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Have You Benchmarked Your Worth as a Veterinary Professional?

There is a lot happening for those working in the Veterinary profession, especially veterinarians. Things are occurring very quickly and moving at a frenetic pace. With the “Great Resignation” still ongoing and the continued shortage of veterinarians in the job market, there is more opportunity than ever. And since that’s the case, people are changing jobs more often than ever.

For the purposes of this article and to help illustrate my point, allow me to summarize the current state of the market within the Veterinary profession:

  • Due in part to the pandemic and also to conditions that existed before the pandemic started, there is a strong and growing need for Veterinary products and services.
  • At the same time, there has been and continues to be a shortage of veterinarians.
  • Because there is a shortage of veterinarians, qualified job candidates have more options and opportunities from which to choose and also have the leverage in hiring situations.
  • Due to the shortage of veterinarians and the Law of Supply and Demand, employers must pay a premium for hiring them, including a higher starting salary, a sign-on bonus, and other perks and benefits.
  • The stigma of “job hopping” has just about disappeared, with people changing jobs as frequently as every 18 months, especially the Millennial Generation and Generation Z.

This summary boils down to one critical point, which is this:

The longer that the veterinarian shortage lasts and the more frequently that people change jobs, the more that employers will need to pay higher salaries and bonuses to new hires and the more frequently they will be forced to do so.

You may suspect that people who change jobs more frequently earn more over the course of their career than people who do not, and if so, your suspicion would be correct. Even before the Great Resignation and the talent shortage, people who changed jobs typically saw their salary jump $5K to $10K because of the switch. This is in stark contrast to people who stay at the same job for years and only earn 3% cost-of-living raises.

I’ve referenced this before, but it bears repeating. According to an article on the Forbes.com website, “staying employed at the same company for more than two years on average is going to make you earn less over your lifetime by about 50% or more.” The article also indicates that 50% is at the lowest end of the spectrum, with the potential for the percentage to be even higher. Not only that, but the numbers are only based on the assumption that a person’s career is going to last 10 years. Consequently, the longer you work, the greater the difference in income will be over your lifetime.

Here is something important to point out about this article: it was published in 2014. Upon learning that, you might think it’s outdated. And you would be right, but just not in the way you think.

The year 2014 was before there was as severe a shortage of talent, both in the job market overall and within the Veterinary profession specifically. It was before the pandemic and the crushing demand it created for Veterinary products and services. It was before the Great Resignation and the virtual elimination of the “job hopping” stigma.

In other words, this article is more than likely outdated because 50% is now far too conservative of a number. Market conditions have driven the dynamics involved to a fever pitch, ramping up the pace, the frequency, and the severity of the factors contributing to the difference in income between people who change jobs frequently and those who do not.

Sometimes this can play out in unpleasant ways within the workplace. As an example, I have heard and seen stories about veterinarians who have worked for five years or more at their clinic finding out that the people their employer just hired are earning much more than they are. In some cases, these new hires are making 25% or more in terms of base salary and have better benefits and other perks, as well.

As you can imagine, this comes as quite a shock to the veterinarians who believe they’ve remained loyal to their employer and have not been rewarded for their loyalty. As it turns out, quite the opposite is the case. They’ve been penalized for their loyalty to their employer.

In each of these cases, I’d be willing to bet that the veterinarians had not benchmarked their worth within the employment marketplace. They had simply stayed at the same employer for years, continuing to do fine work, but not once investigating whether or not the work they were doing should be considered more valuable by their employer. And whether or not their employer should be paying them more for the fine work they’re doing.

This is yet another reason to build a relationship with an experienced and reputable recruiter who possesses marketplace intelligence. This intelligence includes in-depth knowledge about how Veterinary professionals are being compensated. Specifically, a recruiter more than likely knows what someone with your skill set and experience should be earning.

Don’t let the current job market pass you by. Don’t ignore the many opportunities that could take your career to the next level, both monetarily and otherwise. Market conditions are only widening the gap between those people who change jobs more frequently and those who do not. At the very least, make a concerted effort to benchmark your worth as an Animal Health or Veterinary professional and take the steps necessary to ensure that you are being compensated fairly for the value that you provide.

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.