion for the wellbeing of all those we work with. Please await further updates though if you wish to just on board and put your name down as an interested party member in support of cooperative union towards all of us in Veterinary, then please click the form below! Stay tuned for more and please help us spread the word! Thanks all

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