So the title of this blog may be a bit confusing for you – what the heck am I talking about using all these “fancy” words???
Here’s the thing – when we come from a different country to live and work in the UK, we are going to face challenges, a lot of challenges. We will face problems with language and communication, cultural differences, differences at work, discrimination about your nationality or ethnicity and so on… And one of the biggest struggles many of us will face is having to deal with this alone.
Don’t be alone!
Feeling lonely is one of the main reasons foreign veterinary surgeons give up their more promising veterinary careers in order to return back home. Loneliness will make you feel “separate” from other people and like you “don’t belong”. Those feelings will start to get heavy on your shoulders, especially if there are other factors such as a complicated personal life, or dissatisfaction with your current job.
This is why I’m a big fan of creating a network of people that understand what you are going through and that you can talk to when you need!
So today I will share with you three ways you can find and join a network to help you.
UK VetMove’s Community
Sorry for starting with the first and obvious one, but in case you don’t know, UK VetMove has a private Facebook group for vets and vet students where you can safely post about your problems or ask if there’s anyone around you for a meeting. There are over 1000 people on the Facebook group, and although many are thinking about whether to move to the UK or not, several (myself included) have done it and are more than happy to help.
Young Vet Network
The Young Vet Network, usually abbreviated YVN, is sponsored by BVA and has several active groups throughout the country. YVN events are usually a mix of CPD (training) and networking with vets from the area. Despite being sponsored by BVA, you don’t need to be a BVA member to be able to attend these events. Each region has their own Facebook group where they post the events that will take place. You can find out the link to your local YVN at the bottom of this page.
Other online support groups
One of the things you may struggle with is feeling like you’re not part of the UK veterinary community. Maybe your work colleagues are not as supportive as you would like or not as keen on social life as you. Maybe you are just going through a rough time. Maybe you are really just feeling lonely… There are online communities of UK vets that you can join for a discussion and where you may also find overseas vets working in the UK. Here are three that bring together a lot of veterinary surgeons:
- Veterinary Voices UK – this is a private Facebook group that is very active. You can only join if you are MRCVS (registered with the RCVS)
- org – this website allows for free registration for MRCVS vets and nurses and has an active forum to debate all sorts of subjects, although with a strong bias for clinical interests
- BVA Member Forum – this forum is only accessible to BVA members, but you can become a member without registering with the RCVS. As a matter of fact, you can become a member even as an overseas vet (that is an actual member category). This forum has less topic areas than others so may be easier to find the right place to post.
Are you part of any of them?