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Episode #306 – Habits to Take Your Animal Health or Veterinary Career to the Next Level

The Vet Recruiter®
The Vet Recruiter®
Episode #306 - Habits to Take Your Animal Health or Veterinary Career to the Next Level

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 habits to take your Animal Health or Veterinary career to the next level. Hello, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.

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

Caleb: Stacy, what was the genesis of today’s podcast episode?

Stacy: A few episodes ago, we examined the personality traits that lead to a more successful Animal Health or Veterinary career. I thought this would be a good complement to that episode, and of course, I encourage our listening audience to check out that previous episode, which is #300.

Caleb: Wow, I almost can’t believe that we have done more than 300 episodes. That’s impressive.

Stacy: Thank you, Caleb. Yes, it’s been a lot of hard work, but also very satisfying.

Caleb: Before we get started, what exactly is the difference between personality traits and habits? Does one contribute to the other? How does that work?

Stacy: Personality traits are enduring patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that characterize an individual’s unique psychological makeup. They are relatively stable and consistent across different situations and over time. Habits, on the other hand, are specific behavioral patterns that are acquired through repetition and become automatic over time. They are actions or routines that individuals perform regularly and often unconsciously.

People’s personality traits can significantly influence their habits. Personality traits serve as underlying factors that shape an individual’s behavior, including the development and maintenance of habits.

Caleb: Do personality traits always influence habits?

Stacy: Many times, but not always. While personality traits can influence habits, it’s important to note that habits can also be intentionally developed and modified through conscious effort, regardless of one’s personality traits.

Caleb: So where would you like to start with personality traits?

Stacy: It’s like to start with adaptability, which might be the most important trait we discuss today.

Caleb: Why is that?

This habit allows you to embrace change, learn new skills, and navigate challenges with ease. By cultivating adaptability, you position yourself as a valuable asset to employers and open doors to new opportunities. Adaptability enables you to thrive in diverse roles, industries, and evolving trends. It equips you with the resilience, problem-solving ability, and agility needed to excel in your career, making it a habit that can truly elevate your professional trajectory.

Caleb: We’ve talked about this before on the podcast. Adaptability helps a person to become more resilient, isn’t that right?

Stacy: Yes, that’s right.

Resiliency enables individuals to bounce back, recover, and keep moving forward. It fosters a positive mindset, persistence, and determination, allowing individuals to persevere through difficult times. Resilient individuals adapt to change, learn from failures, and seize opportunities for growth. Employers value resiliency as it demonstrates the ability to handle pressure and navigate uncertainties.

Caleb: What’s another important personality trait that can help a person take their Animal Health or Veterinary career to the next level?

Stacy: Another important trait is coachability.

Caleb: What does that mean, coachability? What does it mean to be coachable?

Stacy: Being coachable means being open to feedback, willing to learn, and actively seeking opportunities for growth. This habit enables you to absorb knowledge, refine your skills, and continuously improve. Coachable individuals embrace constructive criticism and adapt their approach. They demonstrate humility, curiosity, and a growth mindset.

Caleb: Is being coachable a habit that employers value?

Stacy: Absolutely. Employers value coachability as it fosters professional development, collaboration, and adaptability. By cultivating coachability as a habit, you position yourself as a valuable asset, capable of taking your career to the next level through continuous learning and improvement.

Which leads us to our next habit.

Caleb: Which habit is that?

Stacy: The desire to accumulate more knowledge.

By cultivating a thirst for knowledge, you demonstrate a commitment to continuous learning and growth. This habit enables you to expand your expertise and adapt to changing demands. The accumulation of knowledge enhances your problem-solving abilities, critical thinking skills, and decision-making capacity.

Employers also value individuals who have the desire to accumulate knowledge. That’s because they bring fresh insights and innovative ideas to the table. By making the pursuit of knowledge a habit, you position yourself for success and advancement.

Caleb: Is seems as though there is a close correlation between habits that can take your Animal Health or Veterinary career to the next level and habits that employers value.

Stacy: Yes, there is a correlation. Employers value the same habits that can help take your career to the next level. In fact, that value is what helps you take your career to that level.

Caleb: What’s the next habit on our list?

Stacy: The next habit on our list is focus. When you have a focused mindset, you develop the ability to concentrate deeply on tasks and eliminate distractions. This can lead to exceptional results. This habit allows you to make efficient use of your time and deliver high-quality work. Focused individuals are able to set clear priorities, maintain discipline, and stay on track towards their goals.

And yes, once again, organizations value employees who have focus. That’s because it leads to increased productivity, effective problem-solving, and the ability to meet deadlines.

Caleb: Stacy, it seems as though many of the habits on this list are intangible in nature. They’re not habits like exercise habits or anything like that, but they’re almost mindset habits. Would that be accurate?

Stacy: Yes, that’s a great way of putting it. These are mindset habits that set people up for success and help take their Animal Health or Veterinary career to the next level. Habits are about more than what you do; they also deal with the way in which you think. And since your actions are ultimately framed by your thoughts and driven by them, it makes sense to form the right habits in your mind first.

Caleb: That does make sense. What’s next on our list?

Stacy: The next habit that can help take your Animal Health or Veterinary career to the next level is always having a sense of purpose.

Caleb: How can that help a person?

Stacy: Like the other items on our list, in multiple ways. First, having a sense of purpose enables you to set meaningful goals and prioritize your actions. It helps you identify what truly matters to you and align your career choices with your values and passions.

Second, a strong sense of purpose empowers you to persevere through challenges and setbacks. When faced with obstacles, your purpose serves as a source of resilience and determination, enabling you to stay focused and committed.

Third, a sense of purpose fuels intrinsic motivation. This intrinsic motivation drives excellence, pushing you to go above and beyond and continuously improve your skills and knowledge.

And finally, having a sense of purpose can foster a sense of meaning and impact in your work. This can open doors to new possibilities and attract opportunities that can elevate your Animal Health or Veterinary career to the next level.

Caleb: I can also see how these habits are interrelated. The last two, for instance, being focused and having a sense of purpose. Those two definitely go together.

Stacy: Yes, many of these habits are interrelated and they work well together. And that also applies to the next item on our list.

Caleb: Which habit is that?

Stacy: Our next habit is taking ownership of your actions.

Caleb: You’ve discussed this before on the podcast, have you not?

Stacy: Yes, I have. Actually, I’ve discussed it in a couple of different ways, especially as it pertains to a person’s Animal Health or Veterinary career. You have to take ownership of your actions and also ownership of your career. You can’t blame what happens to you on someone else.

Caleb: People also blame what happens to them on circumstances, too, don’t they?

Stacy: Yes, and while there are sometimes valid reasons why something did or did not happen or a situation or circumstances were so severe that it adversely affected a person, it’s important to do everything you can to rise about those circumstances. Adversity is inevitable, and that’s true for everyone.

Caleb: Stacy, what are the specific ways that taking ownership of your actions can help your Animal Health or Veterinary career?

Stacy: First, owning your actions fosters trust and credibility. By acknowledging and taking responsibility for your mistakes, you build trust with other people, whoever they may be. People are more likely to entrust you with challenging tasks and leadership roles when they know you can be counted on to own up to your actions.

Second, taking ownership enables personal growth and development. When you accept responsibility for your successes and failures, you gain valuable insights and learn from your experiences. This self-awareness and reflection allow you to identify areas for improvement and take proactive steps to enhance your skills and knowledge.

In addition, ownership cultivates a problem-solving mindset. Instead of blaming external factors or making excuses, taking ownership prompts you to seek solutions and take proactive measures to overcome obstacles.

And finally, owning your actions demonstrates leadership potential. Leaders are individuals who take ownership and are accountable for their decisions and their impact on others. By consistently demonstrating these qualities, you position yourself as a reliable and trustworthy professional, paving the way for leadership opportunities and career advancement.

Caleb: Wow, there is definitely a lot to unpack here, isn’t there?

Stacy: Yes, definitely. This is one of the reasons that I’m a big believer that success starts in the mind. You have to think the right things before you can do the right things, and that certainly applies to the habits that you create.

Caleb: What’s next on our list?

Stacy: The next habit that can help take your Animal Health or Veterinary career to the next level is not trying to take all of the credit all of the time.

Caleb: Why is this so important?

Stacy: This is important for multiple reasons, one of which is that it lends itself well to working as part of a team. In fact, it actually lends itself well to being the leader of a team. A leader does not take all of the credit for the successes of their team. They recognize the contributions of each team member.

This cultivates a positive work environment where people feel valued and motivated. When you recognize and celebrate the achievements of your team, it establishes a sense of camaraderie and encourages collaboration, leading to improved teamwork and collective success.

However, there are a couple of other reasons why this habit is important.

Caleb: What reasons are those?

Stacy: First, being generous with sharing credit demonstrates humility and selflessness. It shows that you are more interested in achieving the best outcomes rather than personal glory. Such qualities are highly regarded by employers and can contribute to your professional reputation and long-term career growth.

And second, not seeking all the credit time fosters a culture of continuous learning and growth. When you recognize the contributions of others, you create an environment that encourages knowledge sharing and professional development. This culture of learning can expand your own skill set, enhance your abilities, and open doors to new opportunities for advancement.

Caleb: So when you try to take all of the credit all of the time, what you’re really doing is stunting your own growth in the long run.

Stacy: Exactly.

Caleb: Stacy, we’re coming down to the wire! We have time for one more habit, and what might our final habit be?

Stacy: Our final habit for taking your Animal Health or Veterinary career to the next level is taking care of yourself.

Caleb: This is a big one in the Veterinary profession, isn’t it?

Stacy: Yes, absolutely. The Veterinary profession has a problem with stress and burnout. In fact, you could call it a serious problem, and the veterinarian shortage and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have only made it worse during the last several years.

Caleb: I imagine that there are also multiple benefits associated with forming this habit, is that right?

Stacy: Yes, that’s right. As you might guess, practicing self-care improves physical health, which directly impacts your performance in the workplace. Engaging in activities that promote physical well-being, such as regular exercise, healthy eating, and sufficient sleep, boosts energy levels, sharpens focus, and increases resilience.

Caleb: But we’re talking about both physical and mental health, correct?

Stacy: Yes. Taking care of your mental health through practices like mindfulness, stress management, and seeking support when you need it improves concentration, decision-making, and problem-solving abilities. When you are physically and mentally healthy, you are better equipped to handle challenges and perform at your best.

Second, self-care prevents burnout and fosters work-life balance. By establishing boundaries and making time for activities you enjoy outside of work, you recharge and rejuvenate. Engaging in hobbies, spending time with loved ones, and pursuing interests unrelated to your career replenish your energy and prevent the accumulation of stress.

And third, making a habit of taking care of yourself enhances resilience and emotional intelligence, both of which are crucial for career advancement. Practicing self-compassion and managing stress build emotional resilience, which allows you to bounce back from setbacks and navigate challenges with a positive mindset.

Caleb: And a person’s mindset is the basis for everything that we’ve discussed today. As you said, you must think the right way before you can act the right way, and that starts with the habits you form in your mind.

Stacy: That’s right. Success starts in the mind.

Caleb: Stacy, thank you so much for joining us today and for all of this great information about habits to take your Animal Health or Veterinary career to the next level.

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

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