Recently, I have been on the hunt for a job as a veterinarian (hold on—pinching myself—okay, yes this is not a dream). It has been exciting and terrifying, all wrapped up into a delicious life moment burrito. I have put together a few tips for future students who will soon go out on this journey of searching for your perfect job.
- Interview with more than one place. Make sure you take your time and interview with more than one place. There are a lot of opportunities out there and it can be an exciting time when you’re finally looking for a job. It can feel especially rushed when many of your classmates already have accepted positions but remember there is no rule that you NEED to have a contract signed before you graduate. Make sure you visit these clinics, meet all of the staff, and be sure that it is going to be a good fit for you. Ask questions—what the day to day operations look like if mentorship is offered and what that looks like, what would your first few months look like for appointments, etc.
- Let them impress you. It can be hard to think of yourself as being the doctor soon, but you will be! You are going to be an essential part of wherever you end up and it’s important that you remember that. Some clinics are going to want to impress you (as they should if they want you as a future employee!). If they want to take you out for dinner, let them! It is a wonderful way to get to know them too. I found it hard at times to be “wined and dined” so to speak, and I didn’t want it to seem like I was taking advantage of people. Just remember that you’re not taking advantage of anyone! You are just trying to see if the clinic is a good fit for you and somewhere that you can see yourself growing into a talented veterinarian!
- Negotiate your contract. When you finally do decide on a clinic, whether it’s money or benefits, you should negotiate your contract. If you’re like me and don’t really know exactly what you are doing, but you know what you would like, there are companies that can help you. Look into options at your school and beyond—some places will do it for free and they have a lot of experience in the matter. It is worth your while to look into it, and remember the worst the employer can say is no but at least you tried. And if you can’t come to an agreement on something that is important to you, maybe you should look elsewhere. There is no shortage of jobs for vets right now.
So remember, take your time when finding the right job for you. Make sure you enjoy the community, feel supported by staff members, and overall can see yourself thriving at your new job!