5 Essential Tips To Successfully Launch Your Veterinarian Career
Congratulations, you’ve worked hard to pass all of your exams and obtain certifications to become a qualified veterinarian! The first year as a new veterinarian can bring many ups and downs and may seem a little intimidating at first. You may be feeling overwhelmed by what your next steps should be, but there are many helpful tips to ease you into the transition. Remember all of the reasons why you chose this amazing career path and get ready to jump start your passion!
You can and will succeed. Here are a few great vet career tips to help you as you’re first starting out.
Build a Strong Network
“Never underestimate the power of networking.”
A mentor may be one of the most important things you can do to launch your career. As a fresh graduate, having a mentor to help and guide you through experiences they’ve already been through can be very beneficial. Find someone who you admire in their personality, character, and veterinary approach. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses, and you can learn a lot by talking and watching your mentor. They may be able to connect you with other great mentors or even help you land your first job.
Collaborating on ideas and new techniques not only benefits you, but it benefits the entire industry. People can learn a lot from exchanging thoughts between each other. For example, maybe your mentor is older than you and they haven’t heard of a new surgery technique that you recently learned in school. You have the opportunity to teach them something as well. Both parties are gaining valuable insight, and the possibilities become endless. Continue to find mentors and leaders in the veterinarian industry who can help you on your path to success. You’ll find lifelong friendships and incredible knowledge among these individuals.
Social media is also a great tool for networking. Join online groups (via Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) and reach out to industry leading professionals. One day down the road they may be a great reference or be able to connect you with new job opportunities. Networking will play a huge role in your success as a veterinarian. Be kind, professional, and courteous as you introduce and market yourself.
Keep in Contact with Graduating Classmates
Along the lines of networking, keeping in contact with graduating classmates falls into this category as well. As you begin your career, you and your classmates can learn a lot from each other. Having a network of professionals from the school you graduated from creates a strong bond between you. You’ve shared the same instructors, learned the same material, and overall tackled and completed a very tough program.
Keeping in contact will create an important support system as you go out into the world. Sharing job sites, leads, mentors, knowledge, and other tips from others going through the same situation as you can bring immense comfort knowing you’re not alone when the going gets tough. They’ll be there to listen to you vent or to hear all about the exciting job offer you just received. Your peers will be a great resource, so make sure not to take them for granted and to keep in contact with them regularly.
Register for Online Job Sites
There are many veterinarian specific online job sites you can register for as well as ours at Vet & Pet Jobs. Take advantage of these and sign up for as many as you can. Apply to any that spark a fire in your eyes. Other general online job sites may have veterinarian openings as well, so it’s a good idea to check these out too.
Keep applying, interview, and find the job that’s right for you!
Register With National And Regional Vet Industry Associations
Most Veterinary Associations have staggered membership levels, especially for recently qualified vets, so it can be quite cost effective to register with your National Vet association and there are usually local Chapters that you can then connect with. Remember, it’s all about networking. Start with the AVMA, AVA or BVA (get used to the acronyms).
Balance Work & Life
It’s very important to remember that work isn’t your whole life (even though it may feel like it at times). A busy and demanding job can quickly take over your entire life. You’ll be faced with many emotions as a veterinarian making it hard to “shut your brain off” at times. It’s crucial you continue to stay in contact with family, grab dinner with friends, workout, engage in fun hobbies, and take vacations or mini-road trips whenever you can. Switching your brain off from work will allow yourself to return refreshed and excited to tackle the work week. Balance is a key element in a healthy and happy life!
Build Relationships with Your Team
Once you’ve landed a great new job, you’ll need to grow these new relationships. Veterinarian offices aren’t all about the animals, successful offices need a strong team to ensure your human clients are happy too. From the front desk to the kennel cleaners and everyone in between, establishing a strong team will ensure clients keep coming back again and again.
- Communicate – Strong relationships all have this main component in common. Communication will reduce altercations, confusion, and stress in the workplace. Address your thoughts in certain situations and don’t be afraid to speak your mind if you believe a different approach would be more beneficial to the animal. Having an open line of communication is very important.
- Be Kind – Even if you’re having a bad day, leave your problems at the door. Put a smile on your face and make the most of your workday. If you’re “off” other people will sense it and it can bring the entire office down.
- Suggest Outings – Get to know the people you’ll be spending your days with. Suggest a group dinner or activity one night after work. Creating bonds outside of work can do wonders for your office atmosphere. You don’t have to be best friends with everyone, but being friendly doesn’t hurt!
- Respect – If a co-worker has another idea than you, respect and listen to their side before shutting them down. Work together to find the best solution and respect their opinion on the matter.
- Remember the Client Comes First – At the end of the day, the overall goal should be to put the client and their pet first. They’re depending on you to keep their pet healthy and thriving. Work together as a team to make sure the client is well taken care of each time they step through the front door with their furry (or scaly) bundle of joy.
Being a vet can undoubtedly be one of the best jobs in the world. You’ve been taught an abundance of knowledge and you’re ready to put it to work. As you begin your new career path, remember that you will have new situations thrown at you all the time. Throughout your veterinarian career you’ll never stop learning, so be open to new ideas and different ways of accomplishing tasks. You may not always have a clear-cut answer. You’ll struggle and succeed. You’ll cry and you’ll laugh…plus explore a whole new world of emotions. In times like these remember to lean on your support networks to get you through. You’ll quickly gain experience and you’ll be looking back on your first year in no time at all.
Fake It Til You Make It
One last word of advice if you’re feeling nervous, try out the common saying “fake it til you make it”. Essentially, radiate confidence. You may not be an expert yet, but you can certainly act like one. Be confident in all your training and skills, speak your mind, only accept jobs you feel positive about, and follow your passion with your whole heart.
These are just a few of the vet career tips that you may need to help you on your journey; explore more advice and guidance from fellow industry professionals throughout our Vet & Pet Jobs blog.
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