Humility is Not a Weakness in Your Animal Health or Veterinary Career

By Stacy Pursell, CPC/CERS
The VET Recruiter®

I’ve addressed the topic of personal branding numerous times in my articles and blog posts, and with good reason. Personal banding is an important component of a person’s Animal Health or Veterinary career. The experience that you provide to other people is integral to the relationships that you have with others, both in the short term and in the long run.

There are many things that a person might want as part of their personal brand. I believe strongly that confidence is one of those things. People who come across as confident in their dealings with others and are genuinely confident provide a positive experience and brand themselves in a positive way. I also believe strongly that humility should be one of those things.

You might be thinking to yourself, “How can I brand myself as both confident and humble at the same time? Don’t those two things contradict each other?”

The answer to that question is no, they do not contradict each other. In fact, confidence and humility are quite complementary of each other. In other words, they go “hand-in-hand” and when used together, can form a very powerful component of your personal brand, as well as an effective tool for growing your Animal Health or Veterinary career.

Humility and your Animal Health or Veterinary career

Not only does humility not contradict confidence but possessing humility and being humble is also NOT a weakness. If you consider it to be a weakness or a sign of weakness, then I encourage you not to. The reason is simple: if you consider humility to be a weakness, then you’re missing an opportunity to reach your full potential and enjoy more professional satisfaction.

When you believe that humility is a weakness and therefore do not possess it, you run the risk of branding yourself in a negative fashion, not in a positive one. That’s because you might come across as overconfident at best and cocky at worst. And no matter how much a hiring manager likes confidence in a professional, including one they want to hire, they also dislike cockiness. (Cockiness is a detriment, while confidence is an asset.)

However, the benefits of being humble go even beyond that. Below are three reasons why humility is not a weakness in your Animal Health or Veterinary career:

#1—It lends itself to an intellectual curiosity.

The desire to continually learn things stems, at least in part, from curiosity. If you have so much confidence that you believe even on a subconscious level that you don’t need to keep learning, then you will not have the curiosity necessary to keep adding new skills and providing exceptional value as a person and as an employee.

#2—You can learn something from everyone you encounter.

This might seem like an ingratiating platitude, but it’s very much true. Everyone has something to offer in the way of new knowledge or new information. If you’re not humble, then you will be blind to this reality, and if you’re blind to it, then you certainly will not be able to benefit from it.

#3—It helps you to be open and receptive to feedback.

I’ve touched upon the topic of feedback before on The VET Recruiter website. Feedback is not a personal attack; feedback is a gift. That’s because it can help you to quickly address areas of weakness so that you can improve them in the interest of continuously growing your Animal Health or Veterinary career. When you’re humble, you are more open to feedback and you’re more receptive to it, and you can’t benefit from what feedback can offer if you’re not open to receiving it in the first place.

As you can see, there are multiple benefits to having humility and being humble. It is not a weakness. If anything, people who lack humility put themselves at a decided disadvantage in the employment marketplace and the job market.

Proactive, confident, assertive, AND humble

I’ve seen quite a bit during my 23 years as an Animal Health executive recruiter. This includes my encounters with candidates and the relationships that I’ve had with them. I’ve seen candidates do things the right way, and I’ve also seen them do things the wrong way. This includes with personal branding and how they approach their Animal Health or Veterinary career.

We all have “blind spots.” We all have areas in which we can improve. However, it requires the proper mindset, and the proper mindset is comprised of more than just being proactive, confident, and assertive. (Although all three of those things are necessary to varying degrees.) The proper mindset includes having humility and being humble. It does NOT include being overconfident to the point where you’re cocky and you believe that you “know it all.”

One part of realizing that you don’t know it all and that you can learn something from everyone you encounter is building a relationship with an experienced Animal Health executive recruiter. The right recruiter is one who has expertise regarding the many aspects of the job market and the hiring process and also has experience placing professionals just like you in their chosen field. Building a relationship with an Animal Health executive recruiter is an intelligent and strategic move that can help you grow your Animal Health or Veterinary career.

So be proactive, be confident, and be assertive. But also, be humble . . . and enjoy all of the advantages and benefits that go along with 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 stacy@thevetrecruiter.com.