Have you ever taken a step back and wondered what others think about you as a colleague? Do you consider yourself kind, giving, patient, considerate of others, and respectful or is it all about you, everyone else be damned? Most of us would say that we don’t care what others think but in reality, you should. Who you are and how you conduct yourself, especially in a team culture, can make a lasting imprint on others and your reputation in veterinary medicine.

Your reputation will follow you throughout your career whether you like it or not. Once you have given someone the wrong perception of yourself, it is very hard to convince them otherwise. It will also be tough to convince a future employer that you are any different than the reputation that proceeds you. I can promise you that the veterinary industry is smaller than you think, and I know someone that you know. It is a small world after all.

Have you thought about why you didn’t get the job even though you were a rock star at your last clinic? Constantly wonder why you didn’t get a call in the first place? What about that promotion you have applied to over and over again even though you are qualified? I can tell you from experience that it is based on feedback from your previous employer or a reference that didn’t go the way you were expecting.

For example, I once received an awesome resume for a potential employee. It was perfectly formatted and the applicant had a stellar education background as well as being employed locally. I was so excited to let the owner of the hospital know that we had a winner! When I mentioned the name to the owner, the first word out of their mouth was the applicant was a definite no.

This particular person (based on feedback from previous clients who now go to this hospital I am hiring for) did not show any compassion towards clients or patients, was short tempered and had no personality whatsoever. This particular instance is one where reputation won’t even get you an interview based on client feedback. Funny thing is, does the applicant even know that they have a reputation?

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you demonstrate patience with others in a teaching environment or do you become impatient very easily?
  • Do you inspire others or is it all about you? Do you listen to your coworkers or interrupt them to get your point across?
  • Do you believe in a team or would you rather do it yourself?
  • Do you take more than you give?
  • Do you keep to yourself while doing your job or gossip at the expense of others?
  • Do you believe you are an equal or above everyone else?

If you answered yes to the first part of each question, congratulations on being you. You are compassionate, giving, happy, genuine, thoughtful and someone I would be proud to be on a team with. If you answered no, then Houston, we have a problem.

Here are three ways that could easily damage your reputation in veterinary medicine:

  1. Lack of Work Ethic

You do the bare minimum to get by, always make excuses, are lazy, constantly late, always looking at the clock, never stay late, procrastinates, love to gossip, have poor attendance, and lack a professional appearance.

  1. Bad Attitude

You are always whining, complaining, rude to coworkers, contagiously negative, speak nonstop offensive language, are aggressive, bossy, entitled, cruel, harsh, temperamental, and condescending to others.

  1. Not a Team Player

You feel you are above or better than the rest of the team, lack support and compassion for others, lack flexibility, blame others, are irresponsible and selfish, don’t believe in the common goal, are unproductive and unmotivated, avoid others, or are detached from work and unreliable.

If you lack work ethic, have a bad attitude and don’t care about your teammates, then it might be time to find a job where you work by yourself so that the only damage you are doing is to yourself.  If you can relate to any of these, there is still time for you to change and remember where you came from instead of being bitter, mad and an ass all of the time. Our reputation is just like a credit score. It is easier to damage than repair it, but with time, effort and determination, it can be done. You just have to care and acquire the motivation to do so.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the DrAndyRoark.com editorial team.

ToshazimmermanABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tosha has been a CVT since 2002 working in emergency, internal medicine and neurology. She has a passion for mentoring technicians to create a more positive work environment. When Tosha is not interviewing prospective candidates for Veterinary Practice Partners and their hospitals, you may find her dancing at a country music concert or relaxing at home in her hammock with Jagger and Dirty.