The time has come — you have completed your vet tech degree program, you have ordered your cap and gown and are ready to start your career as a vet tech.
Whether you have already found your first vet tech position or are still searching for a job, the following three career tips can be of benefit to any vet tech graduate.
1. Leverage your networks immediately
Throughout your college experience, chances are you have met instructors, students, college staff members and community members who can help you throughout your career. If you completed volunteer work with an animal shelter or other animal service organization, keep in touch with fellow volunteers or the organization staff members as they likely share a common passion for animals and the work you will do as a vet tech.
If you completed an internship or externship as part of your vet tech degree program, your supervisors or fellow volunteers are another great resource for you. If they feel good about the work that you completed as part of your internship or externship, they may consider you for future positions with their organization or provide you a recommendation for another vet tech position.
Your college’s career services team can also be of service to you throughout your career. Don’t hesitate to meet with the career services team following graduation if you want assistance with your resume, cover letter or interviewing skills.
2. Never stop learning
While a vet tech degree program prepares you for a job in the field, on-the-job training is common in just about every career field. It is important to embrace each learning opportunity that comes your way throughout your career. Not only will learning new vet tech skills on the job help you to become a better vet tech, it will also keep your job fun and interesting. If you are given the opportunity to do something new, take it.
Other ways to learn new concepts pertaining to veterinary technology include professional development courses or volunteering. Professional development classes for veterinary technology can be a great way to keep up to date on industry trends while learning from other professionals in the field.
As you likely learned during your college career, volunteering can provide a way to not only help a cause, but also enhance your skills in various areas that pertain to a vet tech career. Volunteering is something you can do throughout your vet tech career.
3. Utilize industry associations
Participating in industry associations goes hand in hand with the idea of learning more about your career field. Even if you don’t join an association, some have opportunities open to the public. The veterinary and animal science industry has many associations in which vet tech professionals can network, learn more about the field and participate in relevant events.
Associations such as the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) or the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) are often made up of thought leaders in the area of animal science and offer resources that can be useful to any vet tech.
The bottom line is that graduating from a vet tech degree program is only the beginning of what can be an exciting and rewarding career. Consider your networks, learning opportunities and industry associations throughout your career, as they are three areas that will remain important to your vet tech career.