Episode 129 | Job Hopping: A Common Coping Mechanism in Vet Med

Hopping from job to job is a common coping mechanism in Vet Med.

When we hit the breaking point of discomfort in our current jobs, we start looking for a new position.

We justify it with a list of all things that are “bad” or “wrong” in our current job, and set out to find an alternative. 

When we find it, we feel excited, relieved, and even validated in our choice to leave.

So, for most of us, this coping mechanism kind of works, at least for a while…

At least until the issues from the old job become evident as issues in the new job as well.

And when those old issues create a breaking point of discomfort in the new job, the cycle begins again… looking for a better alternative, the one that will allow us to be happy.

After a few cycles of this, we start looking for alternative careers, or total exits from all things veterinary medicine… 

We wonder if maybe we weren’t cut out for this profession after all…

We conclude the profession is toxic and broken…

We discourage anyone who considers entering it themselves to try to save them from the disappointment and unhappiness we’ve experienced.

But what if we’re wrong about all of this?

What if our coping mechanism and the conclusions we draw are all based on false information?

I believe they are, and I explain it all in this episode. 



Website: https://joyfuldvm.com

Music Credit: Music by Lesfm from Pixabay


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This transcript is auto-generated and may contain typos.

Hi there. I'm Dr. Cari Wise, veterinarian, certified life coach and certified quantum human design specialist. If you're a veterinary professional looking to uplevel your life and your career, or maybe looking to go in an entirely new direction, then what I talk about here on the Joyful DVM podcast is absolutely for you. Let's get started. Hello, my friend.

Welcome back to the Joyful DVM Podcast. In today's episode, I want to spend some time talking about job hopping, which just might be the most common coping mechanism that we use in veterinary medicine when it comes to our jobs in veterinary medicine. For many of us, when we feel uncomfortable, when we are unhappy in our jobs, we start to look for an alternative.

We look for a different job to go to because we're holding the belief that the job itself is the problem, that we'll be happier somewhere else. And I'm not saying that we won't be because let's face it, every job that we start, we're happy at the beginning. We're excited about the adventure ahead, ahead. We wouldn't have accepted a job if we believed it was gonna be a miserable experience,

right? So instead, we accept these jobs believing that we are going to like it there, that we are going to enjoy the place, place that we work, the people we work with, that we're gonna make a difference. There's a whole list of things that we believe that has us feeling good about the job at hand. Now, I'm not saying that there isn't gonna be a little bit of nervousness,

because anytime we start something new, it's totally normal to feel a little bit of anxiety and a little bit of nervousness. We don't know exactly what to expect. We have an I idea, we have a belief that it's gonna be good, but we also just don't know. And stepping into the unknown is always a little bit scary. But in those moments,

as we start in these new positions, we feel more excitement than we do anxiety. And so we move forward after we're in our work environment for a while. Many of us start to experience uncomfortable or negative emotion, and it's a very, very normal human thing to do to start trying to draw conclusions about where the negative emotion is coming from. We're looking for a cause and effect,

and our world teaches us that if we're feeling bad, if we're feeling negative emotion, then there is something in our external environment that needs to be adjusted or fixed. That's why we start looking at all the things around us and drawing conclusions about how those things are making us miserable, my friends. What we don't understand is that that's not the way emotion works at all.

And because we don't understand this, we start to continue to gather our evidence of why the job or the people at the job or the hours associated with the job are the reasons why we feel terrible while why we're unhappy, why we can't possibly feel confident and excited as long as we work there. And the reasons that we give ourselves, they're pretty convincing.

As we stack them up together and we talk to each other about them, it's very easy to convince ourselves that the job itself is the problem and that we'll be happier in another one. And the truth is, initially we will be whenever we decide to change jobs, there is a level of excitement and positive anticipation that comes with it. As you look around to find a new position,

and then you apply for that position and you interview and then ultimately get hired for that new position, you are looking forward to that new adventure. You're believing that the new job is going to be better than the old one. You're believing that the environment is going to be better, that the hours are going to be better, maybe even that the pay is going to be better.

And when you focus on those things and your belief that it will be better, the experience that you create for yourself initially is a better experience. And once you've been in that new job for a while, a lot of the things that you identified as problems that the old one start to pop up. Have you been through this cycle? Many of us have,

and many of us of us have been through this cycle over and over again. The same issues that were problem in job number one pop up as issues in job number two, the same shenanigans and within the hospital that you experienced in job number one might pop up in job number two. And over time, you may then conclude that job number two is also just a bad job that it's making you miserable.

That is keeping you from being happy. And so you start to look for job number three. The amount of time that it takes to go from job one to job two or job two to job three is really independent, right? It just depends on each and every one of us. For me personally, I had three jobs my first year out of veterinary school.

So this was a process that I became familiar with in a hurry, but I also didn't understand what was really happening. I was just using it as a coping mechanism to get through my experience in veterinary medicine. And I'd like to say that after three jobs at the hopping stop, but the truth is that it didn't because I still did not understand what was really happening.

I didn't understand that it never was the job that was creating the way that I felt. Now, I'm not saying that every job is an ideal fit, and I guarantee you that job number one, for me was not the right fit. But I didn't leave job number one because I had strategically analyzed the fit of that job in alignment with the goals that I had for myself.

I didn't have that level of of knowledge or maturity, and I certainly didn't have any kind of blueprint to help me analyze it in that way. I just knew that I didn't feel good in that job. I wasn't happy in that job, and my brain concluded that the job was the problem, and so I needed to find a new one. And so I did.

And as that second job then was great to be begin with and eventually not so great, and I began to look for job number three. This cycle started to repeat itself. And over the years, it repeated itself several times when I got to that breaking point of unhappiness, I would seek another job, and at first it would all be great, and then eventually it wouldn't.

And as we all go through this cycle enough times, we used this coping mechanism of job hopping enough times, and we keep encountering situations, job environments, that we simultaneously feel disheartened or unhappy or stressed out all the time. It's very easy to conclude after three or four of these types of experiences, it's easy to conclude that we are not cut out for veterinary medicine,

that it's us. That's the problem that we never should have gone into this profession in the first place. And my friends, nothing could be further than the truth. The truth is that we just don't understand where all of that emotional energy is coming from in the first place. And because we don't understand it, we have concluded that it comes from the circumstances of our jobs.

After all, this is what we're taught. We're taught from a very early age that it is our circumstances that create the way that we feel, and we've had no reason to question it until somebody like me comes along and tells you that that's not the truth of the origin of emotion at all, my friends. The truth is that our circumstances never create our emotional experiences,

and when we learn how to leverage the space around our circumstances, we can change our emotional experiences of them 100% of the time. That means that we aren't required to hop jobs in order to feel better or to sustain ourselves in a career In veterinary medicine, it also creates the opportunity for us to evaluate our jobs in a more strategic way because it is true that not every job is the right fit for every single person and finding the right fit job is absolutely something that every single one of us should,

should strive to achieve. It's an opportunity that we should all pursue, but finding the right fit job isn't going to be something that happens by accident. It happens with intention. It starts with understanding what it is that you want in a job to begin with. It starts with a lot of the technical, technical aspects around hours and staffing and services performed.

And only after you've identified all of those things, well, you have the opportunity then to explore the emotion around it. And when you can remember that the emotion you experience in any job is never created by the job itself, you get to keep all of your power. Your emotional wellbeing is then no longer dependent on the job you hold because you are the master of your own wellbeing.

This is the power of leveraging the space, and this is how we stop that eternal job swapping as a coping mechanism in veterinary medicine. It's the way through. Many, many of us have survived our careers, but my friends, we aren't meant to survive our careers. We're meant to thrive in our careers and in our entire lives. We're meant to have an experience that allows us to enjoy the way that we spend our time at work and then also disconnect and enjoy all of the time that we spend at home as well,

pursuing whatever personal activities and interests that we have. We don't need to rely on circumstances to feel good or to feel bad. We actually get to decide that for ourselves 100% of the time. But as long as we continue to believe that our happiness is conditional and conditioned upon the type of job that we have, we will keep our happiness always at someplace in the future.

We will be stuck in a someday kind of scenario, a when and then situation. When I find the right job, then I can be happy. When I work the perfect hours, then I can be happy. It keeps that happiness always somewhere out in front of you, and it takes all of your power away to create it for yourself. You're so much more powerful than that.

It's just likely that you, like me, never knew that you had the opportunity to leverage the space to decide for yourself what you believed in any situation, to create your own emotional wellbeing moment by moment no matter what happened at work or in the world. And this is my gift for you today. This is my hope for you today is that you'll start to at least consider that maybe just maybe the quality of your life is not dependent on the job that you have,

that your job does not have the power to ruin your emotional wellbeing or to ruin your life as a whole. Maybe just maybe going into veterinary medicine wasn't the worst decision ever, and you aren't required to com compromise any of your life or your wellbeing because you chose this career field. I promise you all of these things are true, but as long as we hold onto the idea that our circumstances are in charge of our emotional wellbeing and what's possible in re regard to our emotional wellbeing,

as long as our emotional wellbeing remains at the effect of those decisions, if there's a cause and effect type of situation there, then we will always fall short of the experience that we wanna have. What I want you to know is that even though this job hopping is a very common coping mechanism and one that works okay, and one I've used myself and one that many,

many of us use, I want you to know that it is not required In order for you to take back control of your life, you get to have whatever kind of experience you want to have that is yours and yours alone to decide. And when you step into the power of deciding for you, what you're going to experience today, what type of emotion you're going to create,

and what outcomes you wanna create for your future, nothing as simple as a job can ever stand in your way. You're so much more powerful than any of the circumstances around you. And if you do determine throughout your process that the job you're in just isn't the right fit, that it doesn't align with the vision that you have, that includes your own morals,

ethics, and values, and how you spend your time and how you engage with your veterinary clients and patients, then by all means let's find a job that's a better fit for what you want for your life. But let's let that job alignment be determined by the situations and circumstances of the job, the factual elements, and not alone based on how you feel within it.

Because if all the factual elements of the job line up to what you want and you're not required to compromise your morals, ethics, and values as part of your workday and you still feel miserable, the odds are your opportunity to feel great relies only on you, on you becoming familiar with your own thought processes, with your own perspective, and for you taking back control and power over your own emotional wellbeing.

Every single one of us has the power to do exactly this, and it's leveraging the space that gets you there. Stop giving away your wellbeing to things that you will never control. You don't need clients to be happy or patients to get better before you can enjoy your job in veterinary medicine. You don't need your coworkers to have a shiny disposition before you can enjoy your work days,

my friends. You get to decide all of that for yourself. And as soon as you learn that your wellbeing is not conditional upon the situation and circumstances around you, the sooner you will start to experience not only more balance in your life, but more happiness as well. All right, my friends, that's gonna wrap it up for this episode. I'll see you soon.

Bye for now.