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Success in career transitions in veterinary practice: Perspectives of employers and their employees

Bell, M., Cake, M.ORCID: 0000-0002-0072-9024 and Mansfield, C. (2019) Success in career transitions in veterinary practice: Perspectives of employers and their employees. Veterinary Record, 185 (8). p. 232.

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This study qualitatively explored success factors across career transitions in veterinary practice. Semistructured interviews were conducted independently with pairs of veterinary employers and their recent graduate employees, focusing on success in gaining initial employment, their transition to practising veterinarian and longevity in the veterinary profession. The divergence and convergence of interviewees’ perspectives, the changing emphasis of capabilities over different career phases, and the meaning of success were explored. Overall, the perspectives of employers and employees were similar, and highlighted communication skills, confidence, diligence and reliability, and technical skills and knowledge as important themes for initial employment and transition to practice. Other important success factors for initial employment included interpersonal skills, teamwork and team fit, enthusiasm, willingness to learn, and previous experience with the graduate. Support, resilience and work–life balance were important to the transition to practice phase. For career longevity, work–life balance remained an important theme, but also continual learning, business skills and goal-setting. Success was defined around enjoyment and personal satisfaction, developing proficiency, and maintaining passion for the profession. Job fit was a persistent theme throughout. This exploratory study highlights the capabilities and factors supporting success in veterinary career transitions, some of which may be inconspicuous in traditional competency-based frameworks.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Education
School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: British Veterinary Association
Copyright: © 2019 British Veterinary Association
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