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 and CEO of The VET Recruiter, 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 growing your 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.
Julea: Stacy, in a recent podcast episode, we talked about the difference between the growth mindset and the fixed mindset. Since we’re talking about growing your Animal Health or Veterinary career, is the growth mindset part of today’s conversation?
Stacy: In a way, it is. We’ve established that the growth mindset is the best mindset for professionals to have if they want to maximize their career and come closer to reaching their full career potential. However, I know that some people might have questions after our recent podcast episode. Specifically, they might be asking how they can change their mindset so they can grow their Animal Health or Veterinary career.
Julea: I would imagine that it takes effort and is not necessarily easy to do, is that right?
Stacy: That’s right, it’s not. But it IS possible. It does involve a different way of thinking about situations and circumstances. Once you think a certain way, especially if it’s been for an extended period of time, it become as habit and it’s more difficult to stop thinking that certain way and start thinking in a new direction. However, I have some bonus tips that a person can use to put themselves on the path to more success.
Julea: What are those tips?
Stacy: The first tip is viewing adversity as a challenge or opportunity instead of focusing on the adversity and wallowing in it.
Julea: What do you mean by wallowing in it Stacy? When I think of wallow, I think of wallowing in the mud.
Stacy: Yes, it is kind of like that Julea, wallowing in the mud. Some people’s mindsets are in the mud. For example, some people have a “poor me” attitude, and that attitude does not lend itself to the right mindset. People who have a growth mindset typically do not also have a “poor me” attitude.
The second tip is to be passionate about what you’re doing.
Julea: Why is that important Stacy?
Stacy: When you’re passionate about what you do, you’re already in a growth mindset. That’s because people who are passionate don’t let anything hold them back. In fact, not only do they not stop themselves, but it’s nearly impossible for other people to stop them too. If you’re passionate about what you’re doing, then employers will want to hire you. It’s almost impossible to be passionate about your work and your career and still have a fixed mindset.
My advice would be if you’re not passionate in your current role, then you need to find a career opportunity that truly excites you. If you have a fixed mindset and you’re also in a job that doesn’t excite you or on a career path that doesn’t excite you, then you could be in trouble. When you’re in that situation, it can be easy to fall into a career rut. And once you’re in a rut, it’s difficult to get out of it.
The third tip on our list is to be flexible in your thinking.
Julea: What do you mean specifically Stacy? Being flexible in your thinking?
Stacy: That’s exactly what I mean. People with a fixed mindset focus on their problem and not much else. Instead of focusing on what is, you have to start thinking about what could be. That’s because at the heart of the growth mindset is the ability to solve problems. The kind of flexibility that I’m talking about is the flexibility to think of solutions to problems. This is basically the difference between focusing on the problem and instead focusing on possible solutions.
Julea: That does make sense. What’s our next tip?
Stacy: The next tip is being proactive, which is something that we’ve discussed before on this podcast. The reason we’ve talked about it is that it’s very important. Just thinking about doing something is going to get you absolutely nowhere.
You have to be decisive and take action, and this means taking action in pursuit of solutions to the problems that you face. One my favorite sayings is, “Nothing happens until something happens,” which really means, “Nothing happens until you make it happen.” You can’t cling to the status quo.
And there’s something else that keeps people from taking action.
Julea: What’s that?
Stacy: Fear, and that’s our next tip, not allowing fear to rule your emotions and make your decisions. You can’t base your decisions on fear or on the thing that you’re the most afraid of. Those kinds of decisions rarely work out well. I’d like to once again reference the acronym that I use for fear, which is:
If you’re in the comfort zone, then you act reactively instead of proactively. And if you act reactively, then you’re limiting not only your opportunities, but also your options. The people who enjoy the most professional success and grow their Animal Health or Veterinary career are those who have a growth mindset and who proactively take advantage of their opportunities.
Julea: Stacy, what about people who say they’re just “waiting for the right time” to do something?
Stacy: You’ll have to forgive me, but I think that’s a bunch of baloney. If you wait for the right time to do something, you’ll soon find out that there will never be a right time. There will always be a reason for why you didn’t do it. More accurately, you’ll always come up with an excuse for why you didn’t do it.
Which leads us to our next tip.
Julea: Which is what?
Stacy: That tip is to never give up. This might be the most important one. We’ve talked before on this podcast about the power of resilience, and that power can not be overstated. A simple way to look at it is to ask yourself whether or not an Animal Health or Veterinary employer would want to hire a candidate who gives up. The answer, of course, is no. A hiring manager or practice owner does not want to hire someone who makes a habit of giving up.
Julea: That certainly makes sense. What other tips do you have for us today?
Stacy: Our next tip is to never rely solely upon your intelligence or skills to grow your Animal Health or Veterinary career.
Julea: What do you mean by that?
Stacy: If there are members of our listening audience who think that intelligence, skills, and experience are all you need to reach the top, then I want to dispel that notion. That is a myth. I’d like to discuss two things that are just as important, if not more important, and the first one is motivation. A person’s motivation level is more important than their intelligence. That’s because the reason that a person is motivated has a direct effect on something else that’s extremely important.
Julea: What’s that?
Stacy: How hard they’re willing to work. The amount of effort that a person puts forth is critical in determining how successful they will ultimately be. I think we’ve all known some very smart people in our lives who were also lazy people.
Julea: Yes, they seemed to “coast” through their classes at school and didn’t put a whole lot of effort into things. Is that what you’re talking about?
Stacy: Yes, that’s exactly what I’m talking about. This is where motivation enters the picture. Unless a person is properly motivated, then they will not reach the level of success they want to reach and grow their Animal Health or Veterinary career. This is also known as your Why.
Julea: What do you mean by your Why? What’s that?
Stacy: This speaks directly to motivation, or why someone is doing something. Everyone is doing what they’re doing for a reason. As I like to say, nothing happens without someone having the desire to make it happen, and motivation and desire are closely linked. I have a personal example that I’d like to use.
I have used The Why numerous times during my life and my career as an Animal Health recruiter and Veterinary recruiter. When I started my own firm, my motivation for doing so was my family. I wanted to make sure they were taken care of and they would have a good life. My motivation was also the desire to help people find new and better employment opportunities so they could improve their quality of life. So I had two powerful “Whys” and they overlapped each other.
You’ll notice that both of my “Whys” centered on other people and not myself. That’s an important distinction.
Julea: Why is that?
Stacy: Because the most powerful “Whys” are the ones that involve other people and not yourself. Think about it for a minute. People are willing to work harder and work longer and they’re willing to “go the extra mile” if they’re doing it for other people, especially people they care about.
Sure, there are some people who excel and are successful because their Why revolves around themselves. However, I believe they’re in the minority. Most of the time, a person’s greatest source of motivation is they want to help someone else, including improving the quality of someone else’s life.
Julea: So, it’s important for professionals to know what motivates them?
Stacy: Yes, it’s important. If you don’t know what motivates you, then you don’t know your Why. And you can see how motivation can trump intelligence and IQ in the workplace. Someone who is properly motivated can outwork someone who is not motivated but might be more intelligent or smarter in terms of IQ.
Julea: Stacy, what’s the second thing that’s just as important as intelligence and skills?
Stacy: The second thing is something that we’ve alluded to before on the show. It’s grit or perseverance.
Julea: Grit? You mean being gritty and not giving up when the things are going badly or seem to be going badly?
Stacy: Yes, and we talked earlier in today’s show about the importance of not giving up. This ties directly into that conversation. There is a direct correlation between how gritty a person is and how successful they are. I know that gritty is more of a slang word, but I think it accurately describes how a person should approach their Animal Health or Veterinary career.
There are two big reasons why being gritty and preserving is so important. The first reason is that adversity is inevitable. It’s going to happen, and you can’t avoid it. And it doesn’t matter how much your parents tried to shield you from it when you were younger. Sooner or later, it’s going to find you.
So, the question is not whether adversity will find you, but how you will react once it does find you. If you react poorly, then it’s not going to matter what your IQ is. It won’t matter what score you got on the SAT. The only thing that’s going to matters is that you reacted poorly. That will dictate your success, what you do in the moment and how you act. How smart you are means nothing, unless you persevere, take action, and apply your intelligence to the situation.
And the role of hard work and effort is crucial throughout this entire discussion.
Julea: Stacy, can you elaborate on that?
Stacy: I certainly can, and I’d like to draw upon the work of psychologist Angela Duckworth to do so. She is the author of a book titled Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.
According to Angela Duckworth, raw talent is not enough. Even if you have natural talent, you have to apply effort to turn that talent into a skill set. And even that is not enough, not if you want to truly succeed. That’s because you have to apply even more effort if you want to turn those skills into achievement. And as we’ve discussed, you’ll experience adversity along the way.
Julea: So perseverance and resiliency are necessary because a person must put forth a tremendous amount of effort in order to acquire skills and then achieve things with those skills?
Stacy: Yes, well put. So, you can see why motivation and your Why, plus grit and perseverance, are all more important than raw intelligence. It’s not how smart you are, it’s what you do with your intelligence and how you react to adversity that counts the most.
Julea: Stacy, is there anything that you’d like to add before we end today’s episode?
Stacy: Yes, there is. I’d like to say one more thing to our listening audience today. If and when an Animal Health recruiter or Veterinary recruiter contacts you about an employment opportunity, at least listen to what the opportunity is. You don’t have to pursue it, but at least listen to what it’s about.
If you at least listen, then you’re displaying the traits of someone who is interested in growing their Animal Health or Veterinary career. But if you don’t, then you’re stuck in the fixed mindset, and people who are stuck in that mindset do not maximize their careers or come close to reaching their full potential.
Julea: Stacy, thank you so much for all of this great information about growing your Animal Health or Veterinary career.
Stacy: You’re very welcome, Julea, and thank you. It’s been my pleasure, and I look forward to our next episode!
Julea: That’s all for today’s show. For Stacy Pursell and everyone at The VET Recruiter, thank for your listening today to the Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider and we welcome you to join us next time when we address more employment issues in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. We hope that you’ll join us then!