Career-Changer Series: From Registered Veterinary Nurse to Baker


Ellie with cat

Over the coming months, I will be interviewing and sharing the inspirational stories of people who have made the decision to change career. I ask them about their career shifts and what advice they have for others considering a career change.

I hope by reading these stories and interviews that people realise that anything is possible with a little time and effort. No one needs to feel stuck in a career they don’t enjoy. There’s always something else you can do. I hope these stories inspire you to make a change and do work that you love.

From Registered Veterinary Nurse to Baker

My first interview is with Ellie White. On paper (and to her parents), Ellie had a sensible and respectable job she trained hard for, with a predictable career path mapped out in front of her. However, something just wasn’t right. She’d lost confidence in the direction she was going in and no longer enjoyed going to work. Here she shares how, in a vast sea of alternative options, she managed to decide what she wanted to do instead, and what advice she has for others considering a career change.

1. What work were you doing before?

I had been a Registered Veterinary Nurse for 4 years, working in referral and general practices.

2. How did you know a change was required?

I had lost confidence in the career path I had chosen, and no longer enjoyed going to work. Instead of coming in to work in the morning with a smile on my face, which is usual for me, I’d head in and just be able to muster the strength to get through the day, and when I went home I was relieved I had survived another day. I felt that I wasn’t as happy as I had been when I had first started. I felt that I needed a new challenge, and that was in the shape of a new career.

3. What helped you make the decision to finally do something about your situation?

I left my job at the end of last year due to the lack of confidence in my career choice and in my own abilities. I also felt the type of environment you get in the industry wasn’t one that I flourish best in and I needed to be somewhere that’s supportive and positive. I was also feeling quite undervalued as a veterinary nurse, as unfortunately a lot of other veterinary nurses can tell you.

After speaking to my family, who advised me to do whatever made me happy, be that changing career or looking for other veterinary nursing jobs, I made my mind up that veterinary nursing was no longer for me and started looking at all my other career options.

4. How did you go about deciding what you wanted to do instead? What helped you make that decision?

When I had left my job, my head was scrambled with all the career possibilities, so I enlisted the help of a Career Change Coach (the wonderful Alice, no less!) who helped me find out what was important to me, what inspires me amongst other things, and she helped me come up with a shortlist of careers. Throughout the process there was encouragement and helpful exercises to make me think ‘outside the box’ and nothing seemed impossible – so I shot for my dream career.

5. What new career path have you chosen and why?

I have chosen the career path of becoming a baker/business owner. I’ve always loved baking and helping/inspiring others so, as a boss/employer, I felt that was something I was able to achieve. I was also looking for a creative outlet and everyone loves cake!

6. How are you going about or how did you go about changing careers?

I’m currently studying a business course whilst trying to find a location to start my baking business from. I’m also trying to perfect my decorating skills and finding my ‘niche’ for an already populated market.

7. What’s been the hardest, most difficult, or unexpected thing you’ve encountered about changing career?

The hardest thing for me is going from one very specific vocation, where all my 3 years of training has been veterinary nurse based, to a completely different career - although some elements (like hygiene and team work) can be transferrable. Starting a new career path from scratch is a daunting process, at least it is for me, but I know I have support from my family to help me get through this next step.

8. What’s been the best part about changing career?

The best part has been knowing that I’m going to be doing something that I love and want to do, hopefully for the rest of my career.

9. What advice would you give to others considering a career change?

Talk to lots of friends and family about it, and make sure it is what you want to do. If it is, start looking at other careers and see what things inspire you, motivate you, excite you, and look into those careers further.

If in doubt, like I was, talk to a Career Change Coach like Alice. The structure of the sessions were very helpful and thought provoking.

10. What support, help, or resources would you recommend?

There are many things out there that can support your decision - look at different job profiles and see if they’re suited to you. I also highly recommend working alongside a Career Change Coach like Alice. It really helped me think things through in a logical way, instead of having all these ideas in my head just bouncing around, not making any sense!

Good luck to Ellie as she continues to pursue her dream career. If you want to follow her journey (or buy any of her amazing cakes!) follow her on Instagram @corgicupcakes.

If you’re considering a career change of your own, and Ellie’s story has inspired you to finally take action, get in touch to discuss how career change coaching with Alice could help you figure out what you want to do instead and how to make it happen.

Alice Stapleton

About Alice

Alice coaches those who want to change career but don’t know what they want to do instead. She offers Career Coaching designed to help graduates, early to mid-level career-changers, and parents returning to work gain a clear vision of what career is right for them, and how to achieve it. She is also an accredited Coach Supervisor, and host of The Career Change Diaries podcast.