Finding job satisfaction while maintaining a health work-life balance or integration is a goal we all share. But achieving this goal can take a special mindset – especially when it comes to the often-challenging practice of veterinary medicine.
The AVMA Trust 2022 Trend Report: U.S. Veterinarians’ Work-Life Experience1 compiled data and written responses from thousands of veterinarians nationwide on issues related to job satisfaction and factors that affect their work and life domains. One theme that rang through loud and clear: Developing “an attitude of gratitude” can help raise morale and increase overall job satisfaction.
Keep reading for words of wisdom from veterinary colleagues – and to discover how a grateful outlook on life can affect your work satisfaction in a positive way.
“Develop an attitude of gratitude.” While it may seem easier said than done, gaining a new perspective on life and work can be a key factor in increasing satisfaction with the balance between these worlds.
Many responding veterinarians from all stages of their careers emphasized that maintaining a positive attitude can greatly ease the stress you may feel while at work. One veterinarian recommends that their colleagues “power through because the next day is a new day.”
“Even in the darkest moments there is always something – although it might be small – to be grateful for. Point out to yourself one thing you're grateful for each day.” Leaving stressors at work and seeking out positive events can be a healthy and necessary habit to implement into your daily routine. Practicing these healthy coping mechanisms can greatly improve your mental health and lead to a higher rate of job satisfaction and a more fulfilling work-life integration.
Popular ways to find a silver lining in hard situations are telling loved ones about things you’re grateful for, reflecting on positive interactions you’ve had or witnessed, or journaling about life events that spark joy. Making a habit of viewing life in a positive light allows you to maintain a higher satisfaction with life and work while allowing space to fully experience difficult situations.
“Even when it is the worst, we're lucky we became vets! Positivity can be hard to practice but being grateful is easy. Focus on gratefulness when the days are overwhelming.” Taking a step back to gain perspective may help boost morale and serve as a reminder of why you joined the veterinary field.
The process of gaining perspective looks different for everyone. Some veterinarians emphasized the importance of taking time out of each day to verbally, mentally, or physically compile a list of things that inspire gratitude.
1The AVMA Trust 2022 Trend Report: U.S. Veterinarians’ Work-Life Experience is based on a national survey conducted in fall, 2021. N=2,553 Practicing Physicians. N=327 Retired Veterinarians. 95% confidence, ± 3% margin of error.