I am a firm believer in only doing a job you love. Amb is right, we only do our summer jobs for money and they get boring after so long, be it café work, bracken spraying or cleaning holiday cottages. But that’s okay. We’re only doing them to save up for Leeds Fest, girls holiday or Christmas presents. All work is an experience, it just seems that most of my work is work experience. Besides the ever-growing washing pile and iodine fake-tan hands, I guess the main downside is the lack of pay. I’ve spent hours “working” over the years to help out farmers and vet practices to the best of my ability. I am a keen learner and although the cash would be helpful, especially now, the real reward is the relief I can provide by doing a decent job. I have repeated a lot of my placements because the universities expect the work dates on my application to be within the past 2-3 years.
I have realized that I haven’t discussed how I go about earning money, mainly because I HATE talking about money. I’ve never been driven by money or equally ever short of money, as I have always worked and saved; the savviest student in Liverpool, so my bank says. This makes self-funding my next undergraduate degree even harder as I am forced to borrow from loved ones and not be as independent. Over previous summers I worked in my family café, and before that a local pub but to get a longer days work, I will be bracken spraying on the moor (yes, I think I probably am obsessed with moor). I am of course working at uni and saving the grants I have been awarded for good grades. I have a difficult and busy timetable, with little time off for a normal part-time job. In between lectures, I can squeeze in some exercise (my stress reliever) but I have managed to work on uni open days and as a customer service assessor.
That’s enough money talk for now, on to the roles of a vet:
Vets are much like Mr. Ben and the costume shop, stepping into a dressing room to an unknown place. When vets are consulting clients, they don’t know what they are going to face, financially or medically. With a BVetMed degree, they are qualified ‘veterinary surgeons’, accredited by the RCVS. Whether they are consulting at a surgery/ practice or ‘out and about’, vets are responsible for microchipping, vaccinating, perform surgery, health checks, euthanasia, advising, testing and diagnosing. Small, large or mixed (the best of both) animal vets face dynamic changes to their daily routines as things don’t always go to plan with emergencies and relapses cropping up. You can even move from surgery to surgery as a locum if you really want to spice up your life.
Besides the common vet practices mentioned above, some specialise in particular areas of medicine (‘Super Vet’) or species; equine, farm/ livestock and wild/ zoo animals. Military vets work closely with dogs and horses. There are vets working in academia as lecturers and research as toxicologists, pathologists and in laboratory diagnosis. Government roles are less favoured, such as working for DEFRA. They have numerous roles in disease research and outbreaks (mad cow disease, foot and mouth, Tb), pet passports and most importantly (for the meat eaters amongst you) inspecting animal products are safe for human consumption. This sector is largely dominated by European qualified vets.
Some vets don’t choose the generic pathways and rely less on their medical qualifications. Working in (get ready for a list) behaviour, charity, welfare (RSPCA), nutrition, physiotherapy, care/ security/ racing/ recreation with dogs and horses (‘Send in the Dogs UK’ etc), conservation, zookeeping, animal technology, chiropractic, management and business, insurance, public health/ NHS, sales, farm and land management, writing (James Herriot) and lastly, the ‘One Health Initiative’ (aka all that antibiotic resistance babble which is actually SO important). There’s a boot to fit everyone of course, all of these roles can be combined with travelling abroad (reminds me of another children’s TV programme: Franny’s feet). With all these possible roles, it’s clear that vets work with and affect us all in some shape or form.
Back to my original point, only doing a job you love. My Mum has never met anyone who loves their job more than my Aunty who works as a graphic designer for magazines. All the vets I have met honestly love their job but it comes as no surprise that after dentistry, veterinary has the highest suicide rate. Their responsibilities and working hours are incredibly strenuous, mentally and physically but also incredibly antisocial, despite their relatively normal wage. I question what I do and why I am doing it because health and happiness is the most important thing. Respect is earned and wealth is a luxury. On average, we spend 1/3 of our lives working so essentially to love your life you’ve got to love what you do.
I’ll be continuing from my last blog with more talk on interviews next, so if you fancy going for vet yourself and want some tips or maybe you’re going on Dragon’s Den, have a scroll. If not just enjoy the pics of animals, I know Mum does.
THANK YOU for donating: Les and family, sporty Notts friends and my darling sister, who was so keen for a mention you’d think I was actually famous. Have a nosey through my next two challenges, Snowdon and Swimathon, that you may have seen on my crowdfunding too. Hoping and praying only the latter is wet and wild but I hear Wales is worse off than dear Yorkshire for its drizzle. There’s always my PayPal if you’re not bothered about me breaking a sweat for charity. Big loves xx
Never too far away from a vets, even on holiday
Working hard……or hardly working?