Even though I no longer work in a veterinary capacity, the knowledge, feelings, and the skill set don’t simply go away.
I started at my former hospital when I was 18 years old, I started by scooping the yard and walking dogs as so many of us do. I hired in under what some might call an ‘old school’ veterinarian. He rarely ever spoke to me directly, he would address our only technician (sometimes right next to me) and then she, in turn, would instruct me on the matter at hand. Crazy, right? After a couple of years of this, a new veterinarian purchased the clinic. This one was amazing. She liked me, she talked to me, and did everything she could to help me succeed. I finally had a boss that allowed me to realize my potential and build my self-confidence. This was especially significant to me because I have a profound hearing loss. I never doubted my abilities with my hearing loss, but it sure freaking helps when you’re beyond successful and have a great support system. With my passion for people and my ideas that generated revenue, I eventually found myself in a management position. There wasn’t a management role to be filled, it just sorta happened.
At the very most, I only ever managed 12 people at a time. There are some of you that run practices that employ 50+ people. The memes of an extremely elderly woman with the caption of: “Who says vet med is stressful? I’m 29 and I feel great!”, come to mind. Hell, I felt like that with 12 a lot of the time!
As the practice grew, I went from simply doling out my PO’s wishes to advocating for my team. This was the pinnacle of my career when I realized that this was the most important thing. Without a team, we have nothing. That’s when my job got tougher and my work-life balance got a little trickier. Work-life balance will be revisited at a later time… Sure, I could continue to order people around in my softer way of doing things, but the people matter so much when they wish to be heard. Everybody has their own things going on but the job at hand must be done. Balancing the two for the team, myself, and the PO, all while staying committed to each layer, became my new goal. Was I super successful at it? Hard to say… I was never fired, so that’s a plus! I like to think I made a positive impact on each of my team members but personal feedback is hard to come by in this profession in this role, short of directly asking or emailing surveys.
Well, there ya have it. My timeline of my career in veterinary medicine.