Every January, it’s the same thing – so many of us make an ambitious New Year’s resolution – lose 10 pounds, do yoga every day, finally give up the cigarettes or the sugar. And every year, those big changes fail. We wanted to talk about some resolutions for veterinarians that are realistic and attainable. Here are five 2022 resolutions for veterinarians to consider.
- Get proactive about continuing education.
- Call someone you haven’t heard from in a while every quarter
- Spend half a day on self-care each month.
- Sum up your professional activities/achievements each month
- Compare your job description with your actual duties once a year
Get Proactive About CE
Continuing education is practically inescapable as a veterinarian. Most states require some form of CE during your license period. There are plenty of CE sources, from trade shows and suppliers to your state’s veterinary association or the AVMA. With continual offerings, it’s easy to let your continuing education slide until the last minute.
But procrastination is not your friend. Procrastinating can lead to:
- A lack of variety in courses
- Not getting specialized courses you’re interested in
- Cramming too many courses at once
- Low retention of information
Instead of pushing off your CE, proactively plan how you’re going to tackle continuing education. Consider taking one course each month to get a jump on your requirements. Some vets prefer or are required to attend in-person events, like the AVMA, WVC, or VMX. If in-person events are on your schedule, keep an alternate plan just in case.
Having a plan ensures that you get CE that is interesting, pertinent, and spread out in a way that you’ll get the most out of it.
Call a Colleague Every Quarter
Too often, veterinarians spend most of their time focused on their job. It’s easy to get lost in the day to day. But vets also have deep networks from their doctorate program, volunteer work, and previous jobs. While it’s easy to stay in touch with social media, it’s also easy to lose track of someone. Single doctor practices can become isolating. Calling those quieter members of your network can be an illuminating experience.
Not only do you show that person that you care, which can help ease stress and provide a highlight in someone’s day, but you also can get a new perspective on issues in your industry, and help you stay connected to your friends, colleagues, and profession.
Maybe you call a classmate and find out that they’ve finally launched their own practice. They could have recommendations for new software or vendors, or they could have a position available that you can help fill.
A call to a former co-worker gives you insight on the new practice in town. They mention that they got a 10% raise by moving practices. While you don’t want to leave your job, you decide to start documenting what you do to advocate for a raise at the end of the year.
Keep your network healthy to soften any sudden changes in the economy or your career.
Spend Half a Day on Self-Care Each Month
Time is precious. So is your sanity. Out of the 720 hours each month, take at least 4 for yourself. That may be a nice spa day, a long hike, an afternoon cuddled up with books and tea, or whatever you do to relax and take care of yourself. Spend the time alone or with friends and family, whatever helps you show yourself some love.
Sometimes, veterinarians can feel guilty about making time for themselves, especially when they know there are more animals they can help. Don’t see this as time away from your duties. Look at it as time to recharge your batteries. You can’t help anyone if you don’t have energy for yourself.
Sum Up Your Professional Duties/Achievements Monthly
Sometimes we get so busy with the day to day that we don’t look at how much we’ve accomplished. Also, as you build your career, you want to show bosses and clinic owners what you can bring to the table. Recapping your monthly work can remind you of anything you learned, progress you’ve made, and highlights where you’ve gone above and beyond.
Your clinic owner or practice manager may also be looking at certain performance metrics. See what statistics drive your practice and/or the evaluation of what makes a successful veterinarian so that you can continually meet and exceed expectations
Compare Your Job Description With Your Duties
Speaking of preparing for that annual review, let’s As we get comfortable in your work, we may be asked to take on additional duties. Maybe you’re asked to open once, and then opening becomes part of your regular duties. Or you were hired on for vaccinations and general care, but then you’re asked to do a surgery, and surgery gets added to your duties.
Take stock of what you’re actually doing once a year. Check for responsibility creep. You may realize that you’re doing much more than your initial contract or job description stated. Leverage your monthly duty recaps into a overarching review of your year to prepare for (or ask for!) a performance review. You can use your information to advocate for a raise or other benefits.
Let’s make 2022 a successful year! Whether you choose one low-key resolution for veterinarians or try all five, we at Holiday Vet wish you a healthy, happy, and productive new year!