Podcast #24

Just like everything in life, ‘tomorrow’ is when we will change and make that difference that improves our lives. Whether it is getting fit, eating healthy, re-connecting with family/friends, or improving our professional lives, change is hard, and it can be scary.

This blog will focus on small changes you can make in your day-to-day professional life that will help you be a better vet, starting TODAY!

We so often tailor our recommended treatment plan to how WE THINK a client wants to pursue a treatment plan, and we base this on where they live, or how they look. Don’t! Resolve to be blind to every client’s appearance and offer them the best possible intervention for their animal. You will be surprised at how many of those individuals choose to treat! You, your patients, and your business will thrive for it!

blackboard with math formulas
Learning and teaching in a professional environment inspires, invigorates, and encourages both parties involves, and improves your work environment.
Learning is essential to happiness in a career. Resolve to learn one thing every day. Whether you are learning about medicine, business, finance, human interaction/psychology, just ensure when you leave work each day you have learned something, and reflect on that on your drive home! This will not only help you focus on how you are growing professionally which will increase your job satisfaction, but will put you in a mind-frame to desire more knowledge. It will create a snow-ball effect that will lead you to conferences and continued learning!

Right now, send an email. “Hey Boss, I would love to set up a meeting with you at some point in the next couple weeks.” You don’t even have to know yet what you want to say in that meeting, just set up a meeting!

If you are a boss, set up a meeting with each employee. Once the meeting is set, the wheels are in motion for improvement.

Meet with your boss/employee and discuss what is going well, what isn’t, and what the goals are for the upcoming year. If you haven’t had a raise in a while or deserve one, this is a great time to ask for a raise. If you have been unhappy or feel unfulfilled, this is a great time to address it and make a plan on how to get you satisfied! It all starts with a little email, and sending an email isn’t difficult. Set that ball in motion!

person walking in the forest
Taking 10min for yourself at lunch, going for a quick walk outside, helps emotionally bring you down, removes you from stress, and helps you better tackle there rest of the day.
Now, this seems silly. ‘But I have records to write’ or ‘but it’s cold outside’ or ‘the lunchroom is lovely’. No matter the excuse, getting outside of your office for even 10min, and taking a quick walk each day, will help you take a breath and re-focus for the rest of the day. Take that 10-20min to yourself, sit quietly away from barking dogs, and bring your heart rate down a few notches. Just by taking 10-20min for yourself in the middle of the day you will stop that ramp-up of emotion that makes you drained by the end, and the walk is good for you too!

Teaching others provides job satisfaction to both the teacher and the learner! Resolve to teach a coworker (reception, nurse, assistant, vet, manager, boss, anyone) something each day. You will improve your own happiness by connecting with your colleagues, you will find a sense of fulfillment by contributing, and you will spread a feeling of knowledge hunger throughout your clinic! You will give someone else the gift of knowledge, and hopefully spark in them a desire to learn and grow. It is so easy to become jaded and just go through the motions at work, by teaching others you help break that cycle for both your co-worker and yourself!

To stay a KICK ASS VET you need to stay connected and up to date. Strive to offer ‘Gold Standard’ (or at least Evidence Based Medicine ) to every single client/patient. In order to do this you need to stay up-to-date. This is a daily commitment to be learning and growing from each case, and finding the most up-to-date recommendations. It’s far too easy to fall back on ‘what I have always done’. Resolve this year to ensure you are offering the best to each patient, even if that means you look up the treatment recommendations for EVERY SINGLE CASE- even if you have been in practice for 30 years.

Person picking a 'good' paper instead of 'bad'
By ACTIVELY choosing to remember 3 positive experiences each day you will be happier and more fulfilled, and will better combat those negative experiences.
We all know that if a client has a bad experience they will tell 10 people, and if a client has a good experience they will only tell 1 person. We are no exceptions from this! The reason this exists is because bad experiences stick with us and resonate for much longer, and much stronger than positive ones. ACTIVELY remembering and focusing on 3 positive interactions throughout the day, whether it was with clients, co-workers or a patient, will help you leave the day feeling happy and fulfilled, instead of seething about that 1 negative experience. It will help you balance.
Taking 10min on your commute home to focus on 3 positive interactions, as well as one thing you have learned and one thing you taught, will help you change your perception of how your day went, and help you feel recharged so you can both be excited for tomorrow, and enjoy the rest of today without feelings of negativity!
Not all resolutions can be achieved in one day. KICK ASS VETS recommends to often take stock of your life, both personal and professional, and assess what is working for you and what isn’t.

Make a list of priorities in your life. Are you putting your energy towards these priorities? Or is your energy going to tasks that it really doesn’t need to? (See Superhero Syndrome blog)

Assess whether or not you are happy in your current place of employment, your current relationships, and your current life-style. If you are, GREAT, keep on going. If you aren’t, try to determine WHY you are unhappy. Determining WHY you are unhappy is the first step to making changes. If you need help with this process check out or KICK ASS Consulting , and we can help you dissect your professional career to see what changes need to be made in order to to get you happy and satisfied!
A scale with a measuring tape and apple.
Setting SMART goals is important. Make sure you have a MEASURE for each goal, so you can assess progress!
Another resolution we recommend is to set 3 SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timed) goals for this year! Self-improvement should be ongoing, as people that are constantly improving themselves are happier and more fulfilled. Every year, every month, every day, set goals for yourself and then make a plan on how to achieve them. KICK ASS VETS recommends setting 3 goals, one for your professional life, one for your personal life, and one for those around you. By ensuring you are focusing on these three aspects you will push yourself into a more well-rounded person.

My 3 goals for this year are to improve my overall fitness by increasing my activity (exercising 4 times a week minimum), to improve my ultrasound skills (focusing CE on ultrasound this year), and to improve the lives of those in the vet community (continuing to work hard with KICK ASS VETS and to arrange talks with students). Each goal has a plan, this is important!
Share your goals and achievements with us at KICK ASS VETS either through KICK ASS VETS Instagram or KICK ASS VETS Facebook, #kickassvets!
Written by Dr. Ann Herbst BSc, DVM

Published January 1st, 2020

Advocate for yourself, you are the only one that will!

Most Recent Blogs
KICK ASS Boundaries for Locums
Locuming can leave you just as stressed and exhausted as full-time work, if you don't set the right boundaries!
Imposter Syndrome
Chances are you will experience Imposter Syndrome in your career, so tackle it head on!
KICK ASS Confidence
Confidence is knowing that you cannot know everything, and new/recent graduates need to know this!
Stay In Touch With Kick Ass Vets