20 Ways to Make a Great First Impression at Your First Job

Female vet with horse

You’ve landed your first job as a veterinarian—how exciting!

These tips will help you hit it off with your new coworkers from the get-go:

  1. What are you good at? Highlight your strengths! Become the go-to person for one thing at your workplace.
  2. Ask how your coworkers perform certain procedures—like taping in a catheter or setting up vaccines—and try doing it their way. Be humble.
  3. Say “thank you” on a regular basis.
  4. Perform public outreach to help advertise your clinic or company—for example, teaching basic grooming or first aid.
  5. Learn something new that your workplace doesn’t currently offer so you can provide it (like learning a new diagnostic technique if you’re in a clinic or a more efficient way to process product orders if you work for a company).
  6. Smile! It’s hard not to love the person who always seems cheerful. (Plus, looking for opportunities to be cheerful can help lift your own spirits, too.)
  7. Learn the names of all of your coworkers' pets.
  8. Take a half hour each day to learn something new. A reputation as the person who’s willing to try new things or tackle challenges is a great one to have!
  9. For ambulatory work, make sure the truck is gassed up, clean, and ready to go for the next day.
  10. Do something nice for a coworker once a month. Whether it’s lunch on you, a small gift card or formal recognition, it can really make a difference.
  11. Take the one thing that makes you nervous, and learn about it. It’s a great way to boost your self-confidence.
  12. Offer a time to help coworkers develop their skills on a slow day.
  13. Celebrate work milestones and little victories.
  14. Host fun learning opportunities like a tough-word spelling bee.
  15. Connect with clients by learning their names and a small fact about them; note whether their animal is male or female; and shake their hand and introduce yourself with confidence and sincerity.
  16. Take time out for yourself each day to do something that makes you happy. Your life satisfaction shows in your work attitude.
  17. Refrain from getting involved in office gossip. Get to know your coworkers, but keep the conversations focused on work and small talk.
  18. Learn more about the other veterinarians at your workplace, and see if you have a shared interest you could pursue together.
  19. Take on the responsibility of handling posts on social media.
  20. Most important, be yourself and have fun!