Choosing the right first practice job

First practice role
New graduate vets and vet nurses face a host of difficult decisions, some of which cannot be solved with clinical acumen. There are a number of resources that offer advice and inspiration to help graduates take the right first steps, and cover one of the most impactful decisions of any veterinary career - choosing a first job.

Factors to consider when selecting your first job

There are many nuanced factors to consider regarding a first job. Salary may not be the most important to everyone but it can be objectively assessed and is an increasingly concerning area in an ever-changing economy. The article ‘deal or no deal’, taken from the Student Companion 2009, provides tools to help assess the true value of a job offer and calculate take home earnings, taking into account taxable benefits such as company cars, CPD allowances and accommodation.

Advice tool - webinars

The two webinars ‘It’s your career, own it’ and ‘Taking care of yourself in your new career’, recorded at BSAVA Congress 2018, give a frank view of the challenges ahead of new graduates whilst promoting the rewards that perseverance and drive can bring.

If your first job is in clinical practice

Some graduates have a very clear goal in mind as they enter clinical practice. However, there is no shame in having a less specific aim, or even changing course entirely if an early career does not live up to expectations. RVN Matthew Rendle uses his own colourful career as an example of the diverse paths open to new members of the profession, and stresses the importance of pushing yourself if you want to progress or change your role in the workplace. Matthew highlights the lack of information available to prospective veterinary nurses, and the lack of diversity currently exhibited in the industry, urging existing and new members of the community to stand up and be proud of their vital role in the veterinary world.

Confidence is key

Projecting confidence, genuine or otherwise, is an important skill for veterinary practitioners. Experienced first opinion small animal vet Cat Henstridge, AKA ‘Cat The Vet’, promotes the importance of a healthy frame of mind and provides specific tips to help listeners through the early days/weeks/months of their first job. Being a new graduate vet is stressful and tiring, and it is important to accept that this is normal; Cat states that finding the right approach to stress is key, as it lays a foundation for a fulfilling career.

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