Whether you are a new graduate or looking for a scenery change, finding the right position is important when job searching. No one wants to accept a job only to discover they are unhappy a few months later. Our tips will help you find the veterinary job that is perfect for your needs.
#1: Determine What Is Important to You
Take time to write down the factors you require for a practice to employ you, as well as issues that you want to avoid. While salary may be important, you should also consider other elements in a workplace, to help ensure you will be happy. Such factors include:
- Work-life balance — The veterinary profession is stressful, and many people are leaving the field because of burnout. Look for a practice or organization that provides an acceptable work-life balance, to help ensure you avoid professional exhaustion and compassion fatigue. Ask the practice veterinarians how their shifts are structured, if they can rely on scheduled breaks, and if the practice accommodates roster changes for personal issues.
- Standard of care — You worked hard to become a veterinarian, and you shouldn’t compromise your standards. Ensure the practices that you consider maintain a quality of care that meets your standards. Read their online reviews, and ask other area veterinarians about their reputation.
- Team cohesiveness — You will be working long hours with your fellow veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and staff members, and you want to be able to work well together. When interviewing, notice the team interaction, and whether they seem friendly toward one another. Also, pay attention to how they treat you and their clients.
- Continuing education — To maintain your veterinary license, you must participate in continuing education every year, which can be expensive, and may require travel. You want a practice that is willing to support and invest in high-quality continuing education to ensure you and the practice continue to grow and improve.
- Facilities and equipment — Certain facilities and equipment can make diagnosing and treating patients easier. If this is important to you, ensure you look for a practice offering top-notch veterinary equipment.
#2: Be Flexible About Location
If possible, be flexible about your geographic location—don’t discount a seemingly ideal position because the practice isn’t in your preferred town or state. Be open-minded about new areas, to see if you would like a different place. Given the changes to the labor and housing markets, you may miss out on an amazing career opportunity if you limit yourself to one location. If you are set on a specific spot, adjust the radius of your job search area, so you don’t miss out on postings in surrounding areas in a different zip code.
#3: Use Various Search Tools
Don’t limit your search to one career center. Numerous search tools are available to veterinarians, including:
- Professional organizations — Professional organizations are respected by the veterinary community, and are a great tool for job seekers. Organizations include:
- American Veterinary Medical Association Veterinary Career Center
- American Animal Hospital Association Career Center
- State veterinary medical associations
- Regional veterinary medical associations
- Veterinary recruiters — Reach out to a recruiter or the HR department at a clinic or company you are interested in. They can help connect you with a position that suits your preferences and needs.
- Government positions — The government employs many veterinarians in several different roles across the world.
- General job search sites — General job sites, such as Indeed and LinkedIn are also useful, and may offer a more diverse selection of veterinary careers.
- Company Career Pages — If you are searching for a position at a specific organization or organization type, check their website for openings or follow them on LinkedIn.
#4: Expand Your Keyword Searches
Job postings do not always include “veterinarian” in the title. Expand your search to ensure you don’t miss great opportunities that are phrased differently. Don’t forget: Veterinary hospitals don’t only hire veterinarians and technicians. In many cases they might also be hiring for client care team positions, IT support, accounting roles, inventory management, practice managers, and more. Of course, you can safely assume that veterinary hospitals are hiring veterinarians and technicians too!
Keywords to try include:
#5: Be Proactive
If your heart is set on working at a particular practice that isn’t advertising a position, you can connect with the employees on LinkedIn, call the practice to see if you can network with medical leadership or find a shared connection that can make an introduction. Veterinary Practices are busy, and they may not always have the most up to date postings, but by being proactive, you are showing the practice your interest and demonstrating your initiative. Practices often also have the ability to hire another veterinarian to help grow their practice and those roles aren’t always advertised.
#6: Prepare and Practice
When you get an interview, be prepared:
- Ensure your CV is up to date.
- Ask a colleague to proofread and ensure the document looks professional.
- Be willing and able to promote yourself, and explain your skills that would benefit the practice.
- Maintain a positive attitude.
- Don’t forget about the items you highlighted as important to you in step one! Prepare a list of questions in advance about the culture, schedule and work environment to ensure it is a match.
- Ensure you are polite and courteous to everyone you meet at the practice.
- If possible, practice your interview with a friend or colleague to ensure you feel comfortable answering difficult questions, and don’t get flustered.
- Prepare questions for your potential new employer, to help ensure the practice is a good fit.
#7 Take your Time
Finding the perfect position will take time. Take the time and exert the effort to find the placement that meets your professional and personal needs.
Finding a new job is stressful, but changing your circumstances can be exciting, too. Follow these tips to find the perfect position to advance your veterinary career.
Curious to learn more or discuss your career search with someone at Ethos? Please email us at [email protected] to connect with a mentor at Ethos.