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Episode 58 | Vet Med Alignment Part 4- Score MCMF

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Veterinary Career Alignment Score MCMF.

Misaligned Choice, Misaligned Fit.

Most veterinary professionals who take the Vet Med Career Alignment Scores Quiz anticipate receiving a score of MCMF Alignment because they are burned out, frustrated or unhappy. Turns out, this is the least common score received on the Vet Med Career Alignment Score quiz!

An individual with MCMF alignment chose to pursue a career in veterinary medicine for reasons other than a deep desire and calling to this work, and the type of work they are doing currently is not a good fit.

This leads those with MCMF alignment to not only question their prior decision but to judge themselves harshly for it and to believe they have compromised what’s possible for them in the future as a result.

The good news… this isn’t true at all!

In this episode, I explore the MCMF alignment experience, including the types of opportunities available to this unique population.

Get your Vet Med Career Alignment Score here.

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Vet Med Career Alignment Score MCMF and the opportunities & challenges associated with that score, that's what we're talking about in Episode 58.

Welcome to the Joyful DVM Podcast. I'm your host, Veterinarian, and Certified Life Coach, Cari Wise. Whether you're dealing with the challenges in Vet Med, struggling with self-confidence, or you're just trying to figure out how to create a life and a career that you actually enjoy, you'll find encouragement, education, and empowering concepts you can apply right away. Let's get started.

Hey everybody. Welcome to Episode 58. Today, we're going to be talking about the Career Alignment Score MCMF. This is the fourth part of a four-part series on veterinary career alignment. So if you haven't had a chance to take the quiz yet, jump over to joyfuldvm.com/quiz and determine your own Career Alignment Score. What you're going to learn is going to create a lot of awareness and clarity around the experience that you're having and what you can do to improve that experience in the future.

Over the last few weeks, we have talked about Score ACAF, Score ACMF, and today we're going to talk about the final category of scores which is MCMF. What that means is Misaligned Choice, Misaligned Fit. Now, before you panic, if you end up with the score of MCMF, let me give a few tips and insight as to why that score pops up and what it actually means in the overall scheme of your life and your career, and your future.

As a quick spoiler, I'm also an MCMF, and that may surprise many, many of you. It certainly kind of surprised me. Built into the MCMF score is the potential to really regret your prior decisions. So I want to make sure that we take a few minutes here to kind of unpack what that means.

MCMF, what that means is that, at a point in time, at a moment in time, that you are experiencing two different things, that your alignment with your career - the career path that you chose veterinary medicine specifically because that's what this quiz is about - that the alignment with that career was misaligned, the choice. So the choice to pursue veterinary medicine was a misaligned choice. What that means is that what drove you to choose veterinary medicine probably wasn't a deep desire to go into veterinary medicine from your own personal soul level. At the essence of who you are, when you think about your hopes and your dreams and the things that you were really interested in and inspired by as a young person - as a child, as a young adult - if you look at those things, and then you look at your decision to pursue veterinary medicine, it's likely that they don't match. It's likely that your decision to go into veterinary medicine came from some other kind of influence. It could have been the influence of somebody around you, somebody like friends or family, usually family, maybe even teachers who believed that you needed to go down a specific path in order to have a good life.

There's a lot of pressure on many of us to pursue a professional degree of some sort in order to set ourselves up for a solid and safe and secure future. A lot of people choose professional degrees, veterinary medicine, is one of those options because of that pressure and those "rules" that have been created by the people around us about what is the responsible thing to do; what is the right thing to do; what is the thing that's going to set you up for the most security in the future? Some of us have chosen veterinary medicine even though maybe what we were drawn to and led to, and really most interested in, in our core wasn't veterinary medicine. We probably liked it well enough, but maybe that wasn't the pushing factor. It wasn't pursuing this big dream of your own. Perhaps you were pursuing somebody else's dream.

Another reason that some of us may have chosen veterinary medicine was because of maybe not external influence about what was responsible, but about what we individually believed was responsible from a standpoint of different options on the table. Maybe you really had a desire and an interest in something completely different, but when you broke it all apart and you looked at what you thought was possible with your other options, and when I say possible, I mean possible really as far as financial security, perhaps even status that opportunity to be respected in the community, something like that, when we look at those different pieces, what we may have decided was that the financial and social opportunities associated with a career in veterinary medicine would project us further than that other thing that we really, really wanted to do, but didn't have any belief that it would create any kind of financial security for us or that it would create any kind of social status of that was something that was important to you as well. So that could have been another driving factor to choose veterinary medicine over something else that you really wanted to do.

As we get older and we get through our veterinary careers and we get into the profession, if we take an assessment like this, and we identify that we are in MCMF specifically talking about the MC part that Misaligned Choice part, what I don't want you to do is think that you've screwed up your whole entire life because you absolutely haven't. Not at all. Not even a little bit. Unfortunately when we have that Misaligned Choice & Misaligned Fit put together, a lot of us look at that and we think, "Oh man, I've really buggered this whole thing up. I've made the wrong decisions. I see now why I made the decision to go into veterinary medicine that I did. It was not a great reason. I don't love my reason for doing it, and therefore it was the wrong choice, and therefore I've messed up my future." That is very possible as far as a way of the mindset kind of thing that comes up; the train of thought that is created when we see this kind of result.  I want you to know that that's not at all what happened. So when you see MCMF, I don't want you to go in that downward spiral that you've made the absolute worst choice for your life and that you can't fix it because neither one of those things is true.

Before we dive into why because it really pertains also to the MF part, let's talk about that for a second. Remember MF stands for Misaligned Fit and that has to do with the job that you're in at this point in time - the way that you're using your veterinary degree. So if you're in private practice and you come up with MF on your assessment score, then what that MF means is that the place that you work at right now is not likely the best fit for you long-term. It doesn't necessarily mean that if you're, let's say in general practice, that overall general practice isn't the best fit for you. It may just mean that this specific hospital that you're in isn't an aligned fit and if you find a better fit in general practice that you will flourish and you will thrive in, you will be happier and it will actually contribute to a way that's more aligned with who you are and what you're trying to do in the world. Misaligned fit just gives us a hint that where we are right now isn't exactly right, but there are still opportunities to adjust that without even changing the jobs. If we find out that we're a misaligned fit and we go through and we start to analyze what is contributing to that conclusion, there are often things that we can adjust personally that will change the entire fit of ourselves in a job even the one that we still have, and we don't have to leave it.

That being said, oftentimes what happens is, as we go through this analysis and we look at the jobs as more of strategic job analysis, we find all the little areas where the environment that we're in right now isn't aligned with what we want for our lives long-term, and when we look at it strategically then we can start to pursue opportunities that are more aligned with the components of a job that we want. Things like hours and pay, and maybe leverage, support staff and team culture, and all kinds of things like that. So there's a strategic way to look at that. So when we have these two together, when we end up with a score of MCMF, which means we're in the fit of the job that we're in right now isn't ideal, and the career itself may not have been the best choice, might not have been an aligned choice at the time that we made it, what can often happen is that we feel a lot of despair and a lot of hopelessness. Along with that, we have a bit of an "Oh" which makes a whole lot of sense, like an aha moment. It's like no wonder I'm struggling. No wonder I'm suffering. This is a Misaligned Choice, Misaligned Fit. This career was never aligned with my long-term vision. The environment that I'm working in right now is not a great fit for my skills and for what I want for myself long-term. Seeing that, yes, we may go down a dark spiral of this was the worst decision ever, but I really don't want you to do that because there's no point because despite all of this, despite what this score, if you ended up with MCMF, what is also true is that everything has happened in your life exactly the way that it was supposed to. This is really important for us to learn and to understand.

Everything that has happened in our life up until this point has happened exactly the way that it was supposed to. So even though we can look back and we can look back at our choices for those of us with MC - misaligned choice - we could look back at the choice to go into veterinary medicine - veterinary school, veterinary technician, school, whatever took us down that road to get into the veterinary career. We could look back at that choice and we can see because we have the benefit of additional experience and knowledge, and we can look back at that choice that we made sometime back and we can see our motives for making it. We understand our decision-making process better. We understand our thought process better. So even though we can look at it with that benefit of future knowledge and experience, and honestly maturity and growth, we can look back at that decision, we can say, "Oh, look at that. I made that decision not because it was what was on my heart to do. Not because it was what I really wanted to do, but because I felt like it's what I should have done. I felt external pressure to make that. I thought it was the right decision, even though it didn't feel good at the time." We can look back and see why as a younger version of ourselves we made those choices, but we don't need to judge harshly against it because learning and understanding why we made that choice at that point in time are very valuable today. It actually helps us kind of build our decision-making chops so that we get more introspective around the choices that we make in the future.

The other piece, as I said, is that that was intentional. You were supposed to make that choice because if you hadn't made that choice, there's a lot of things that wouldn't have happened. For one thing, you wouldn't be able to gain awareness today over your decision-making process. So just knowing that you may have a tendency to make choices based on what you think you should do, what other people believe you should do, what seems to be very responsible and practical, just recognizing at this point that you have had a history of making decisions from that standpoint as opposed to making decisions based on what you really want for yourself and what's really interesting to you and what really helps you build what you want for your future, which most of us, by the way, don't know that quite yet, either, but making choices from this other more aligned place with your own life experience is a much stronger way to make decisions. We can just look back and learn the lessons of those prior decisions that we made from a different place, but making those decisions then was still absolutely attentional. The experiences that you've had since that time have actually helped you grow and develop. It has actually brought you to the point that you've started to wonder about things like being in alignment with your career, being in alignment with your job, and what you want for the future. We have to have these challenging periods in order to have these periods of massive growth. So just because we can look back historically and we can determine, "Yeah, that was not an aligned choice for me", that doesn't mean it was a mistake. That's the most important thing that you need to hear if you have an MCMF result is that just because you could see today that the choice was not aligned with who you are, does not mean that that choice was a mistake because there are so many lessons that you have learned through that experience.

We couple that then today with the MF - the misaligned fit - and what can happen is that honestly, the thing that catalyzed us to even start exploring any of this often is the way that we feel in our current jobs. The way that we dread going to work. The way that we feel bitter when we're there. We feel resentful. We feel angry. We feel exhausted. We feel we are taken advantage of. We feel like we are at a disadvantage. So all of those current experiences in that job, often are the catalyst that have us starting to look at any of this stuff altogether. When we pull this score together, the MC with the MF - the misaligned choice with the misaligned fit - and we use that as evidence to say, "Yep, this was the worst decision ever. I never should have done this.", there's no useful upside positive thing for us with that conclusion. That conclusion is optional. So even when we get an MCMF score, we do not have to conclude that going into this career field was the worst decision ever.  I will always argue that that is absolutely not true. Now, not everybody is cut out to stay in a veterinary career in a traditional type, practice type veterinary career forever. Not even people who started in veterinary medicine as an aligned choice. It's not until we get into veterinary medicine and we experience it for ourselves, that we start to actually gain clarity around the way that we want to serve with this education that we have. It's going to be different for all of us.

I shared, at the beginning of this, that I was a misaligned choice, a misaligned fit. I take this assessment and I look at all the answers. I was an MCMF. My reasons for going to veterinary school were not that I had wanted to do it since I was a little kid. Most of us are like that which is why most of the people who go through this assessment and up with either ACAF or ACMF, but there is a population of us that are MCMF and we can look back and we can say, "Okay, why?" I'll just share my experience of why did I go to veterinary school. Now, to begin with, I wasn't always a lifer. I wasn't somebody who always wanted to do veterinary school. May be surprising if you know that my dad was a veterinarian. So my dad was a veterinarian. I grew up in veterinary medicine and so it would seem that that was just what I wanted to do from a very young age, and I always very much enjoyed animals. I mean, that's a hundred percent true, but I was actually a music major when I went to college. I was a flute performance major, believe it or not. In my first year of college, I was a flute performance major and I enjoyed that. I enjoyed what I was learning. After my first year of college, I got a scholarship to the University of Wyoming on a flip performance scholarship. As we got closer and closer to the beginning of that year, I was really dreading picking up the flute again. When you're a music performance major, you're practicing your instrument three or four hours every single day. It just can become something that is more laborious and less fun. So I felt that dread.

The other thing that kind of hit me, getting ready to go into my second year of undergrad, was that when it comes to music and careers, particularly if you're a flute performance major, your main gigs are going to be symphonies; to be part of an orchestra. Those jobs aren't that plentiful. There are not that many of those jobs out there. What, I guess at that point, I would have been 19 or 20 years old. At that point in my life, what my logical brain showed me was that there wasn't any guarantee that I would be able to land a symphony job. That if I didn't get a symphony job as a music performance major, my only other option was to teach. That most music majors became teachers and I didn't want to be a teacher which is absolutely freaking hilarious in hindsight. So at that moment, for me, teacher meant like high school or junior high music teacher. I didn't want to do that. I knew that I didn't want to do that. So for me, because I didn't have any faith in my own ability to actually get a performance job, I decided to not continue pursuing that because in my mind it was very binary - either got a symphony job, or you became a high school teacher. I didn't want to become a teacher. I didn't believe that I was good enough. Honestly, this was definitely a self-confident kind of situation at that age. I didn't believe I was good enough to actually get a job in a symphony and so therefore I decided to abandon the career altogether and do something else that I felt more confident that I would be able to do. Now kind of humorously, that was veterinary medicine for me. That seems like the easiest thing to do. I know that sounds absolutely ridiculous, but it seemed to be the easiest thing. I had been working at my dad's animal hospital for the year before. During my first year of college, I'd been kind of doing all the things and I just decided, literally for me, it was a 30-sec decision. If I'm not going to do music, what could I do? Well, I could go to vet school. Okay. I guess I'll go to vet school. So that's what I decided. It was a 30-sec decision and then I just got all my ducks in a row, back to my original college, I left Wyoming. I crammed all my prereqs and everything in two years and two summers and I got early admission and I went to vet school and I graduated at 25. So then that was on a mission. I was on a mission to get it done.  I got it down and graduate at 25. My career has been very interesting because I quit my first job, four weeks out of veterinary school. I didn't go back to work for my dad. I went to work in Maryland. I actually moved across the country and took a job out there. I was completely terrified to do that, but I was also very, very excited. I love the East Coast and love the DC area. So I took a job there, but within four weeks I knew it wasn't the right job for me. I knew that it wasn't the right job for me, with the environment, the culture, I was very disappointed, but it just wasn't the right job for me. So at four weeks, I turned in my notice. I started looking for another job. I got another job. Started my second job at six weeks and then about, that could have been July, the next, I believe June is when I left that second job and took a third job. That one I stayed at for a few years until I moved back to the Midwest.

I tell you all of this because if you look at my own personal journey on how I landed here, and then you look at the jobs - I've had those three - and then since, if you haven't heard my story, I've been an associate vet in lots of different kinds of practices. I've done relief work. I have owned my own practice which I started from the ground up. I also have worked in industries. I've worked as a brand manager for Royal Canin. I've worked as the product manager for expert learning solutions where I oversaw vet tech prep and vet prep, and their board preparation programs for a few years. I've done that. I've also done shelter medicine and spay-neuter. I've done so many different things with my career and it is through my experiences of those things, my willingness to keep just trying different things that I actually landed to where I really was supposed to be. What's so funny about all of this is what it is that I do guys --- I teach. I teach. The thing that I thought I didn't want to do; the thing that seemed like the reason not to pursue what was originally in my heart, I ended up back there.

The beautiful thing about how the universe work is that even when our logical brain gets in the way, it's really hard to squash what's on your soul.  What I didn't understand was the teaching component, as a 19 or 20-year-old, I did not understand the draw to that. All I saw was what I understood about teaching and the way that I saw it being framed. What I didn't realize was the impact that it had and how much I would love to share what I knew. That I would love to share the experiences that I had. So for me, even though I can look back and I can take the assessment and I will fall into MCMF, I also know that even though I can recognize today that the choice was not aligned with who I am and how I want to contribute to the world, I also can see that it's absolutely the exact right choice because it took all of those experiences along the way to bring me where I am now, where I'm truly aligned and understood how I am to contribute in the world, what I have to offer you. If it wasn't for all those experiences, I wouldn't have all of the stories and all of the personal experiences to share with you. I also wouldn't have moved forward in the ways that I have with getting my life coaching certification; getting my quantum human design certification, and things like starting this organization - Joyful DVM. I never would have understood the struggles of a veterinary professional had I not pursued it. I also never would've been able to help the struggles of a veterinary professional if I had never pursued it.

This is true for you too. Being in general all-day practice does not mean that's not the way that you're successful in the veterinary career. There are so many things that we can do. When we start to give ourselves permission to explore what we are interested in at this moment in time, what's on our heart, what really lights us up, what is it that we want for a job, when we allow ourselves to look at it from that perspective instead of being stuck inside of a box with all of the should-haves. Well, you have a veterinary degree, you have a veterinary technician degree, therefore you should practice veterinary medicine. You should work in general practice. You should use degree this way. That's the responsible thing to do. If those are the rules, those are the voices that you hear in your head, I want to give you permission just to let those go. There are no rules. There are some of us that, yes, we are absolutely cut out for general practice, and that's a beautiful, wonderful thing, I call those guys lifers, and you continue to grow and evolve within what you can do in veterinary practice, it's a beautiful experience and it's exactly what you're supposed to do. But there's a lot of us who also are not supposed to stay there. That veterinary medicine is our jumping-off point. It's the start of our journey. If we get caught up in the lies in these pressures, that this is what we should do, which this being said in general practice, then we miss out on the way that we're supposed to contribute.

Veterinary Medicine is absolutely an intentional part of your story. Your struggles are absolutely an intentional part of your story. They are absolutely necessary for you to start to understand who you are and really get in touch with what you want and what your purpose and mission are here in this lifetime. Absolutely necessary. What comes next, that's up to you. That's where all of your choices lie. It starts with just understanding who you are. Getting into alignment with who you are. Allowing yourself permission to consider, maybe staying in the current job isn't the best thing for you. Maybe staying in the career field isn't the best thing for you. Allow yourself to just start to ask the questions, "What's next? If not this, then what else? If not this, then what's next?" Just start throwing those questions out into the universe and you will be surprised how those answers start to come to you. It's only when we stay trapped in our own judgment and our own fear that we really blocked the potential for our lives.

All right, my friends, this is going to wrap up our overview of the MCMF alignment score in the Vet Med Career Alignment Score. Again, if you haven't taken that quiz, jump over to joyfuldvm.com/quiz to take that assessment. Find out which category you fit into. A couple of things are going to happen. Number one, you're going to get your score right away. You're also going to have an opportunity to get a multi-page PDF that goes through all the details, both the opportunities and the challenges that are associated with this score that you have. So you can get that PDF. It's way more detailed than I do here in these three overviews. Then if you're curious about how I've talked about it, remember this is the fourth of a four-part series. So you can always go back and find your score and listen to how I described it to get that little bit of insight. But that PDF, that multi-page PDF has a lot of information in there. I would love to know what score you come up with and what you learn about yourself through the process as you read through that, and more importantly, what dreams are popping up for you as you think about the future. I hope you guys have a great rest of the week and I'll see you soon. Bye for now.

Thank you for listening to the Joyful DVM Podcast. If you'd like to learn more about the concepts and ideas discussed here, and how to apply them to your own life to create confidence and empowerment for yourself, you'll love Vet Life Academy. To check it out and learn more, visit joyfuldvm.com/vetlifeacademy. And if you're loving this podcast, I'd appreciate it if you'd share it with your friends and leave us a review on iTunes. 

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