By Stacy Pursell, CPC/CERS
The VET Recruiter®
Later this year, I will be starting my 26th year in executive search as an Animal Health and Veterinary recruiter. That means, of course, that I was born 26 years ago. (Just kidding!)
During that time, I have a seen a lot, both in general in the employment marketplace and also within the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. I have seen people make job changes and career transitions and enjoy tremendous amounts of success. I have also witnessed people “burn bridges” and “close doors,” both of which have hurt their personal brand and their careers. Some of them closed doors before they even knew what they were closing the door on, as I write about in the next paragraph.
One of the things that I’ve witnessed professionals do is say “No!” to an opportunity before they even know what the opportunity is. I’ve written about this before, and I’ve also addressed it on The VET Recruiter podcast. I’ve discussed it a lot because it’s an important topic, one that I believe still needs attention as we begin a New Year in 2022.
In fact, let’s say that someone asked me this question: “Stacy, what one or two things should professionals do in 2022 to help their careers grow?”
My answer to that question would be to not say “No!” to an opportunity before knowing what that opportunity is and to not turn down an Animal Health or Veterinary job before that job is even offered. These things, more than anything else, hold the power to affect your career not just in the New Year, but also every year after that.
Benefits of exploring an Animal Health or Veterinary job
I have seen professionals turn down an Animal Health or Veterinary job offer at just about every stage in the hiring process—including the offer stage. However, what’s striking is how many professionals turn down an offer before the offer stage. This means that they’re turning down an offer before a job offer has even been made. While this does not make sense logistically (since how can you turn something down that does not even exist?), it also does not make sense practically.
Below are five good reasons to not turn down an Animal Health or Veterinary job offer before that offer is even made:
#1—The offer might be better than you think.
If you don’t know what the job offer actually is, then how do you know how good it is? You don’t. What’s the harm in finding out what it is first? Considering current conditions in the marketplace, professionals have been receiving job offers that are much better than what they thought they would be. And if the offer isn’t as good as you thought it would be? Then you can turn it down. (Because then it makes sense to do so.)
#2—You can benchmark your worth in the marketplace.
I can say from personal experience that there are some professionals who do not realize that they’re being underpaid. Even more than that, there are some who don’t realize the degree to which they’re being underpaid. In one of the most extreme examples of my career, a candidate with whom I was recently working received an offer that was 79% more in base salary than what he was earning from his current employer. Needless to say, the candidate was shocked by the discrepancy, but he was also pleased to discover that his services and his value were worth much more than he thought they were.
#3—You might learn something that you didn’t know.
While you may or may not realize that you’re being underpaid, you might also find out other information. This could include information about a particular employer, about trends in the marketplace, or about your area of specialty and other professionals who work in your field. This type of “market intelligence” could prove to be quite valuable down the road. As a general rule, having too much information is better than not having enough.
#4—You could be “planting the seeds” for future career growth.
You never know what can or will happen. Even if you turn down a job offer, the same employer might have an even better job—with a better offer—in the future. Perhaps a new piece of information will help you chart a better course for yourself or take advantage of an opportunity or situation down the road. Or maybe the recruiter with whom you communicated regarding this job offer will one day have your “dream job.” All of these are plausible scenarios.
#5—It’s never a good idea to make a habit of turning down opportunity.
Everything that you do and don’t do eventually becomes a habit, even if you don’t realize that’s the case. It’s the same with this situation. If you make a habit of turning down an offer or an opportunity, especially if you don’t know what that offer or opportunity is, then it will be easier to do so again when another opportunity comes along.
At the other end of this spectrum, you would be hard pressed to uncover good reasons to turn down an Animal Health or Veterinary job offer before that offer has been made. Based upon that alone, you can see the inherent advantages of the above list.
Fear: the enemy of your Animal Health or Veterinary career
As is often the case, fear is typically the culprit in situations such as these, namely fear of the unknown. Some professionals are also fearful that their current employer will find out that they’re talking with a recruiter and/or considering other employment opportunities or job offers. Considering the tremendous amount of leverage that top professionals currently hold in the marketplace, this should not be much of a concern, especially in the Veterinary profession.
What should be of concern to professionals are the number of opportunities that they’ve passed up because of unfounded fears. Fear is the enemy of your Animal Health or Veterinary career. It convinces you that the “devil you know is better than the devil you don’t” and it also convinces you to cling to the status quo, even if you’re not satisfied with the status quo and you feel stagnant and unfulfilled in your current position.
This is a New Year with new possibilities and new opportunities for career growth and advancement. If you only focus on two things this year, don’t say “No!” to opportunity and don’t turn down an Animal Health or Veterinary job offer before the offer is even made.
And of course, also consider aligning yourself with an experienced and reputable recruiting firm with a track record of placing professionals just like YOU.
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.