Dr. Danielle Adney, DVM, PhD, WVLDI Treasurer

To me, one of the huge benefits of working in the veterinary field is the opportunity to pursue different forks in the road. I think it’s important to acknowledge that different phases of your life bring different personal and professional goals, and we’re lucky to be in a field that honors that. When I’ve faced my own forks in the road, I’ve leaned heavily on my network to help me prioritize what I’m looking for, what I’m not looking for, and how to get there.

These transitions are often inherently uncomfortable, and for me, some of the most meaningful support I’ve gotten has focused not only the “how-do” of navigating changes, but on intentionally sitting in community with me during these transitions. I’m incredibly grateful for actions such as looking over CVs or cover letters or practicing for challenging 1:1s – but I think the more consequential aspect of these interactions is the time our community is willing to invest in each other’s success. For me, this type of support has allowed for deeper reflection into what is driving the fork in the road, and what’s actually best for me – and rather than a more stereotypical career path it’s led to opportunities I never dreamed existed.

If you’re considering navigating a tough decision, an uncomfortable conversation, or any fork in the road consider:

  • Do I currently have someone in my network who’s experienced this before?
  • Does anyone in my network know someone who might be able to lend a hand or voice?

If so, don’t be afraid to ask for help!

If not, use your resources. Some of my favorite professional connections have come from cold emailing a potential collaborator asking if they had 20 minutes to talk about an experiment, program, or idea. More often than not, these interactions have led to new collaborators, but also rich friendships and a supportive network.

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