With strong support and backing from VetPartners, vet Nikki Holt is enjoying a thriving career and a happy family life.
Nikki has been promoted to clinical director and VetPartners is funding her Certificate in Small Animal Surgery to help her become the vet she wants to be.
Here, she shares her inspirational career journey…
HAVING two toddlers and a career as a vet can certainly be a juggling act at times.
When my oldest daughter was six weeks old, I brought her into Ashlands Vets and, while I helped another vet carry out a nephrectomy on a patient in theatre, a colleague entertained and took care of Brooke for me.
We consider ourselves a family of practices at VetPartners – and the family culture of warmth and belonging was certainly true that day!
Brooke is now three and she also has a little sister, Fearne, 18 months, so my own family has grown along with the VetPartners family.
After my first maternity leave, I asked if I could return initially part-time, working three days a week and an extra weekend shift, and the practice was really open and keen to support me to do this.
I later returned to work full-time at Ashlands Vets, where I am now a clinical director. The decision to return full-time was my choice and certainly not because I felt under pressure to do so from the practice, but because I wanted really to. I love my career as a vet and the benefit for my children is that they have a happy, fulfilled mum.
I had the option of being able to choose whether to work part-time or full-time.
Promoted and supported all the way
The practice was happy to support me whatever I decided, and I never felt I had to compromise my career after starting a family. In fact, I was actually promoted to senior vet at our surgery in Glusburn, Yorkshire, while I was still working part-time, and I felt supported to make whatever decision I needed to have a successful career and raise my two daughters.
I was promoted to clinical director in August 2021 and I feel very proud to work for an organisation that values its team members.
I have friends who work in banking and they have really worried about their career development after having a family as they feel their ambitions and goals are not supported now they have children.
That is not an issue when you are part of VetPartners as they are supportive and open to flexible working while still willing to promote mums and help them to achieve their career goals. Here at Ashlands Vets, we have vets and veterinary nurses who have chosen to work part-time after starting a family and they are still thriving.
As a clinical director, I can see the benefits of enabling my team to work part-time if they want to. We have such a happy, dedicated team and I am so impressed by the fact they give everything for three days and are so productive and conscientious.
VetPartners supports need for work-life balance
If anyone wants part-time positions, whether because they have children, want to pursue other interests or have a better work-life balance, practices within VetPartners are open and flexible to this idea and it can really work for everyone concerned.
It benefits team members and it means we don’t lose talented colleagues if they want flexible working to be with their children. When people have a good work-life balance, they are more likely to stay within the profession.
VetPartners supports team members to have a happy work-life balance, with fulfilling careers and enjoyable lives outside of work.
They have also supported me to study for a Certificate in Small Animal Surgery.
They funded the certificate, which was a huge benefit, and I am being supported to learn about the most up to date surgical techniques.
I am carrying out big surgeries I’ve never done before, such as orthopaedics, gall bladder removal and perineal hernia procedures, and my confidence is really growing.
It is hard work but I am blessed that I am able to have a career I love and a happy family life.
Nikki Holt BVetMed MRCVS is a clinical director at Ashlands Veterinary Centre, which has practices in Ilkley, Skipton and Glusburn.
Nikki’s interest lies in surgery and she gained the Certificate in Small Animal Surgery in 2020. She became a clinical director in August 2021
We’re proud of our high-flying female clinical directors and if you’d like to know more about our exciting career opportunities, email firstname.lastname@example.org