STANDING OUT; double-edged sword.
It is interesting you know, the double-edged sword of standing out.
Talking a different way, looking a different way, but more importantly acting a different way. In my life I wouldn’t say I have done it on purpose, but I would be lying if I didn’t say I get a lot of satisfaction from being unlike the masses.
Although there is much I do in dietetics and in business that is different to others, thus my company’s successes. However I want to talk about something else, something personal about what I wrote over 18 months ago…
Today I was having a conversation with some of my admin staff who have been studying nutrition, and they mentioned about how conversations regarding myself and things I have written (particularly the article Why You Should Quit Your Nutrition degree) have been transpiring on their university chat groups; all bad of course.
People who do not know me, never worked for me, never had any lasting interaction with me saying things like “the things I could tell you about this guy”, among other things.
This was similar to an article (one of the sites most popular posts) I saw a few months ago written by a new grad on “The Nutrition Press” calling out what I had written as a contribution to the overwhelmingly negative conversation about dietetics and called for a disregard of the facts contained in my article.
Further to that, during a recent interview I did, I was told (in a negative fashion) that I was “known as being controversial” in our industry. I think that statement in itself is controversial. As doesn’t that mean I actually could be doing something right? Creating a conversation around things that are seldom discussed. Providing a point of view of those afraid to say anything. That controversial discussion may be what helps to save the industry, at minimum, saves individuals careers (in and out of dietetics) not to mention their mental health and well being.
It is also interesting that people never check the source of the comments made, that somehow that person saying things about me or others, or statements made, may have a conflict of interest….I know many of the writers of these comments had just that.
On the other hand, when I wrote this article I had an OUTCRY of support in my private messages from dietitians actually working in the industry. People telling me in interviews, approaching me at conferences and meetings thanking me for writing it (although surprised anyone had the balls to). Of course many of these people felt insecure about providing support publicly because it was a “controversial” topic. And the thing is, this is what those who took negativity from it don’t get. That those new grads and students don’t yet know what our industry is like. They don’t know how hard it is. Eventually they will look back about how foolish they were to dismiss it as merely negative.
And if you really read it, like REALLY read it, you will see the purpose of why I wrote it and what the intention was. As I do tell some to continue with dietetics, but just like ANY university degree if you aren’t REALLY passionate about it, stop. Dietetics is simply a step above that, as there is such a shortage of jobs once you do graduate and if you aren’t motivated, you will have wasted 4 years of your life and $50k.
Do I regret writing it? F**k no. I know what it’s purpose was, and people can take what they want from it. I know I saved a lot of heartache for many who read it and took action because of it. I also provided a voice for what so many in our industry have talked about privately, but have been afraid to say publicly. I am more than happy to ride the wave of negativity for that purpose alone.
But for the record, there are few people more passionate than I about supporting students, new grads and dietitians. My entire company is built on supporting our practitioners better than they could ever expect to be supported. All of my businesses are in this industry, so what kind of idiot would I be if I wanted to destroy our industry. All I do is to always seek to do better, and although some things I do or say may be shocking on the front end to some of you, you will recognise the purpose and value eventually. As when you do things with the right intent, the right things happen.
I guess the purpose of this article is more catharsis than anything, and to say that if you stand out, you will be judged; for better or worse. But as long as you are being true to who you are, who gives a f**k. I ain’t changing any time soon, so sit back and enjoy the ride.
Lastly, if you are still being a “Negative Nancy” check out some of the other articles I have written to support you:
Or maybe even apply for a job with the company that has provided more job opportunities than any other private dietetic company in Australia in the last 18 months, mine. We are hiring in Victoria right now.
Managing Director | Sports Dietitian