Joel: Welcome to “The Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider,” brought to you by The VET Recruiter. In this podcast, Animal Health executive recruiter and Veterinary recruiter Stacy Pursell of The VET Recruiter provides insight and practical advice for both employers and job seekers in the Animal Health and Veterinary industries. The VET Recruiter’s focus is to solve talent-centric problems for the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. The VET Recruiter’s mission is to help Animal Health and Veterinary companies hire top talent, while helping Animal Health and Veterinary professionals attain career-enhancing opportunities that increase their quality of life.
Today, we’ll be talking about five pieces of advice for growing your Animal Health or Veterinary career. Hello, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.
Stacy: Hello, Joel. As always, I’m glad to be here with you today.
Joel: Stacy, we’ve talked about advice for growing a person’s Animal Health or Veterinary career before on the podcast. What’s different about today’s episode?
Stacy: Joel, today, we’re going to look at a person’s Animal Health or Veterinary career from a big-picture perspective. In the past, we’ve talked about things like how to provide more value to your employer and how to work with a recruiter. I have five pieces of advice that will hopefully cause the members of our listening audience to look at their career differently. Helping people is one of my passions, and that’s what I’d like to do with today’s podcast episode.
Joel: That sounds great! What’s our first piece of advice?
Stacy: Our first piece of advice is one that may sound counterintuitive to some people. That piece of advice is that there is often opportunity in the midst of chaos.
Joel: What does that mean, exactly Stacy?
Stacy: Well, let me first say that chaos in a person’s life is inevitable. It’s one of two things that’s inevitable, with the other thing being adversity. Sometimes chaos and adversity go hand-in-hand. And yes, some people just deal with chaos better than others, but it’s a rare person who enjoys chaos or likes to be in the middle of it.
Joel: Since chaos is inevitable, people should learn how to deal with it, is that correct?
Stacy: Yes, but they can learn to do more than just deal with it; they can learn to use it to their advantage and benefit from it. The key is to not focus on the circumstances of the situation you’re in, but to look for the opportunity that exists in the midst of those circumstances.
Joel: That sounds easier said than done.
Stacy: That’s the case, but people can learn to stop focusing on their circumstances and instead look for the opportunity. That way, they can stop letting their circumstances hold them back.
Joel: What are some examples of this?
Stacy: One example is waiting for the “perfect time” to do something. People do this when it comes to big events in their life, like the “perfect time” to get married or have a baby or the “perfect time” to get a new job. They often say this because they believe there’s too much happening in their lives at the moment for them to have a major life event.
There’s always going to be a certain level of activity in a person’s life. For them to wait until their activity has dropped below that level before they decide to do something big just isn’t feasible.
Joel: Because if they wait for that to happen, it might never happen.
Joel: Stacy, what’s our second piece of advice to grow a person’s Animal Health or Veterinary career?
Stacy: Our second piece of advice is to channel your excitement and your passion. You’ll notice that I said “channel” and not “follow.” That’s because when you follow something, you don’t always have the focus that you need to be successful. But when you channel something, you apply it to a situation directly and use it in a way that can produce better results, and that’s the case with your career.
I look at passion and excitement as the fuel for a person’s success, and this applies to both their personal life and their professional life. These factors form a self-perpetuating cycle of energy that can propel you through the ups and downs of any career.
Joel: And also help you overcome chaos and battle adversity.
Stacy: That’s right, and that’s another benefit to channeling your passion and excitement. If you’re not excited or passionate, then a small setback could send you off track or spiraling into a tailspin.
It’s a good time to conduct an audit of how you feel about your Animal Health or Veterinary career. I recommend thinking back to a time when you were really excited about something regarding your personal life or career. What was that something? Why were you passionate about it and are you still passionate about it? If you are still passionate about it, why are you? And are you currently pursuing that passion, and if you’re not, then why not?
Joel: Those are some thought provoking questions.
Stacy: Yes, and it illustrates how important passion and excitement are and how important this tip is.
Joel: What’s our third piece of advice for growing a person’s Animal Health or Veterinary career?
Stacy: Our third tip is that a person is happiest when they are being productive. American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker Jim Rohn said, “If you don’t produce, you won’t be happy.” And I agree with him.
At a base level, human beings are hard-wired to be productive, although some are more productive than others and some want to be more productive. But there are many benefits to being more productive in your day-to-day life. For example, studies have shown that people are happier when they’re being productive and feel as though they are contributing to something. It is fulfilling.
Joel: And people are also happier when they’re pursuing their passions and they’re excited about something, which we just talked about.
Stacy: Correct. So, you can see how these pieces of advice are related to one another and linked to each other. However, being happier is just one of the positive byproducts of productivity. Other benefits include a feeling of accomplishment and greater levels of self-esteem.
Joel: Stacy, you’ve talked about continuous education and learning before on the podcast. Does that tie into what we’re talking about here?
Stacy: Yes, it does. This is yet another reason for a person to always be learning and to pursue continuous education throughout their Animal Health or Veterinary career. If not, you could become stagnant and fall into a “career rut.” I’ve talked with many people who have fallen into a rut like that, and they can be difficult to get out of. You want to keep growing.
Joel: Stacy, what’s our fourth piece of advice for growing your Animal Health or Veterinary career?
Stacy: Our fourth piece of advice is if you don’t run your career, then your career will run you.
Joel: Okay, what does that mean?
Stacy: The short answer to that question is to be proactive and not reactive. This is also something that we’ve discussed previously on the podcast. When you’re proactive, you make things happen. When you’re reactive, you allow things to happen to you.
Joel: So, when you’re reactive, you’re allowing your career to run you instead of the other way around.
Stacy: That’s right. You react to the things that happen to you, instead of taking proactive steps to have an impact or influence your situation or circumstances. You also have more leverage when you’re proactive. As we’ve discussed before, when you have leverage, you’re able to move from a position of strength. When you don’t have leverage, you’re often forced to move from a position of weakness.
People who are proactive and consistently have leverage are usually more successful in their Animal Health or Veterinary career than those who are not.
Joel: Stacy, when you’re proactive and you take a lot of action, doesn’t that mean you run the risk of making more mistakes?
Stacy: That’s a great question, and I’m glad you brought that up. There are some people who aren’t proactive because they’re afraid of making a mistake or doing something wrong. First, it’s been my experience that when you’re proactive, good things happen more frequently than bad things. And second, this is another example of letting fear get in the way of what you want.
Fear is a natural emotion, but most of the time, people allow it to get the best of them. They immediately think of the worst-case scenario and then start believing that scenario will happen. This is the equivalent of “psyching yourself out” and causing yourself to lose before you’ve even tried to make a move.
So be proactive and make sure that you’re running your career and it’s not running you instead.
Joel: What’s our fifth and final piece of advice about growing your Animal Health or Veterinary career?
Stacy: Our fifth piece of advice is to not let someone else derail your career, and I have a quote by American self-help author Napoleon Hill that sums this point up:
“No one can cause you to have any kind of emotional reaction without your first giving them permission to do so. You alone are responsible for your feelings and emotions. When you know what you plan to do with your life, you will not allow annoying situations to deter you from your goals for long. If you set ambitious goals for yourself and work enthusiastically toward them, you will quickly realize that you do not have time to allow petty annoyances to upset you and keep you from your objectives.”
So, this piece of advice goes along with our first piece, which was realizing that there is opportunity in chaos.
Joel: How’s that?
Stacy: Because it also deals with not allowing yourself to become distracted. When it comes to chaos, you can’t let the circumstances of your situation distract you. With this fifth piece of advice, you can’t allow other people to distract you from the goals that you’ve set for yourself and your plans to reach those goals.
Joel: It sounds like the ability to focus is key here.
Stacy: Yes, that’s right! To grow your Animal Health or Veterinary career and reach your full professional potential, you must stay focused and not let circumstances or other people distract you. Sometimes, the circumstances and the people are involved in the same situation, and sometimes they’re not. Regardless, if you allow yourself to become distracted or complacent, then it’s easier to get off track and not stay on the path you’ve charted for your career.
Joel: Stacy, you are an executive recruiter who has worked in the trenches of the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession for more than 25 years. Because of this you have gained this knowledge and I know our listening audience is glad to get this insight from you.
Stacy: Thank you Joel. This is wisdom that I have gleaned by watching people in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession make decisions about their careers. Some made wise decisions, and some made poor decisions, and there are lessons to be learned from both. And yes, some of this is also based on my own experiences and my own career. I’ve managed to channel my passion and my excitement into a job and a career that I enjoy. I try to stay proactive instead of reactive and I stay focused as much as possible, and I try not to let circumstances dictate my outlook or my actions.
Joel: Stacy, how would you respond to someone who said there’s no reason to put too much effort into their Animal Health or Veterinary career right now because the job market is so good, and candidates already have leverage?
Stacy: I would say that person is letting their career run them instead of the other way around!
I would also say that right now is the best time for a person to grow their career, especially within the Animal Health industry and the Veterinary profession. The unemployment rate is low overall in the country at less than 4%, and the unemployment rate in the Veterinary profession is 0.2%. In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics or BLS is projecting that the Veterinary profession will continue to grow throughout the rest of this decade.
That means there are many opportunities for people who work in the Veterinary profession, especially veterinarians. This is a reason to explore more opportunities, NOT a reason to not explore them. It makes sense that the best time to look for a great new job is not only when you already have a good job, but also when there are a lot of opportunities to choose from! It is a good idea to hear and see what else is out there. You have more leverage when you do.
Joel: That makes sense. Stacy, we’re just about out of time for today. Is there anything else that you’d like to add before we wrap up this episode?
Stacy: Yes, just that if you’re someone who wants or is willing to explore the opportunities that currently exist in the job market and grow their Animal Health or Veterinary career, an experienced and reputable recruiter can help. I’ve been helping Animal Health and Veterinary professionals explore opportunities and grow their career since 1997, and I encourage the members of our listening audience to visit our website at www.TheVETRecruiter.com and contact our office. We would love to hear about your situation and how we can help your career.
Joel: Stacy, thank you so much for joining us today and for all of this great advice for growing a person’s Animal Health or Veterinary career.
Stacy: It’s been my pleasure; Joel and I look forward to our next episode of the Animal Health and Veterinary employment Insider!