5 Pro Tips for Growing Your Animal Health or Veterinary Career in 2021

by Stacy Pursell, CPC, CERS

The VET Recruiter®

The employment marketplace has changed quite a bit during the last several years. And of course, COVID-19 has helped accelerate these changes since it arrived on the scene last year. I’ve written before about the fact that the days of working for the same organization for your whole career are long gone. In fact, the days of working for just two or three employers are probably long gone, as well.

So, it makes sense that you as a professional in the Animal Health industry or Veterinary profession might be uncertain as to what the best practices are in this job market. What things should you be doing? What things should you not be doing? It can be difficult to navigate the marketplace when it seems like circumstances and situations are constantly in flux.

Tips for excelling in your career this year

As an Animal Health executive recruiter for more than 20 years, I’ve seen just about everything in the employment marketplace. (And now I can say that I’ve seen a pandemic. I believe this makes me uniquely qualified to address best practices for experiencing more success in the coming year. With all of this in mind, I’d like to present five pro tips for growing your Animal Health or Veterinary career in 2021:

#1—Make self-awareness a top priority.

I’ve written before about the importance of self-awareness, and it hasn’t become any less important over time. In fact, just the opposite in the case. It’s more vital than ever to be self-aware, and there are two main reasons for this. First, when you’re self-aware, you’re better able to articulate the value that you can bring to an organization. And second, people who are self-aware are more likely to be considered for management positons and also more likely to thrive as a leader.

Regardless of what has happened in the past, make it a goal to increase your level of self-awareness in all areas. You need to know as much about yourself as you possibly can if you’re going to essentially “sell” yourself as an employee or a job candidate in 2021.

#2—Acknowledge that you are ultimately responsible for your performance.

Yes, you may have a supervisor or a manager. However, they are not your career coach. They are there to provide guidance and suggestions, yes, but they are not there to make sure that you reach your full potential as an employee and as a professional. That job is yours and yours alone.

Take heart, though. There is good news in this tip. First, if you’re working to raise your levels of self-awareness, then it will be easier for you to take control of your performance, both at your job at your current employer and for your Animal Health or Veterinary career overall. And second, when you do so, there is almost no limit to how much you can accomplish through increased productivity and how much you can grow as a professional in the employment marketplace.

#3—Find your purpose and use it as fuel.

Burnout is a real phenomenon, and that includes within the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. This is especially the case now, since the pandemic is creating more stress for everyone, including the pet owners with whom many of you are trying to engage.

There are two ways to become motivated: extrinsically (from without) and intrinsically (from within). It’s far better to be intrinsically motivated, because when you are, you’re able to get more done at a higher level for a longer period of time. And the best way to be intrinsically motivated is to tap into your purposes and your passion. Revisit the reasons why you chose this profession and why it brings you professional satisfaction, and you will find that those reasons will give you the fuel you need to keep growing your Animal Health or Veterinary career.

#4—Be proactive and create opportunities.

Big opportunities, the very best ones, rarely “knock on your door.” Instead, you have to proactive and seek them out. At the very least, you have to be ready and prepared for the moment you come across one, and you should absolutely be open to considering one in that rare instance when one is presented to you.

Remember that just because you have an opportunity does not necessarily mean you have to take it. However, when you reach the point that you have created multiple opportunities for yourself, you’ll have more leverage and you’ll be in a great position to grow your Animal Health or Veterinary career the way that you want to.

#5—Failure is not fatal; instead, it is necessary.

Don’t hear what I’m not saying here. I’m not saying to try to make mistakes. But mistakes are inevitable. What I’m actually saying is two things. First, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, to the point where you hardly take any risks at all. And second, when you make a mistake (and you will), don’t let it get you down but instead commit yourself to learning from the mistake in the interest of improvement.

So when I say that failure is necessary, I mean that it’s necessary for you to continually move toward reaching your full professional potential and growing your Animal Health or Veterinary career. I’ve failed at times, and I used those failures to chart the course that brought me to this point in my career. In all candidness, I thank some of those past failures for the success that I’ve enjoyed in my life.

A professional recruiter and your Animal Health or Veterinary career

The employment marketplace and the job market are not easy to navigate these days. That’s why it’s a strategic career move to have a relationship with an experienced Animal Health recruiter. They have the knowledge, the expertise, and the connections. This very well could have been a sixth pro tip for growing your Animal Health or Veterinary career in 2021, but the truth of the matter is that building a relationship with an experienced recruiter is a strategic move every year and in every market.

So don’t be intimidated by circumstances. Instead, be bold, be proactive, and take control of your career this year!

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 © 2021 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.