Thursday 06th Apr, 2017
Great Advice from Inglis Vets in Dunfermline on getting the very best job for you!
There are lots of things to consider when you start to look for your first job. It's important not to just accept the first job you're offered unless it feels like the right job for you.
Support - no matter how hard working you were as a student you will lack experience when you start your first job. Although you want to be able to stand on your own feet as much as possible it's important to know you will have support there if needed. Will you be in a branch practice alone to begin with, will someone be around if your bitch spey starts bleeding, is someone available for advice at 2 o'clock in the morning. Some practices will arrange a 2nd on call to be available initially and this is usually a more experienced member of staff.
As a new graduate your nurses will be invaluable helping you find things around the practice as well as giving you advice and support. Find a practice who have experienced qualified nurses who work closely with the vets.
Location - having spent the last five years at university surrounded by other students, starting your first job can be a lonely experience. Often you are moving to an area you are unfamiliar with and it will take time to settle in and meet new people. Look into the area that the practice is in- are there sports clubs you'd be interested in, is it a quiet area where most people are settled with family. When you first move most of your friends will come from work until you meet others so find out if the staff socialise together, a younger team will often socialise more than those who are settled with families.
Rota - although a lot of practices now have an OOH provider many will still cover their own emergency work especially in mixed or large animal practice. Find out how often you will be required to work nights, how busy the nights tend to be and whether you get time off in lieu of working nights. Some mixed practices have a 2nd on call which can mean you are actually on call more often than you expect although it does mean you will always have someone to call for advice. It's also important to know whether or not you have a nurse on call with you, it's stressful having to do an operation in the middle of the night but this is much worse if you're having to do the anaesthetic as well!
Pay- as a new graduate your salary tends to be less important in deciding whether a job is right for you but most new graduates have debts and obviously need to start paying these off. SPVS carry out an annual salary survey which can help you to know what starting salary to expect. Many practices offer packages which include a car,house,CPD, RCVS fees and VDS cover.
Interviews- An interview is a two-way thing. It is a chance for a potential employer to get to know you and decide whether you will fit into the team but it also gives you a chance to explore the practice and find out what equipment they have, ask about the nature of the work, speak to existing staff including the person you are replacing if it is appropriate.
Research the practice before you go for interview (use google!), ask any contacts in the veterinary profession if they know about the practice, find out how often they have staff changes. Take a list of questions with you and don't be afraid to take notes in the interview.
If you accept a job and after a few months are unhappy, don't be scared to move on and find a better fit. There is no shame in only staying a short time and better than being unhappy and often affecting your confidence longer term.