Reset, assess and move forward

There’s a way of thinking that says: “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!” or the more traditional version: “Leave well alone.” And that’s the reason many Vets ignore that small voice inside that whispers there could be something more. Why make a change if you have a good position in a well-respected practice with a great boss? It’s what most Vets would dream of having in terms of career so you should be satisfied, right?

Indeed being grateful for what you have is an important element of finding contentment. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do more or be more, whether it’s at your existing practice or somewhere else. That small voice inside reflects your heart’s desires. It’s the voice of your dreams, what you envisioned for your life, don’t ignore it. Rather use it to reset.

Resetting is simply about taking stock of where you’re at in life and reflecting on opportunities and options. Then making changes in line with that. The changes you make don’t need to be massive, they could involve small things.

What small changes could make a big difference to your life?

Here’s an example, if you’re frustrated that you never seem to find the time to exercise or clear your head you might consider cycling to work some days instead of driving. This would give you time to exercise and clear your mind, helping you start your day with more energy and a sense of accomplishment. Or if you’re not feeling quite that energetic, you could wake up 30 minutes earlier than usual and spend the time reading, meditating or enjoying the quiet time without distractions while you sip a cup of tea.

If you’re feeling as though you want to focus your career more, you could start by considering what aspect of being a Vet you enjoy most. Is it surgery? Is it consulting? Is it working with a specific type of animal or in a particular medical field? Are there options to develop your skills in that direction? Have you even asked? Most of the time practice owners will be happy to support their staff in developing specialist skills. It adds value to the practice and by supporting your goals, it means you’re more likely to stay with the practice rather than look for opportunities elsewhere.

What’s the value in resetting?

Life is busy (in and out of lockdown) and it’s easy to get into a rhythm of just doing, because there is always so much to get done. Then one day you realise that you’re starting to feel disgruntled with life, as if you want to stop the world from spinning and just get off and take a break. You start wondering if your life has any purpose anymore? The smallest things start to get to you, and before you know it you’re in a downward spiral.

But resetting can help you avoid that because it gives you an opportunity to evaluate your life when you’re still feeling good about it. Which means you’ll think more clearly about your options, be less emotional and make better decisions. Also by resetting at intervals in your life, you don’t need to make such drastic changes.

Consider this: When sailing, a skipper can’t just set a direct course from one town to the next and hope they’ll get there. Not when the yacht has to navigate storms, coastlines and constantly changing winds and currents. So part of the skill in sailing is knowing how to constantly adjust course in line with where the wind and drift are taking the yacht in relation to where they want to go.

It’s the same for a career path. If you’ve set long terms goals, resetting is assessing where you’re at in relation to those goals, and then making small changes to get back on track. You may even realise in the resetting process that the goals you once had are no longer that important to you and then you have an opportunity to set new goals in line with your new dreams and aspirations. If you hadn’t taken the time to re-evaluate your goals, you may never have realised that.

No matter where you are in your life and veterinary career, it’s always good to evaluate if it’s what you want to be doing, what opportunities are out there, and to consider your options.

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