Episode #237 – The Ultimate Mindset and Top Characteristics for Sustained Career Success

The Vet Recruiter®
The Vet Recruiter®
Episode #237 - The Ultimate Mindset and Top Characteristics for Sustained Career Success
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Julea: 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. In fact, 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 the ultimate mindset and the top characteristics needed for sustained career success. Hello, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.

Stacy: Hello, Julea. As always, I’m glad to be here with you.

Julea: Stacy, I know that we talk a lot about success on the podcast, but this is an area that I know you are especially knowledgeable about and very passionate about. Is that right?

Stacy: Yes, that’s right, Julea. During my career as an Animal Health recruiter and Veterinary recruiter, I’ve seen many people succeed and I’ve seen what has contributed to their success. On the other hand, I’ve also seen people not succeed, and I’ve seen some contributing factors there, as well. One of my goals as a recruiter is to help professionals and employers in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession succeed, and that’s why I address this topic so often on our podcast.

Julea: Where would you like to start with today’s episode Stacy?

Stacy: I want to start with the proper mindset, or as the title of today’s episode indicates, the ultimate mindset.

Julea: I was wondering about that. Why are you calling it the “ultimate mindset”?

Stacy: There are professionals who have some of the elements of the proper mindset that we’re going to discuss, but the people who truly excel in their professional life and their career possess ALL of the elements. So if you want to have sustained career success, you should strive to master all of these elements so that you have not just a good mindset, but the best mindset possible.

I want to mention, though, that we’ve touched upon a few of these elements before on the podcast.

Julea: I can certainly understand that. With more than 250 episodes now of The Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider Podcast, we’ve covered a tremendous number of topics and content on this podcast. In fact, earlier this year, we had a podcast episode about the ultimate mental recipe for career success. How will today’s episode be different?

Stacy: Julea, in that podcast episode, we discussed the benefits of a positive mental attitude and an optimistic outlook. Those things form the framework and serve as the backdrop for what we’ll be talking about. Today, I’m going to present specific elements for sustained success that require a positive mental attitude and a positive outlook to be carried out properly for maximum effect.

Julea: It seems like a great deal of a person’s success starts in their mind.

Stacy: Yes, and that’s why we’ve addressed the mental aspect of success so much. A person’s mind and how they think is integral to their success. That’s because as a person thinks, they also do. In other words, thought precedes action. If you’re thinking the right way about the right things, then it will be easier for you to do the right things in terms of your career.

Julea: Stacy, correct me if I’m wrong, but one of the reasons that having the right mindset is good for a person’s career is because employers want to hire people with that kind of mindset.

Stacy: Yes, that’s absolutely right! Employers place a high premium on professionals who possess the right mindset. Skills and experience are important, for sure, but they’ll only take you so far. The proper mindset will take you the rest of the way.

Julea: Stacy, what are the elements of that mindset?

Stacy: There are six elements of the ultimate mindset that I want to present today, and the first one is being proactive as opposed reactive.

When you’re proactive, you make things happen. Most of the time, you also move from a position of strength as opposed to a position of weakness. When you’re reactive, you’re not making things happen. You react to things that happen TO you, and when you do that, you’re usually moving from a position of weakness. When you move from a position of strength, you have more leverage. Having more leverage increases your chances for success, sometimes dramatically.

Julea: Yes, we’ve talked about this element before. It certainly appears to be critical in terms of a person’s mindset and their career.

Stacy: Absolutely, and so is the second element associated with the ultimate mindset, which is not clinging to the status quo.

The status quo is not your friend. “Good” should never be the same as “good enough.” In fact, nothing should ever be “good enough.” You should always be striving to accomplish more, both for yourself and for your employer. The top professionals always want to continuously evolve.

The third element of the ultimate mindset goes hand-in-hand with this one.

Julea: Which element is that?

Stacy: That element is not being afraid of failing.

Those people who are afraid to fail are also those who are more likely to cling to the status quo, so you can see how these traits and attributes go hand-in-hand. People who show a history of being willing to take risks are generally more successful than those who don’t.

I’m not talking about unnecessary risks or taking risks just for the sake of taking them. I’m talking about taking calculated risks in the interest of accomplishing something bigger and better and not being afraid of failing in the process.

And how people react when they do fail is our next element, which is taking responsibility as opposed to blaming others.

Julea: That makes sense. Blaming others when things go wrong is not a long-term strategy for success.

Stacy: That’s right. Things are going to go wrong. It happens. What’s important is how people respond to things going wrong. When it comes to this scenario, there are basically two types of people: those who blame others for what happens and those who accept responsibility. There’s also a third category: those who accept responsibility although the fault may not necessarily lie with them. Those in this category are often leadership material.

Julea: And as we mentioned earlier, employers are looking for professionals who have this kind of mindset, especially when it comes to leadership.

Stacy: Yes, that’s right. Employers are always looking for professionals who are leadership material, regardless of the position they’re trying to fill.

Julea: Stacy, what’s the next element involved in the ultimate mindset?

Stacy: The next element is a “whatever it takes attitude.”

Julea: What does that mean, specifically?

Stacy: A truly great employee never complains about something “not being their job.” They understand that they are not just an employee, but they’re also part of a team. And since they’re part of a team, they must be a good team member and do what is necessary for the team to be successful. They do NOT have a sense of entitlement, nor do they believe that anything is beneath them. They just want to get the job done, period.

Julea: When you say “whatever it takes,” there is a limit to that, correct?

Stacy: Yes, that’s correct. Ideally, a person with a “whatever it takes attitude” is not going to do anything illegal or immoral in order to achieve their goals. However, they’re willing to do whatever is not illegal or immoral to get the job done, and that encompasses a lot, including working long hours and putting forth a tremendous amount of effort.

And our sixth and final element ties into that, as well.

Julea: Which element is that?

Stacy: Our final element is being resilient or mentally tough.

Adversity is inevitable. Everyone is going to encounter it. That’s as true in the world of business and the employment marketplace as it is everywhere else. Organizations that are stocked with resilient people are more successful than organizations that are not.

It doesn’t matter how talented you are. If you’re not mentally tough or if you run at the first sign of trouble, then there’s a limit to the amount of value that you can provide to an organization. But if you are mentally tough and resilient, then employers will consider you to be extremely valuable and will want to hire you.

And now that we’ve laid the foundation with six elements of a person’s mindset for success, we can move on to traits and characteristics.

Julea: So to follow the progression, you start with a positive attitude and an optimistic outlook, which we discussed in a previous podcast episode. Then we move to the six elements of the ultimate mindset that we just discussed, and those lead us to the characteristics most associated with professional success. Does that sound about right?

Stacy: Yes, that’s correct.

Julea: How many traits or characteristics do we have?

Stacy: I have 10 that I would like to present and discuss. A person who brands themselves with all 10 of these traits is in an excellent position to have a very successful and satisfying career. Not only that, but employers themselves helped to create this list that I’m about to share.

Julea: Employers created this list. Tell us more Stacy.

Stacy: I recently attended a career fair with employers, and during that event, I had the opportunity to ask company officials point-blank what they look for when considering candidates for their open positions. Their answers form the basis of this list, so in terms of what employers want from job seekers and candidates, you can see how it’s a very accurate list.

Julea: I would say so! Which traits and characteristics are on this list?

Stacy: I know that we’re pressed for time, so I’m going to run through these and elaborate on each one as much as I can. However, these are in no particular order. I didn’t rank them from one to 10 or from 10 to one. They’re all important.

The first one is being a hard worker. After all these years, nothing beats being a hard worker and being willing to go the “extra mile” to get the desired results.

Second is being a problem solver. The ability to solve problems is a form of value, and to employers, it’s one of the most important forms of value that a professional or candidate can have.

Third is being flexible, and there are multiple ways that a person can be flexible. For example, they can be flexible in their use of time and resources or they can be flexible in their approach to situations and circumstances. One of the reasons that some organizations prefer not to hire professionals who have been at their current employer for an extended period of time is because they believe those professionals are too set in their ways.

Fourth is being stable. While changing jobs every two to three years has become more acceptable, organizations do not want to hire people who make it a habit to change jobs every year.

Julea: So a professional shouldn’t stay in one job for too long and they shouldn’t change jobs too frequently?

Stacy: Yes, there is still a balance that professionals must strike between changing jobs too frequently and not changing them frequently enough, even though it’s become acceptable to change jobs every two to three years.

The fifth characteristic on our list is the willingness to learn. Employers do not want to hire someone who thinks they know it all. Instead, they want to hire professionals who know they don’t know it all and are also willing to engage in continuous training and education to add to the value that they provide.

Sixth is being efficient. Employees who are able to get more done in less time are more productive, and as a result, they’re considered to be more valuable.

Seventh is being innovative, which is related to problem solving. Employers want to hire people who think in a creative fashion, both to solve problems that currently exist and also to meet challenges and overcome obstacles that may occur in the future.

Eighth is excelling in a collaborative environment. No matter how sharp you are, you still have to interact well with other people, and that includes your co-workers. Part of this collaboration involves the sharing of ideas and also considering ideas that other people present to you.

Ninth is critical thinking. Being a critical thinker is the opposite of being a “lazy thinker” who does not probe too deeply into a problem or situation. Once again, this is related to problem solving and underscores the importance that employers place on hiring people who have the ability to solve problems.

And last, but not least, is attention to detail. People who have an eye for detail can prevent mistakes from being made and can help to foster better communication. This can lead to greater and higher levels of productivity and success.

Julea: Wow, that was quite a list! I can understand why a person who possesses all of these traits would be in such a good position professionally and with their career.

Stacy: Yes, this represents a blueprint for professionals in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession to not only enjoy success, but also enjoy it throughout the duration of their career. It’s one thing to know what you should be doing, but it’s another to actually do those things and do them on a consistent basis. After 23 years as a recruiter, I can confidently say that these are the ingredients for success as a professional, and these ingredients work not only in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession, but also in every other part of the employment marketplace. These elements are applicable to any job or professional situation.

Julea: Stacy, thank you for all of this great information. And there’s more information on The VET Recruiter website, for our audience as well including more information about enjoying professional success and best practices for growing your career!

Stacy: Yes, that’s right. You can start with the fact that all of the episodes of this podcast are located on The VET Recruiter website. As you mentioned earlier, there are more than 250 episodes housed on the The VET Recruiter site, and a great many of them deal with the topic of success and how people can experience more professional success, both in their current job and possibly in another job with a potential new employer.

We also have an extensive library of articles and blog posts for both candidates and employers. These articles deal with a wide range of topics, all of which are related to professional success, either through the growing of a person’s career, the hiring of top candidates, or both. In addition, we have recorded versions of webinars that I have conducted through the past 23 years, as an Animal Health recruiter and Veterinary recruiter. These are webinars I have recorded either by myself or with another person working within the Animal Health industry or Veterinary profession. I encourage our listeners to check out these resources on our website and certainly to reach out to us if you have any questions. If you are working in the Animal Health industry and are thinking about making a job move, we want to hear from you. Or, if you are an employer working in the Animal Health industry or Veterinary profession, we want to hear from you.

Julea: Once again, for more information about The VET Recruiter and the services that it provides to both Animal Health and Veterinary employers and professionals, we invite everyone listening to visit www.thevetrecruiter.com. Stacy, as always, thank you for joining us today.

Stacy: It’s been my pleasure, Julea, and I look forward to our next episode of the “Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider”!