Defining Personal Values for Career Success

January 1, 2021

Welcome to 2021! Can you believe it?!

As you are aware, we want you to have a successful career in veterinary medicine, regardless of your position on the team. We support the entire veterinary team!

In an effort to give you tools for success, we strongly encourage you to define your personal and professional values statement. Sure, your veterinary hospital may have a values, vision, and mission statement. We encourage you to craft your statements, too.

You may be saying to yourself, “That feels so cold. So corporate.” Yet we have seen great power and support in knowing what you value, personally and professionally. Consider this your guiding principles to help you in prioritizing, establishing boundaries, and expressing your needs. Yep, your values statement can be that powerful!

The following are some ideas to get you started. Don’t overthink it! What comes to mind can inspire you in ways that surprise you.

To rev up your creative juices, review these words professionals use in defining their values, in no particular order:

  • Relationships
  • Creativity
  • Courage
  • Timely
  • Goal-oriented
  • Dedicated
  • Compassionate
  • Respectful
  • Conscientious
  • Patient
  • Caring

Now, consider what you believe about being a veterinary professional and how you serve pets and pet owners. Some examples are:

  • I believe in providing the best veterinary medicine to every pet that walks in the door;
  • I believe that each day it is my responsibility to give my best for the pet, pet owner and veterinary team;
  • I believe in trustworthiness; I believe in continuous learning and training.

If you are considering a career in other aspects of veterinary medicine, morph the questions to fit your circumstances.

With a pen in hand, write out the answers to the following questions. Remember, don’t overthink it. Go with your gut!

  1. In regard to:
    1. serving pets, I believe….
    2. serving veterinary clients, I believe…
    3. being a part of an efficient, skillful veterinary team, I believe….
    4. my personal time and satisfaction, I believe….
    5. my personal passion, I believe…
    6. my personal wellbeing, I believe….
  2. I hold _____________________ in high regard when it comes to my personal time.
  3. I hold _____________________ in high regard when it comes to providing veterinary care.

Now that you have identified these, hold true to your principles!

Now complete this sentence. In relationship to my career I believe:


Now this one. In relationship to my personal life I believe:


Awesome! These are your values, your beliefs.

We encourage you to share your values with your managers and team members.


For community engagement, 
join Veterinary Teams Living Well (a closed FB page)