Occupational wellness represents the feeling of purpose and productivity in one's chosen profession. This pillar is certainly a key element to what we refer to as work-life balance, as an enriched and productive professional life is certainly required to mesh with a healthy personal life.
Many things can contribute to occupational wellness and most veterinarians have experienced success and failure in most areas. The principle source of occupational wellness is your attitude or approach to your work, work environment and workmates. As veterinarians, we have widely been known to have chosen a profession that serves mankind and our animal companions. While this inherently seems noble, the minutiae in the day to day activities can cause us to lose track of the meaning of our career choice and become dissatisfied in the profession.
Areas that can create occupational stress include: issues with co-workers, partners or employers; ethical stress due to demands from owners, trainers or colleagues; physical or emotional fatigue; a lack of common sense of purpose or working for the greater good; working outside of your given gifts/talents/strengths; absence or neglect to personal relationships and responsibilities.
Occupational wellness seeks to identify these stressors so that we can make adjustments in our life to omit them. A series of tools and assessments are beneficial in the self discovery of occupational wellness and to begin a path towards an enlightening and fulfilling career.
The AVMA offers a variety of work-life balance tools for individuals and for practices. A few are spotlighted here; for all resources, visit the AVMA website.
- Self-Care Plan
- Professional Quality of Life Assessment
- Stress Management Checklist
- Workplace Wellbeing Certificate Program
- TED Talk: How to Make Work-Life Balance, Work - Nigel Marsh
- MumsVet from the British Equine Veterinary Association
- BumpVet Blog
- Married, With Practice - Equimanagement
- 8 TED Talks About Work/Life Balance That'll Change the Way You Think
- Safety First: Too Often, Personal Safety is Only an Afterthought for Veterinarians - JAVMA