5 unexpected ways of how'letting your hair down will help your everyday practice.
Whether you're a self-professed party animal or the thought of your annual practice Christmas party gives you chills, networking is rarely something taught to veterinary professionals at university. But often quoted as a delegate's favourite part of attending Vet Shows, no matter where in the world, is the social element. Sociology experts could attribute this to the feeling of reassurance after extended geographical isolation, or perhaps the likeliness to run into old colleagues or university friends on mass.
Perhaps the word 'networking' itself has negative connotation for you. But if you think that it means name badges, cheap wine and awkward self-promotion, think again. Just like there are varying styles of learning, there are different types of networking. For example, at the London Vet Show, if you want to rub shoulder with leaders of the vet sector, attend the BVA Gala Dinner. If you want to let off some steam with your team, attend the Party Night. If you're in the market for a mentor and to improve your career, join TVM and Vets: Stay, Go, Diversify for their Vet Passport Career Networking Event.
The other Vet Shows hold the same potential. The organiser teams of each location engineer a host of various events to make all types of vet professionals comfortable to socialise and build their networks. Why? Because networking can improve your daily veterinary practice! How'?
Reward Your Staff
Tempting your team with free food and drinks is really motivational. With summer holidays a distant memory and that end-of-year exhaustion setting in, boost morale of your hard-working staff with the promise of an upcoming party. Hosting it offsite at a Vet Show is a great opportunity to engage with your team in a relaxed setting. It will be a great pick-me-up before the busy Christmas period. Plus, even better news ' the Vet Show team have done all the planning for you. One less thing to stress over'.
Share Best Practice
Mingling with peers can lead to learning a host of new tricks of the trade simply by word of mouth. Think about what clinical or business topics you're passionate about, and some skills you could share with colleagues. Similarly - you might know a certain surgical skill down pat but guaranteed someone else at the party could use some guidance. Don't be shy of sharing humorous stories of 'what not to do' either. These are great conversation starters.
Advance Your Career
That old saying goes 'it's not what you know but who you know'. And this rings true in the veterinary world. You don't need to be master of small talk to meet someone who can help you climb the ranks. If you're just starting out in vet practice, remember that everyone else in the room has gone through what you have. Be brave and introduce yourself to a host of different people. You'll never know where your paths will cross again.
Be Kind to Yourself
The vet world can be tough. As a veterinary professional, you are inclined to perfectionism and the subsequent self-criticism. A party is a great opportunity to dress to the nines, have a few drinks and unwind. And if you need convincing, here is some science: being social has proven to reduce the risk of heart disease and improve memory (watch how many wines you consume or this has the opposite affect), you'll sleep better having unloaded stress, you'll laugh and dance which is the ultimate mood booster!
Celebrate Your Profession
How often do you actually take time to sit back and recognise how important the veterinary profession is? As a vet professional, you pour your heart and soul into your job. Instead of worrying about your patients, staff, practice or personal life, take time to gather and celebrate with likeminded veterinary peers. You'll leave the party with a warm, fuzzy feeling that you'll carry back to your practice after the Vet Show, and refresh you for the year to come!
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