New Year, new values?


Jane Davidson MA RVN IQA DTLLS GradDipVN PgCert Clin Ed

New Year, new values?

The start of the new Roman Calendar for 2019 traditionally heralds a period of reviewing the past and planning for the future. You may choose to follow another calendar as there are many to choose from across various types including lunisolar, solar, lunar, seasonal.

However if you’re sticking with the Roman calendar then you may be joining in the period of making new plans in January and considering where you are in work, life and personal situations. This can raise some interesting questions and you might find yourself thinking about making decisions that you’re not totally sure about. It’s easy to think everyone else is super confident in their decision making but they really aren’t! We all work through different processes in decision making and its worth considering what inputs into your decisions.

This all might sound quite deep but deciding on the values you need and want out of life may help with decisions big and small. We know that every vet clinic is different to how do you decide where to work and how to make sure it’s the right place for you? I’ve worked in many practices and there’s only some I would consider working for again.

There are numerous ‘values quizzes’ online but none that I think suitable to share here so how can you work out your values?


What are values? Is it love, success and happiness? Can you define these further and is having money success, or being financially stable and is there a difference for you?

Are your values different in your home life compared to your work life? Are these two sets of values compatible, you may earn more money working night shifts but how does that fit in with family and friends and your own wellbeing?

I certainly can’t claim to have all or any answers on this subject but it’s an amazing conversation to have with people. As with everything in life values may change over time so it’s always worth checking back in from time to time.

Grade your life

This isn’t as odd an idea as it sounds as how do you know what values matter most. It might seem obvious that animal welfare and patient care is your main concern for a job but how much does it matter over pay and work hours and how the staff are treated? Vet teams can be some of the most wonderful places to be and I have so many memories of great teams I have worked in that haven’t paid that well but gave me more than just money.

If I had to grade out of 10 different values for different places I have worked then I could start to clearly see why I’ve worked and stayed in certain places more than others.

Making a record

Writing down what you think you might like/need from a job role might help you decide where you want to be. These are just a few ideas I have on things that I would need to grade to see how important each aspect is to me. I’d prefer a job without reception duties but I also don’t want an overly long commute.

It might take you a few goes at grading to understand your values so do be prepared to spend a bit of time on this, and alter this table and the values to what suits you – some of you may like reception!


Score for option 1

Score for option 2

Score for option 3





Patient welfare




Team spirit




Working hours/shifts
















Health care/sick pay




CPD allowance




Job roles

  • Reception
  • Wards
  • Theatre
  • Lab
  • Admin
  • Clinical coaching




For 2019 aim to have your life decisions match your values as much as possible and see where this leads you – following your passions can have some amazing results! Happy New Year!

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