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Episode #154 – What Does John F. Kennedy Have to Do with Your Animal Health or Veterinary Career?

The Vet Recruiter®
The Vet Recruiter®
Episode #154 - What Does John F. Kennedy Have to Do with Your Animal Health or Veterinary Career?

Julea: Welcome to “The Animal Health Employment Insider,” brought to you by The VET Recruiter. In this podcast, Executive Recruiter and Veterinary Recruiter, Stacy Pursell, founder of The VET Recruiter, and workplace and workforce expert, provides insight and practical advice for both employers and job seekers in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. The VET Recruiter’s mission is to help Animal Health and Veterinary employers hire top talent, while helping animal health and veterinary professionals attain career-enhancing opportunities that increase their quality of life.

In today’s podcast episode, we’ll be talking about what John F. Kennedy has to do with a person’s Animal Health or Veterinary career. Hello, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.

Stacy: Hello, Julea. As always, I’m glad to be here. It’s been a couple of weeks since we have done our podcast due to the holiday last week.

Julea: Stacy, yes that is true and this is certainly an interesting title for today’s podcast episode. We’re referencing a person who was president nearly 50 years ago, is that correct?

Stacy: Yes, that’s correct. So I understand that some of our listeners, or maybe all of our listeners, are wondering what John F. Kennedy has to do with their career. I understand why they may wondering this and I’m happy to answer this question.

Julea: Where would you like to begin today Stacy?

Stacy: Well, Julea, I’d like to start with the focal point of today’s episode, which might be the most famous quote of John F. Kennedy’s presidency. That quote is as follows: “Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.”

What’s important to note is that the same philosophy applies to a person’s career.

Julea: That is interesting Stacy. Tell us more.

Stacy: A professional working in the Animal Health industry or Veterinary profession should not first ask what their employer can do for them. Instead, they should first ask what they can do for their employer.

Julea: Stacy, does this pertain to the importance of value in the marketplace, and how value is what makes the marketplace go around?

Stacy: Yes, it absolutely does. I’ve said this before on multiple occasions, but everything in the marketplace boils down to value, specifically the value that a professional provides to their employer and the value that their employer provides to them. However, professionals should be focused on providing value to their employer first.

Unfortunately, not everyone has this attitude toward their job and their career.

Julea: Please explain that Stacy.

Stacy: During the course of my career as an Animal Health recruiter and Veterinary recruiter, I’ve discovered that there are two types of people. The first type says something to the effect of “When this organization pays me what I’m worth, then I’ll do all the work they want me to do.” The other type of person says, “I’m going to be the best I can be and I’m going to do the best job that I can, because I know that if I give more than is expected of me, then I’m going to be rewarded.”

Obviously, those people in our listening audience should strive to be the second type of person. The goal is to provide the value and work hard first and you will be rewarded for your efforts.

Julea: Is this “The Principle of Reciprocity”?

Stacy: Yes, that’s exactly right! This principle means that when someone gives us something, we feel compelled to give something in return. Basically, what John F. Kennedy was talking about with his quote was “The Principle of Reciprocity.” Only in his case, he was talking about providing value to your country first before asking for value from your country. For the purposes of today’s podcast episode, of course, I’m talking about first providing value to your employer.

Julea: And just to recap, Stacy, what do you mean specifically by value?

Stacy: There are four things that a professional in the Animal Health industry or Veterinary profession should do for their employer. These things are:

  1. Help the organization make money
  2. Help the organization save money
  3. Both make money and save money
  4. Help provide some other form of value to the employer.


I want to stop and say something right here. This might sound a little harsh, but most companies and organizations are in business to make a profit. They’re not in business to simply offer people a job. I’ve noticed a shift in candidates these days, where they want to work for an organization that’s bigger than simply making a profit. And that is great and I’m all for that.

At the same time, though, an employer has be profitable or it can not stay in business. That’s the reality of the marketplace. You want your employer to be profitable so that you have a job and so your employer can continue to offer the products and services that it offers.  Since our listeners work primarily in the Animal Health Industry or Veterinary profession, you want your employer to succeed so your company can continue to offer services or products that help animals.

Julea: Stacy, do you think that it’s more difficult for professionals to have the “give first mindset” in this current market, since it’s a candidate-driven market and there are so many Animal Health jobs and Veterinary jobs available?

Stacy: Yes, I would say that it’s more difficult. However, I would also say that it’s not any less important. I understand that when it’s a candidate-driven market, employees and job candidates have the leverage. Under these conditions, companies and organizations want to hire the best candidates and they want to retain their best employees. And because of that, employees and job candidates are more likely to believe that organizations are the ones that have to show their value and provide that value. However, that is a risky, short-sighted strategy.

Julea: Why do you call it a short-sighted strategy?

Stacy: Because the market is not going to be like this forever. There’s going to be a recession eventually, and when that happens, the market is going to change. Job candidates and employees are no longer going to have the leverage they have right now. In fact, depending on the severity of the recession, they might not have any leverage at all.

Julea: So that’s why it’s a good idea to practice “The Principle of Reciprocity”?

Stacy: That’s right. It’s a great habit to have, but not only that, it’s also a necessary habit to have. I can say without a doubt that the most successful Animal Health and Veterinary professionals I’ve seen have been those who have practiced this principle and asked first what they can do for their employer and not what their employer can do for them.

Practicing this principle helps professionals maximize their career, no matter what kind of economy it is. It could be a recovering economy, like the one we’re in, or it could be a recessionary economy, like the one we’ll eventually face.

Julea: Stacy, this is great information and we appreciate you being her today to share this with our listening audience. We’re just about out of time for today. Is there anything else that you’d like to add before we wrap up today’s episode?

Stacy: Yes. It’s important to remember that the person who provides the value first is the one who benefits in the long run. Once again, I know it seems counterintuitive to say this, but giving first should be the default setting for Animal Health and Veterinary professionals. You can’t go wrong when you give first. Like the saying goes it is better to give receive. When you practice the Principle of Reciprocity you are benefitting yourself too by benefitting others first.

It’s the same for acting with integrity. You can’t go wrong when you give first, and you can’t go wrong when you act with integrity. These are two of the most important things that you can do in terms of your job and your career. If you do nothing else, but you do these two things, then you’ll automatically be better positioned to enjoy more professional success.

Julea: Thank you once again, Stacy, and I invite our listeners to join us next time when we address more hiring and employment topics in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. We hope that you’ll join us then!

Stacy:  We look forward to the next episode of the Animal Health Employment Insider!

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