5 Steps for making your Veterinary Career more durable

By Joleen Little BVSc MRCVS

Resiliency is an extraordinarily important attribute for everyone, including those who work in the Veterinary profession.

Resiliency is an attribute that belongs to a person or individual. “Durable,” on the other hand, is an attribute that can be assigned to a person’s career. So, in the case of the former, you might ask yourself “Am I a resilient person?” But in the case of the latter, the question becomes, “Is my career durable?”

Let’s start with a simple definition of the word “durable.” In essence, it means the ability to withstand wear, pressure, or damage. Of course, no one likes to think of themselves or their career having to withstand wear, pressure, or damage. However, these are realities of both life and the Veterinary profession.

The bottom line is that there is going to be stress, there is going to be adversity, and there are going to be challenges and obstacles that you will have to face during your career. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you went to school, how many skills you have, or how much experience you possess. These things are inevitable. It’s not a matter of if, but when.


Building a durable Veterinary career

So not only must you work to be a more resilient person, but you must also work to ensure that your career is more durable. And with that in mind, below are five steps for building and sustaining a durable career:

No.1 Recognize that relationships matter.

Relationships are a major key to career success because networking is critical to career success. Always strive to give first in a relationship. Don’t focus on what you want first, but instead focus on what the other person needs. That’s the way to build a productive and lasting relationship, both personally and professionally.

No.2 Make adding value a priority.

The more value that you can offer to other people (and to organisations), the more potential you have and the greater your chances for Veterinary career growth and satisfaction.

No.3 Seek to make a difference in as many ways as you can.

That’s what employers are seeking: professionals who can add value and make a difference within their practice.

No.4 Try being flexible and adaptive to change.

Another characteristic of leaders is that they’re flexible and they can adapt in the face of ever-changing circumstances. Like stress and adversity, it is literally unavoidable in your job and your Veterinary career. As a result, your focus must not be on attempting to avoid change. Instead, your focus must be on reacting and adapting to change in a positive way, especially in regard to how you provide value and make a difference to those around you.

No.5 Make a commitment to always be learning and growing.

Because of everything we’ve addressed to this point, continuous learning and education is vital to making your Veterinary career more durable. Most Vets have made a commitment to continued learning and education.


The benefits of a durable Veterinary career

Becoming more resilient and building a durable Veterinary career is one way to help ensure long-term professional success. Another way is to build a relationship with a recruiter or search consultant who has a proven track record of placing people just like you. The right recruiter has the expertise and the experience necessary to provide you with valuable information about the best employers/ practices and can also offer advice and guidance about how to leverage this information to your advantage.

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