Planning your career

JR job hunting

General practice

You could opt for general practice, like most UK vets. You’d probably start as an assistant and be promoted to senior assistant in two or three years. Then you could buy a share in the practice or go it alone.

If you fancy this option, you need to decide what type of animals you want to look after. Small animals? Large animals? Equine? Exotic? Mixed practice?

Out of hours work

In a general practice, you’ll also have to consider how you feel about working out of hours to cover the emergencies. If you want to see non-routine cases that you see less often during the day, choose a practice that runs its own out of hours so you can get involved, but it will mean working days as well as nights. Otherwise you should opt for a practice that outsources its out of hours cover. And of course, if you’re interested in out of hours work, you could consider Vets Now. You can find out what it entails here.

Emergency and critical care

ECC experience will advance your skills considerably, giving you the edge. But working both day and night shifts in general practice or on-call is hardcore, and can cause burnout after a while.

That’s why so many vets who want ECC experience apply to Vets Now. We only work nights, and we have plenty of days off to recover after a block of night shifts. It’s a more manageable way of developing your ECC skills and seeing some more interesting cases. It can even become a way of life, as so many of our vets who are still with us many years later, can vouch for.

Careers with Vets Now

Our career path isn’t as standardised as the career path in general practice. You could move on within the company, or go on to do something else. There are more opportunities open to you, and different ways of moving your career forward.

You might want to specialise in a particular field of medicine, meaning further study. Or you could go on to work for zoos, universities, the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, animal referral hospitals (such as ours), or animal welfare charities like the RSPCA, PDSA and Blue Cross.

Alternatively, you could move on to a research and / or teaching career within a university or research body. At Vets Now many of our vets lead CPD sessions, teach / coach other vets or lecture at our congresses.

To help you decide what you’d like to do, take a look at how others have achieved career progression through Vets Now.