Adulting is a roller coaster. One moment you’re feeling accomplished, peaceful, and inspired. Something happens and now you’re overwhelmed, unsuccessful, and disappointed. Rinse and repeat. It ends up being a vicious cycle. We hope for more good days than bad. But what if that doesn’t happen? What if your chosen career is the source of your discontent? What if your job as a veterinarian has you feeling trapped and unfulfilled? What if you despise going to work, but feel your options are limited? You stay put because this is what you trained to do. This was your dream career, and you dislike it. So, what now?
The good news is you’re in charge of your path moving forward. Just because you feel stuck, doesn’t mean you can’t change. Many veterinarians feel that being an associate or practice owner are their only options. They believe working in the clinic down the street, is the logical choice because it’s convenient. Plus, you’re in high demand right now. Vets believe changing careers is too scary to consider. So how do you take the next steps toward self-fulfillment?
Thanks to our degrees and experience, we have many alternatives. That’s the great thing about veterinary medicine. You are in charge! You can leave your current job for another one in the field. Or, if you want something completely different, it’s your choice. Seeking guidance from a career transition coach, is a great way to get started. They offer confidence-building tools and options, as you explore new possibilities.
5 Ways to Embrace New Opportunities
- Open your mind! Consider a zone that brings you more joy.
- Make a list of pros and cons. Do the pros of leaving your job outnumber the cons? Are the cons deal breakers for trying something new, at least for now?
- Check your local, state, and national DVM classifieds. Consider relocating for a new position. What first seems out of this world, might make more logical sense as your brain gets used to the idea.
- Brainstorm and research different DVM jobs that may interest you. Industry, virtual care, food safety, regulatory medicine, government, teaching, writing, and shelter medicine. Be your own boss and explore starting a housecall practice, hospice and in-home euthanasia service, or even acupuncture and rehabilitation. These are all possibilities. Trying something new and using your mind in a different way is rejuvenating.
- Consider stepping away from veterinary medicine for a while. As veterinarians, we have great customer service skills, endurance for being on our feet without breaks, and a work ethic that rivals none. You are an asset to any employer. Also, you are very trainable. What are you passionate about? That is your guide. Who knows? You might find something that you’re ecstatic about.
If you take a break from vet med, keep your license active. At least until you are 100% sure of where you’re going. Always remember that your DVM degree is there, if you decide to return. I promise, your skills will still be intact.
Once you’ve tried some of these strategies, things will be clearer. Remember, you have options. You may feel stuck, but you aren’t. It may take creative thinking. But, making that leap for job satisfaction is worth it!