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How to Practice Self-Love in Your Animal Health or Veterinary Career

One could say that stress levels within the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession are at an all-time high, especially in the latter.

Long hours, unruly customers (pet owners), financial concerns, and mergers and acquisitions represent just a handful of the major factors affecting veterinarians and Animal Health professionals. All of these concerns were present before the pandemic started, and the pandemic only served to exacerbate them.

While your Animal or Veterinary career has the potential to be long and rewarding, it also has the potential be stressful. According to a national survey conducted by VitusVet in April of 2021, 35% of all veterinarians and Veterinary technicians planned to leave their current job or the profession entirely during the next three to five years. And stress and burnout have only become bigger issues within the Veterinary profession since 2021.

With all of this in mind, below are five ways to practice self-love in your Animal Health or Veterinary career:

#1—Remember “Progress, not perfection.”

If you’ve never heard this saying before, it’s a good one to embrace. Perfection does not exist. As a result, you will not be perfect in your job. No one can be. However, you can make progress on an everyday basis. Focusing on making progress and not trying to be perfect can improve your outlook and your state of mind.

#2—Write down your achievements.

Unfortunately, the “What have you done for me lately?” mentality has permeated society to the point that people are asking that question of themselves. Just because you recognize your accomplishments does not mean that you’re resting on your laurels and are not motivated to succeed.

When you write down your achievements, you give yourself the chance to enjoy them and also remember that you have been successful. This can help encourage you and give you confidence for both the present and the future. And remember to update your resume with your achievements at least every six months.

#3—Identify and embrace your strengths.

Everyone has strengths and everyone has weaknesses. The problem arises when you focus too much on your weaknesses and not enough on your strengths. Yes, it’s a good idea to be cognizant of your weaknesses and have a plan for improving them through continuous training and education. However, you don’t want to focus on them so much that you make yourself miserable and you only view yourself through a prism of perceived failure.

#4—Don’t compare yourself to others.

This is what makes social media so dangerous, because it entices people to compare their lives to what they see on social media channels. The problem is that many of the posts they see have been carefully curated to show only a person’s best moments in life. (Or what they believe to be their best moments, anyway.)

Comparing yourself to others is not the way to grow your Animal Health or Veterinary career. And it’s definitely not the way that you practice self-love in the interest of reducing stress and pressure in your job.

#5—Set small goals and achieve them.

“Biting off more than you can chew” can become a counterproductive habit. Sure, it’s good to have lofty ambitions, but if they’re unrealistic, then setting them can backfire and affect you in a negative way.

Instead, set smaller goals associated with manageable parameters and timeframes. Then, when you accomplish these goals, be sure to stop and celebrate, even if it’s only a small, internal celebration. This is how you build the momentum you need to overcome larger obstacles down the road.

Practicing self-love in your Animal Health or Veterinary career has other benefits, as well. It’s almost like a self-sustaining cycle. However, instead of being a negative cycle, this one is positive and continues to feed itself. Below are three of these benefits:

#1—You have more confidence.

High levels of confidence and self-esteem are prerequisites for maximizing your Animal Health or Veterinary career. It makes sense that if you’re perpetually stressed out, it’s difficult to have a lot of confidence in yourself.

A person performs better when they’re more confident, and when they perform better, they provide more value to their employer. This can lead to advancement within the organization, whether it takes the form of a promotion, a raise, or both.

#2—You’re less likely to let negative circumstances affect you.

When you’re stressed and burned out, it’s easier to allow negative circumstances to adversely affect you. Then you become even more stressed and burned out, and that combination sets you on an unsustainable path.

On the other hand, when you’re not stressed out, you’re better able to handle situations. Instead of buckling beneath the pressure of them, you’re able to rise above your circumstances and meet the challenges head-on.

#3—You take more risks.

If you want to grow your Animal Health or Veterinary career, then you must be comfortable taking risks. It’s difficult, though, to take risks when you’re tired and stressed out.

Being willing to explore opportunity is one of the most important factors in maximizing your career. This means listening when an opportunity is presented to you and being open to considering an opportunity or even exploring one if it makes sense to do so.

Although it’s February, you should strive to practice self-care not just this month, but every month throughout the year. The most valuable asset that you have in your Animal Health or Veterinary career is YOU . . . so it makes sense that you would do whatever is necessary to ensure that asset not only survives, but also thrives.

If you’re looking to make a change or explore your employment options, then we want to talk with you. I encourage you to contact us or you can also create a profile and/or submit your resume for consideration.

We help support careers in one of two ways: 1. By helping Animal Health and Veterinary professionals to find the right opportunity when the time is right, and 2. By helping to recruit top talent for the critical needs of Animal Health and Veterinary organizations. If this is something that you would like to explore further, please send an email to stacy@thevetrecruiter.com.

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