We all have times when issues arise at work, and the current situation may only be emphasising them. Unusual working patterns, furlough guilt, trying to balance animal care with social distancing and changing team dynamics can really bring some issue to the fore. But what to do when you think it may be becoming too much? Here are our 6 top tips:
1: Be kind to yourself
This may be the buzz phrase of the year but self-care is really important. We will be sharing more information on this in the coming days, but the value of looking after your physical and mental health cannot be underestimated. It may be taking few days off, ensuring you have a good support network, or something as simple as switching your phone off when you get home.
2: Be clear in your thoughts
Write down how you are feeling, what contributes to it, what are the major issues. Basically be honest with yourself. If you are not honest with yourself, it is likely that you will make the wrong move. This may be harder to achieve than it sounds – you may feel one staff member is an issue whereas the reality is both your work-life balances have been tipped making a previously-tolerable relationship intolerable.
In the next blog in this series, we will discuss what to do when it seems unlikely that the practice you are in is right for you. The key message from this blog is honesty – be honest with yourself and then with those around you.
3: Let your manager know how you feel
This doesn’t mean going to them with every little issue, but without approaching an issue head on, resolutions will never be found. This is particularly important when a job ticks many of the boxes for you but just doesn’t seem to be working. Without honesty within the business, these issues will never be resolved – hoping it will fix itself is rarely a successful strategy.
4: Go with potential solutions
Sometimes as vets we forget that clients have lots of other things to worry about, and the same is often true of managers. They are balancing finances, clinic performance, and personal lives as well. They may not see your problem, and even if they do, they may not see a clear solution. Sometimes offering those alternatives to them may be just what they need to make their life easier whilst helping you as well. You are part of the solution so why not help form it.
5: Set some time scales
This comes back to the key point – honesty. You cannot afford to sit around for years waiting for an issue to be resolved. So discuss with your manager an appropriate timescale for improvements which is suitable for both you and the practice. There may be other factors going on which means it may not be quite as quick as you would like but understanding and agreeing time for action is key.
6: Don’t flog a dead horse
If you have gone to your manager with your issues, explained how you feel and still see no improvement, or signs that changes are being made, it is likely that either the practice does not want to make the changes or cannot make them. At this stage, consider whether the number of boxes the job ticks is enough for you.