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Investing in your MOST valuable veterinary asset

Posted in Operations @ Mar 12th 2015 - By Judy Gillespie, Vetanswers
Investing In Your Most Valuable Asset You

Working in the veterinary industry you may not think you own many assets...

A version of this post appeared in the AVNJ Vol 19, No 4

So what is your most valuable asset? Your house?  Your car? Your awesome collection of ceramic horses? (maybe that’s just me!) Or are you spluttering into your coffee thinking...  “Assets?  What assets?  I don’t earn enough to invest in any assets!”

Fair point!  But if that’s what you’re thinking, then you’ve missed the biggest asset that every single person has... yourself!

Every asset needs some maintenance to grow in value

So how much money, time and effort do you regularly invest into developing yourself?  Specifically ....your professional development? I know it can be hard to think about attending courses, webinars or conferences especially when they generally require an investment of time and money.  But to not invest in your professional development is really like sailing in the ocean with no rudder, or sails for that matter.  You’ll definitely get somewhere over time but it’s unlikely to be a destination of your choice.

Now you may also be thinking... “Staff training?  That’s up to the boss to pay for.” But why should your boss pay for your professional development? 

If you don’t invest in yourself then why should you expect anyone else to do so? 

Investing in yourself allows you to take control of your career and your life.  You can choose what training to invest in, when and where you would like to attend, and the skills and knowledge you would like to develop.  If your boss also offers to pay for some training – then that’s icing on the cake!

Apart from money, developing your professional skills also requires an investment of time and attitude – and all three are essential.  It’s not enough to buy a book or register for a webinar and then never read it or listen to it. It’s also not enough to attend a conference or course and then go back to work and not make any attempt to implement new skills or knowledge.

Taking control of your own professional development successfully, requires you to budget funds to invest in books, memberships, webinars, seminars and conferences.  It requires you to set time aside to regularly read, listen and learn.  And most importantly it requires you to open your mind to new ideas and new ways of doing things.

So what are the benefits to all this learning and taking control? 

Well, taking control of anything in your life is very empowering; in fact there is nothing more stressful than the feeling of not being in control!

Your brain is also just like the muscles in your body - the more you use and stretch it, the stronger it becomes.   Your brain loves any sort of learning and just like exercising your body, the more you do it the easier it becomes, the better you feel, and the more learning you will want to do.

And now is the time to start planning.  

Set aside some time each day, or even each week to start with, and catch up on your reading (turn off the TV if that’s what it takes!).  Listen to audio books or podcasts on the move, at the gym or waiting in line at the supermarket.  Sit down and review all the conferences, workshops and seminars that are available and choose some – even one – to attend and add those dates into your calendar.  Think about how you will apply the new knowledge or skills into your life and do it. 

Start off with one new thing at a time.

Take your professional development seriously – develop a fierce attitude for learning. Yep it’s going to cost money and time.  Yep you may have to sacrifice something to fit it all in, but in time the benefits will outweigh the sacrifice.

You never know what the future holds and learning could be the key to your future.  If there are parts of your job or your career that you’re not happy with and you choose to do nothing, well... that’s what will change.... nothing!  If you choose to invest some time, money and attitude into your professional development then you may be very surprised at the direction your future takes you.  

If you're not sure what professional development is available then you definitely need to check out Vetanswers' 'What's on? Veterinary CPD Calendar' for the veterinary industry. It's got all the training, workshops, conferences, seminars, webinars I could find. Visit www.vetanswers.com.au to find out more....

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