Caleb: 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 core value of perseverance in a person’s Animal Health or Veterinary career. Hello, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.
Stacy: Hello, Caleb. As always, I’m glad to be here with you today.
Caleb: Stacy, we’ve discussed quite a few core values to this point in our series, haven’t we?
Stacy: Yes, we’ve looked at integrity, reliability, candor, and enthusiasm. That brings us to our fifth core value, which is perseverance.
Caleb: Where would you like to start with today’s core value Stacy?
Stacy: Let’s start with a definition, as we have in the past. According to the dictionary, perseverance is “persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.” It’s a continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition.
Caleb: Do you have an example of perseverance for us?
Stacy: Yes, I have a simple one that pertains to someone’s personal life and not necessarily to their Animal Health or Veterinary career, and it’s one to which many people can probably relate. An example of perseverance is setting the goal of working out for an hour each day to lose weight, and then sticking to that goal even when it’s not easy and things get in the way.
Caleb: Like everyday life things?
Stacy: Right, and we all have everyday life things that get in the way of what we want to do. Maybe the person who wants to work out an hour each day gets home from work late or they feel too tired to work out or maybe they have children and there are other responsibilities they have to take care of. But instead of not working out, they find a way to still do it and persevere through their circumstances.
Caleb: So perseverance is sort of like pushing through adversity to get the job done?
Stacy: Yes, but there’s more to it than that. Perseverance is quite literally defined as not giving up, having the desire to not give up even though there is every reason to do so. In the minds of some people, those reasons are really excuses to quit and they don’t want to quit, for any reason or any perceived excuse.
So because they have this mindset, they don’t allow their circumstances to stop them and they continue moving forward in their Animal Health or Veterinary career, even if it’s difficult and they’re becoming discouraged. Perseverance is about more than trying something a second time. It’s about trying it a third, fourth, fifth time, and as many times as it takes.
What makes perseverance so challenging and such a great core value are the multiple types of obstacles that can exist for a person.
Caleb: What do you mean by that?
Stacy: Obstacles can be physical in nature, or they can be mental, emotional, or psychological. And a person can encounter multiple types of obstacles when they’re trying to persevere. It’s not as if obstacles only present themselves one at a time. That’s not how life works. Multiple obstacles can exist at once, and taken together, they can sometimes feel overwhelming. This is when perseverance is needed the most.
Caleb: Other people could be obstacles, as well, is that right?
Stacy: That’s right. One obstacle could be criticism or negative comments from other people, including your coworkers. Unfortunately, some people enjoy seeing others fail, so they actively work against their success. And even if people are not outwardly critical, they could be indifferent or uncaring, which could also pose an obstacle.
Caleb: Stacy, as I’m thinking about this, I have a question. Could a person who maybe doesn’t have as much talent persevere in a situation over a person who has more talent but perhaps is not as persistent as the other person?
Stacy: Yes, absolutely, and that’s one of the many reasons why perseverance is so critical to a person’s Animal Health or Veterinary career success. Various studies have shown that perseverance is an essential quality for success in life. It often tops aptitude and raw talent and is a more accurate predictor of achievement. A person’s ability to stick with their tasks, goals, and passions is vital.
However, it’s important to remember that perseverance is not something that you can turn “on and off.” It’s also something that’s not going to happen all of a sudden just because a person has made the decision to persevere.
Caleb: Can you elaborate on that?
Stacy: Yes, I can. Perseverance is like many of the core values that we’ve been discussing, and in fact, it’s like many positive traits and characteristics. First, it requires effort, and second, it requires practice. You must make a commitment to persevere because perseverance is not easy. Quitting is easy. Making the decision not to quit is not easy, especially when negative circumstances appear to be piling up against you.
Second, showing perseverance does not mean you have to be perfect at it or appear perfect. Nothing in life is perfect, including within a person’s Animal Health or Veterinary career. When you persevere, you’re going to have difficulties, especially at first. You’re going to feel uncomfortable, which is understandable because you’re not in your comfort zone. Things are going to seem messy, which is also be expected. The key, though, is not perfection, but progress. You must focus on making progress and pushing through whatever adversity you’re facing. Just make sure that you’re moving in the right direction.
There’s a quote by Margaret Thatcher that applies to perseverance. She said, “You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.”
Caleb: That all makes sense, and that quote certainly applies to what we’ve been discussing. What does perseverance look like in the workplace?
Stacy: It can mean a lot of things and look like a lot of things in the workplace. It could mean attempting to resolve issues with challenging coworkers or it could mean putting forth extra effort and spending more time researching a case or a file. In terms of the big picture, it could also mean being able to stay focused on long-term goals like earning a raise and/or a promotion.
Caleb: Stacy, is this core value like the other ones we’ve discussed in that they’re leadership traits and that people who exhibit these values are more likely to move into leadership roles?
Stacy: Yes, that’s right. Of course, leaders have a lot of other traits and abilities, a big one being talent. Leaders also have insight and wisdom, which they share with others, but perseverance is definitely a top trait of leaders. Good leaders have the willpower to work hard regardless of any obstacles; to be firm in terms of achievement, both individually and when leading a group; and to remain consistent.
Caleb: Stacy, you’ve talked about practicing perseverance. How can a person train themselves to persevere when they’re faced with adversity or negative circumstances?
Stacy: There are multiple things that a person can do. In fact, I have six steps.
The first step is to recall a time in the past when you persevered doing something. It could even be something small. This type of memory will give you confidence to move forward in your current situation.
The second step is take small steps and only focus on one step at a time. If you look at a situation in its entirety, it may appear overwhelming. But by focusing on just one step at a time, you’re not overwhelmed and you’re better positioned to succeed.
The third step is to set a reasonable pace. This goes hand-in-hand with the second step, because you don’t want to try to do too much too soon and you don’t want to go too fast. Both approaches can backfire.
Fourth is to identify the options and possible solutions that you have. As is the case with all situations that you face, the more options you have, the better your chances for Animal Health or Veterinary career success. However, options don’t always present themselves to you. Instead, you have to devise them and look for them.
The fifth step is to be patient and give things time. Showing perseverance is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Slow and steady wins the race. When you become impatient, you’re more likely to make mistakes and poor decisions.
The sixth and final step is to not quit and keep going. This is the backbone of perseverance. As long as you don’t give up, you’re persevering. No matter how ugly or messy things get or how you feel about your progress or perceived lack of it, you’re still persevering as long as you don’t give up and you just keep moving forward.
Caleb: Stacy, how closely related are perseverance and resiliency? I know that you’ve talked a lot about resiliency on the podcast.
Stacy: That’s a great question, and yes, the two are related. In fact, on this podcast and in blog posts and articles, I’ve identified resiliency as the one trait that can make a huge difference in a person’s Animal Health or Veterinary career. I talk with hiring managers on a consistent basis who say that resiliency is lacking overall in job seekers and candidates in today’s job market. This means there is a demand for resiliency, which is a big part of perseverance. Hiring managers have acknowledged that this is a form of value that they want in candidates and employees.
In addition to not giving up, resilient people do four other things that make them stand out from the crowd.
First, they’re authentic individuals. They don’t try to be something they’re not. They identify and accept their weaknesses and work hard to try to improve upon them.
Second, resilient people are flexible. This means flexible both in their thinking and their approach to situations. Their mindset is often, “Whatever it takes to get the job done.” They focus on solutions and not circumstances, which is why they thrive as problem solvers and provide a tremendous amount of value to their employer.
Third, they’re self-motived individuals. They don’t need anyone else to motivate them. This means they’re intrinsically motivated and not extrinsically motivated. And to be a person who is resilient and who shows perseverance, you must be intrinsically motivated to move forward and push through negative circumstances.
Fourth, resilient people manage stress well. As I mentioned earlier, adversity is unavoidable in life, and to a certain extent, stress is also unavoidable. What’s important is how you respond to stress. If you respond negatively, then you decrease the chances that you’ll be successful. If you respond in a positive way to stress, then you increase your chances for success. It’s a simple equation.
Caleb: So people who respond negatively to stress are less likely to show perseverance because they’ll burn themselves out over the stress or allow the stress to overwhelm them to the point where they quit.
Stacy: Yes, that’s right.
Caleb: Stacy, we’re just about out of time, so is there anything else that you’d like to add before we wrap up today’s podcast episode?
Stacy: Yes. I’d like to mention that those people who are truly serious about growing their Animal Health or Veterinary career excel when it comes to adversity and encountering obstacles. In fact, some people actually thrive in the midst of adversity and welcome the challenges that come with encountering obstacles.
Caleb: Really, they welcome adversity?
Stacy: Well, they don’t truly welcome adversity, but they don’t shy away from it. They don’t run from it. Instead, they run toward it because they know that overcoming obstacles and meeting challenges will help them grow.
And this is also something that we’ve addressed before on the podcast: that when you’re facing challenging circumstances, don’t focus on the circumstances and how negative they are. Instead, focus on the opportunities that exist in the midst of those circumstances and put together a plan for maximizing those opportunities.
Caleb: Stacy, thank you so much for joining us today and for all of this great information about the core value of perseverance and a person’s Animal Health or Veterinary career.
Stacy:. It’s been my pleasure Caleb, and I look forward to our next episode of the Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider!
Caleb: For those in our listening audience, who have Animal Health or Veterinary experience and are ready to make a job change reach out to Stacy at www.thevetrecruiter.com If you are hiring in the Animal Health industry or Veterinary profession reach out to Stacy. The VET Recruiter has helped hundreds of employers since 1997 fill their most critical job openings. We look forward to our next episode of the Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider. Thank you for joining us today.
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