The late actress and comedian Lucille Ball was in the news earlier this year when the TV show “Being the Ricardos” aired on Amazon Prime. While I confess that I have yet to see the show, I am a fan of Lucille Ball for many reasons. One of those reasons is what she said about the subject of luck:
“I’ve never banked on it and I’m afraid of people who do. Luck to me is something else: hard work—and realizing what opportunity is and what isn’t.”
While February was the month of love, March is widely considered to the month of luck. (St. Patrick’s Day may have something to do with it.) As such, I thought it would be timely to address the topic in this article, much as Lucille Ball addressed it those many years ago.
Hard work + opportunity = career success
First, though, let’s examine Lucy’s quote. (And I find it striking that the words “Lucy” and “Lucky” are separated by just one word, even though she did not believe in luck.) If we look closely at the quote, we see that there are two main parts to it:
- Luck isn’t luck; instead, it’s actually hard work, sometimes disguised or interpreted as luck.
- Luck is also the ability to recognize when something is an opportunity . . . and when something isn’t.
These are themes that I have addressed on multiple occasions in my newsletter articles and blog posts. First, there is no substitute for hard work. I know that people like to say, “Worker smarter, not harder.” In truth, you should be doing both, working smarter and harder. And second, being able to recognize opportunity is crucial to growing your Animal Health or Veterinary career.
However, it doesn’t stop there. Once you recognize an opportunity as such, then you must take the next step and explore the opportunity. After all, an opportunity does not do you much good if you don’t take advantage of it in some way. If you don’t, then it might as well not be an opportunity at all.
Some people, though, prefer to be comfortable and cling to the status quo, even when they’re presented with an opportunity that is clearly better than what they currently have. Essentially, they’re not working smarter, they’re not working harder, and they’re not exploring or taking advantage of an opportunity, even if one is clearly “staring them in the face.”
Tips for Animal Health and Veterinary career success
If you ask anyone if they want to have good luck, then they’ll probably say, “Yes, of course I do.” But what if I told you that you can create your own good luck? Perhaps not 100% of the time, but through hard work, preparation, and persistence, you can have a positive effect on situations and circumstances to the point where you’re in the right place at the right time—which some people mistakenly call luck.
With this in mind, below are 10 tips for improving your luck and growing your Animal Health or Veterinary career:
#1—Focus on positive personal branding.
Start with yourself and the experiences that you provide for other people. Are these experiences positive in nature? Why are they positive? If they’re not, why are they not? People either attract others with their behavior or they repel them? In which category do you fall?
#2—Engage in continuous learning and education.
If you’re not moving forward in this area, then you’re actually falling behind, not standing still. That’s because everyone else around you, specifically your colleagues, are moving forward and you need to keep up with them. They’re creating their own luck; so should you.
#3—Look for ways to increase the value you provide to your current employer.
Your Animal Health or Veterinary career is predicated largely upon the value that you provide—the type of value and also the amount of value. The more that you can provide, the better, and that starts with your current employer. This is how you earn raises and promotions and also how you become attractive to potential new employers.
#4—Be proactive and not reactive.
Don’t allow life to just “happen to you.” You don’t have to be resigned to that kind of life (or career, for that matter). Instead, strive to do things that will have a positive impact on situations and circumstances. You can’t control everything, but you can have an influence.
#5—Have a “growth mindset” and not a “fixed mindset.”
People with a growth mindset look for reasons why something can happen. In other words, they’re always looking for solutions to problems. People with a fixed mindset look for reasons why something can’t happen. Which type of person are you?
#6—Do not allow fear to influence your decisions.
This is a big one, and of course, I’ve addressed this previously on numerous occasions. Remember that at the end of their life, people usually do not regret the things that they did. They regret the things they did NOT do.
#7—Be open to opportunity (hearing about it, considering it, exploring it).
As mentioned above, is actually in Lucille Ball’s definition of luck, namely being able to recognize an opportunity as an opportunity. However, what you do with that opportunity dictates how lucky (or successful) you will ultimately be.
#8—Build an extensive network within your chosen field.
As I’ve said before, it’s not just what you know and who you know . . . but it’s both what you know and who you know. Grow your network both virtually (through LinkedIn) and in person (at tradeshows and conventions).
#9—Engage in an mentoring relationship.
This is not always easy to do, especially in the age of COVID, but having a mentor is valuable for a number of reasons. Drawing upon the experience and expertise of others can help you to navigate your Animal Health or Veterinary career, especially when it comes to meeting challenges and overcoming obstacles.
#10—Align yourself with an experienced and reputable recruiting firm.
Working with a recruiter can certainly improve your “luck,” especially since recruiters have access to jobs and employment opportunities that are not being advertised through traditional means. After all, you can’t explore opportunities that exist in this “hidden job market” if you’re not “lucky” enough to know about it.
If you’re looking to make a change or explore your employment options, then we want to talk with you. I encourage you to contact us or you can also create a profile and/or submit your resume for consideration.
We help support careers in one of two ways: 1. By helping Animal Health and Veterinary professionals to find the right opportunity when the time is right, and 2. By helping to recruit top talent for the critical needs of Animal Health and Veterinary organizations. If this is something that you would like to explore further, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.