What are the opportunities for personal, professional and financial growth?
Personal growth. The opportunity to grow in your first job might be as important as the quality of medicine practiced. Obviously, if one doesn't
grow, then stagnation and obsolescence result. This is often experienced as frustration, dissatisfaction and a lack of self-fulfillment.
To avoid disappointment, it is important to ask yourself the following personal questions when seeking your first job. Am
I looking for something to do? Or, am I seeking to do something? You might believe that because of financial obligations that
you must look for something to do. In other words, you might need to get a job to pay some bills and to get on with life.
Although this might be a necessity for a while, working as a veterinarian because it is something to do can become boring
and non-rewarding. In general, you will achieve much greater job satisfaction and gratification if you are engaged in doing
something worthwhile and personally meaningful.
Many individuals enter veterinary medicine because they want to make a difference. They want to enhance the quality of life
of the animals they work with and provide peace of mind to the owners. Many veterinarians not only make a difference in the
lives of their clients and animals, they also make major contributions to colleagues, staff, their community and organized
veterinary medicine. If you want to make a difference, then it is important to explore the opportunities for personal growth
when seeking a new job.
Professional growth. Similarly, you must consider the opportunities for professional growth. You will enter practice with considerable current
knowledge. Unfortunately much of this knowledge becomes outdated within a few years. It is extremely beneficial therefore
to go to work in a cooperative environment in which colleagues are willing to mentor you and provide constructive criticism
on how to manage medical and surgical cases. It also is helpful if the doctors and staff engage in self and cooperative learning.
Does the practice review new medical management procedures? Do they routinely go over new treatment regimens with doctors
and staff? Does the practice contain an up-to-date library, and do they subscribe to current online veterinary literature
services? Will you be encouraged and supported to participate in external continuing education activities? Is the practice
willing to send you to workshops to learn new techniques that can be brought back to the practice? Do the doctors engage in
networking with other practitioners and experts in the field? Although it is possible to grow professionally by doing everything
alone, it is a lot more fun and stimulating to be in a practice where everyone enjoys growing professionally.
Financial growth. Should your first job provide the opportunity for financial growth? Each of you might have different reasons on why you entered
the veterinary profession and frequently financial reward is not one of them. The reality is, however, that you must exhibit
fiscal responsibility if you and your families are to survive. Thus, your first job and any succeeding job should provide
you with a certain basic standard of living, a reasonable quality of life and the opportunity to grow financially. All too
frequently, young graduates take positions and do not explore the long-term potential for financial growth.