Protecting your reputation
When you go to a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, you know what you are going to get. The people at the front desk will be available, the
cleaning crew will have the room ready, you won't see any emotional meltdowns from the staff and management will not be caught
yelling or throwing things. This dependable, committed approach to service exemplifies professionalism, and it is the easiest
way to build and protect your reputation.
Consistently behaving professionally will increase your value to the practice, protect your reputation in the veterinary community
and ultimately provide you with credibility and career options. You have to do it every single day—even when the urge to go
"Jersey Shore" on certain staff members is overwhelming—but it will pay off in the end.
Building your brand
How do you want your clients, your peers and the staff to think of you? Are you the gifted surgeon, the local expert on avian
medicine or the compassionate guardian of underprivileged animals? When you share your interests with clients in person or
on your website, when you consider taking a different job or when you research CE opportunities, never forget who you want
to be. If you tell people what your interests are and you actively seek opportunities to build skills in those areas, then
you are guiding your career toward your dream job, even if you aren't 100 percent sure what that dream job is. Keep focusing
on the areas that you are passionate about, and people will seek you out with opportunities to do what you love most.
Thinking of yourself as a business, especially when your work schedule and conditions are largely dictated by your employer,
probably feels a bit odd. However, this mental exercise can empower you to make your career what you want it to be. So, Dr.
CEO, what do you want to be, and how are you going to get there?
Dr. Roark is an associate Veterinarian in Leesburg, Va.