The COVID-19 Pandemic is NOT a Good Excuse to be Unprofessional

by Stacy Pursell, CPC, CERS

The VET Recruiter®

A number of trends have resulted from the COVID-19 virus and the pandemic that it created. Virtual interviews, working from home, and even making (and accepting) an offer of employment without actually meeting anyone in person.

Unfortunately, I have noticed another trend in recent weeks and months. That trend is a rise in the level of unprofessional behavior within the marketplace.

I have several instances and examples from which I could draw, but perhaps the most striking one involved a pair of Zoom calls in which I participated. In one of the calls, the person on the other end of the call looked as though they had just rolled out of bed. They were poorly dressed, and appeared to be in their pajamas, with what looked to be a minimum of personal hygiene. If that wasn’t enough, there were loud noises and distractions on their end of the call, which lasted pretty much for the duration.

In contrast to this was another call in which I participated. In this instance, the person on the other end was well-dressed in business attire. In fact, she looked as though she was dressed to meet and talk with me in person, as opposed to over the Internet. She had exercised a high degree of personal hygiene, and her surroundings were quiet and free from distractions. We had a pleasant conversation and a productive meeting.

You can obviously see the difference between these two examples. One person did not present themselves in the most professional way possible, while the other one did. As you might expect, the second person left a much better impression on me. In other words, they branded themselves in a more positive way. I have written extensively about personal branding during the last few years, and with good reason. Personal branding is extremely important for your Animal Health or Veterinary career, especially if you want to grow and excel within it.

The impact on your Animal Health or Veterinary career

However, the examples don’t just top with these two. They don’t even stop with my personal examples. There have been more instances of unprofessional behavior in the employment marketplace and job market since the pandemic began. And it’s not isolated to any one industry or profession. It’s all across the spectrum. Part of this unprofessional behavior involves being uncivil toward other people. There are at least four driving factors behind this behavior:

  1. The pandemic, which has exasperated everyone, pushing some to their mental and psychological limits
  2. The recession, which is a direct result of the pandemic, and which is doing the same thing
  3. The civil unrest that exists in the country, reflected in the many protests that have taken place in cities all over the United States
  4. The upcoming presidential election, which is directly tied to the first three items on this list and is creating a deep divide among citizens based upon political party preference

However, despite all of this, I want to unequivocally say that the pandemic is NOT a good excuse to be unprofessional.

In fact, I can take it a step further. The pandemic, the recession, the civil unrest in the country, and the upcoming presidential election are all NOT a good excuse to be unprofessional.

Here’s a good reality check. During the last several years, global public relations firm Weber Shandwick and public affairs firm Powell Tate have partnered with KRC Research to conduct a poll about civility in America. The results of that poll have consistently indicated that around 70 percent of people believe incivility in the country has reached crisis proportions. Here’s the reality check part: the latest survey was conducted before the pandemic started and the recent civil unrest began. If it was 70 percent before, how many people think that incivility has reached crisis levels now?

There are all sorts of ways that people are unprofessional in the workplace and the marketplace:

  • Rude, discourteous behavior
  • Unethical behavior
  • Harassment and/or bullying
  • Micro-aggressions
  • Failure to follow through

This is just the short list. I could write all day about the many ways that people are unprofessional. The bottom line is that there is no good reason to do so. People may think there are reasons that justify their behavior, but that is not the case. There may be reasons, but they certainly are not good reasons.

Growing your Animal Health or Veterinary career

This is yet another way that a recruiter can help you. That’s because a recruiter has knowledge and expertise, both about the employers in the marketplace, as well as the job opportunities that those employers possess. I have been an Animal Health recruiter and Veterinary recruiter for more than 20 years, and I have seen first-hand how unprofessional behavior can affect a person’s prospects for a new job and their Animal Health or Veterinary career.

This is another reason why you should build a relationship with a good recruiter. I’ve stated this before, but working with a recruiter is a no-lose proposition. There is literally no downside to working with a recruiter to grow your Animal Health or Veterinary career. It does not cost you anything, and you can gain insight into the “hidden job market” to access employment opportunities that you would not know about otherwise.

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 stacy@thevetrecruiter.com.

Copyright © 2020 The VET Recruiter 

The VET Recruiter is The Animal Health Executive Search Firm and The Veterinary Recruiting Firm

Stacy Pursell is an Animal Health Executive Recruiter and Veterinary Recruiter and Workplace/Workforce expert for the Animal Health Industry and Veterinary Profession.