Marie will be joining us for the Daring Veterinary Leadership event 22nd April! Book here to hear from her and other inspirational role models.
Marie Holowaychuk made the bold move from Assistant Professor in Small Animal Emergency & Critical Care Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College to launch her own business as a locum, speaker, and consultant in 2014. Following her passion for wellbeing support for fellow veterinary professionals she completed training in mental and physical health support, including becoming a certified yoga and meditation teacher and life coach.
I am a passionate advocate for the mental wellbeing of veterinary professionals and thrive when exercise and outdoor time are a part of my day.
Think Outside the Box
My top work-related success has been building a business as a wellbeing speaker and consultant for the veterinary industry. In doing so, I learned that you never know where life might take you, so be open to all opportunities or nudges that come your way. If you asked me after my residency where I would be in 10 years, the answer would have been undoubtedly in academia. I would never have imagined doing what I am doing now and am so glad that I allowed myself to “think outside the box” and let it happen.
Shifting convention for family life
Marie has experienced first-hand the challenge of pursuing a career at the expense of having the time to dedicate to family life. She made the brave decision to embark on parenthood as a single mum, and hasn’t looked back since the arrival of her beautiful baby girl.
My biggest challenge in life has been having a vision of where I expected to be at midlife and not achieving it. In my work-life I have already accomplished more than I had ever hoped to, but in my home-life I have struggled to meet “my person” and have a family. I believe this comes from years (decades) of putting work before anything else and the ticking biological clock adding pressure to relationships. Finally, I decided to have a family on my own, so I embarked on my journey as a single mom by choice. It took more than a year to get pregnant but in June 2020 I had my healthy baby girl. I love her more than anything else in the world and while our family is unconventional, I remain grateful and joyful. I have learned that family can take on many different forms and that life doesn’t always turn out as you expect it to. And that’s more than okay.
Nothing is perfect
We often strive for perfection both in our personal and professional lives, but despite her impressive career, Marie readily acknowledges there are compromises to be made.
I’ve learned that there are pros and cons to any job or situation. As a self-employed person I don’t have health benefits, a pension, or as much stability as I did in my academic role. But I have more flexibility and I can focus on the things that I am most passionate about.
As a single mom, I get to make decisions on my own regarding parenting and other aspects of raising my daughter, but the flip side is that it is a lot to do alone.
Check out Marie’s website for more information. Veterinary Woman recommends her monthly emailers, including wellbeing blogs and webinars.
Thanks to Marie for sharing her role model story. This is just the highlights! Click HERE to view Marie’s full profile, where she shares her favourite resources, and top likes and dislikes.
Browse our other role model profiles for more inspiring stories from women across the veterinary industry. Do you know someone who would make a great role model? Please contact us to let us know and we’ll do our best to feature them in our role model profiles.
Want more (audio) inspiration? Check-out our fantastic podcast series, featuring women in leadership positions. Approachable and relatable, they really are just like you and me!