I quit my job today!! After years of envying others, I decided to leave my job and TRAVEL.
Well, by the time this is going up, I actually quit last week. But I wrote this essay 4 months ago, when I made the decision that October 27, 2017 would be my last day at work. I wrote it to see how I would feel; to make sure it was the right decision. And I feel the same now as I did then: hopeful, happy, excited…and now, way less stressed.
Being a veterinarian is hard. Don’t get me wrong – I love my profession. I’ve wanted to help animals since I was a kid, and getting to do it daily is amazing. But weary is the childhood dream with adult realities.
A big part of the fatigue may be a product of the specific clinic I was at, but I decided it was time for a break. Burnout is such a problem in the veterinary community, and I knew I needed to take a step back before I stopped loving what I was doing. Luckily, I’m a pretty optimistic person and even in the most stressful of times, I can always look ahead to the next big thing (usually a trip).Unfortunately, others aren’t as fortunate. Veterinarians have one of the highest suicide rates, which is a sad statistic. Dealing with life and death decisions daily, with emotional owners, is tough.
Part of the solution, I believe, is having not just a good but a GREAT work-life balance. Whether it’s exercise, crafts, reading, or traveling, having hobbies outside of veterinary medicine is crucial. Schools, employers, colleagues and clients should encourage it.
I knew one vet who was working full-time and volunteering (i.e. working) on his days off. If that’s what you’re truly passionate about, then go for it; but that’s not me. And that doesn’t make me any less of a caring veterinarian.
Luckily, I’m in the position that I can leave and focus on my other passions for a few months. I’m a veterinarian; but I’m also a travel addict, an amateur photographer, and a wannabe writer. So I revived my blog from vet school, and after a redesign, The Traveling Vet Girl was born. I hope you’ll follow along on my journey!