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Episode #309 – How to Know When It’s Time to Quit Your Animal Health or Veterinary Job

The Vet Recruiter®
The Vet Recruiter®
Episode #309 - How to Know When It’s Time to Quit Your Animal Health or Veterinary Job

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 industry and Veterinary profession. 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 how to know when it’s time to quit your Animal Health job or Veterinary job. Hello, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.

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

Caleb: I believe you’ve talked about the right way to resign from a job on the podcast, but I don’t think that you’ve discussed when to know it’s time to resign and move on. Why did you want to tackle this topic now?

Stacy: There is much opportunity in the job market right now, especially for those who work in the Veterinary profession. As I’ve pointed out previously, the unemployment rate for veterinarians is practically zero. Specifically the unemployment rate for veterinarians is 0.2%.  I cannot tell you the last time I spoke with a veterinarian who was unemployed and could not find a job.

So, with all of this opportunity in the job market, there is no reason for someone to endure being in a job that they don’t really enjoy or that is not advancing their Animal Health career or Veterinary career. With as many open positons that exist in the job market, there is more than likely going to be an opportunity that will entice them and bring them more professional satisfaction.

Caleb: That all makes perfect sense. Where would you like to start today?

Stacy: Well, I have a list of factors that are involved with knowing when it is time to quit your Animal Health job or Veterinary job, and I’ll go through them one at a time.

Caleb: That sounds good. What is first on our list?

Stacy: The first factor is not feeling valued. When you do not feel valued, then it might be time to quit.

Caleb: What are the ways in which a person might not feel valued at their job?

Stacy: There are a few different ways, starting with a lack of recognition. If your employer consistently fails to recognize and appreciate your contributions, it can be demoralizing. When your hard work, achievements, and dedication go unnoticed or unacknowledged, it can lead to feelings of frustration and disengagement. A lack of recognition can hinder your professional growth and erode your self-confidence.

Another way is when you are ignored or dismissed. When your employer disregards your ideas, suggestions, or feedback consistently, it sends a message that your input is not valued. Feeling like your voice is not heard or that your contributions don’t matter can be demotivating and hinder your ability to make a meaningful impact in your role.

And finally, if there is a lack of support and development, you might not feel as though you are valued. If you consistently feel that your employer does not provide the necessary resources, training, or mentorship to help you succeed and thrive in your role, it can be a sign that they don’t prioritize your growth and professional fulfillment.

Caleb: How else does a person know when it is time for them to quit their Animal Health job or Veterinary job?

Stacy: Another reason would be if there is a lack of job satisfaction.

Caleb: Wouldn’t a person have a lack of job satisfaction if they thought they were not valued at work?

Stacy: Yes, that is right. As we go along, you will see how all of these factors are related to one another and sometimes feed off each other. There are multiple reasons why a lack of satisfaction can be detrimental to a person in their Animal Health or Veterinary job.

Caleb: What reasons are those?

Stacy: The first one is a decline in motivation. The absence of fulfillment can make tasks feel mundane, leading to decreased enthusiasm and a lack of commitment. This can hinder personal growth and limit professional achievements.

In addition, job satisfaction is closely tied to opportunities for growth and advancement. If a job does not provide avenues for learning, skill development, or meaningful challenges, individuals may feel stagnant and unfulfilled. A lack of growth prospects can limit career progression and personal development.

And finally, if job dissatisfaction goes on for too long, it can have adverse effects on mental health, leading to increased stress, anxiety, and even depression. Spending a significant portion of one’s time in a dissatisfying environment can take a toll on overall well-being and quality of life.

Caleb: And as we have discussed, mental health is already a top issue in the Veterinary profession.

Stacy: Yes, it is. Stress and burnout are rampant within the profession, and that’s why job satisfaction levels are so important.

Caleb: How else should a person know when it is time to quit their Animal Health job or Veterinary job?

Stacy: Since we just mentioned stress and burnout, those two things constitute another reason, along with a corresponding lack of a positive work-life balance.

Caleb: I imagine this is one of the big reasons why people quit their jobs and look for other opportunities.

Stacy: Yes, that is correct, especially in today’s environment, when there are so many other opportunities available.

Caleb: How exactly can a lack of work-life balance affect a person?

Stacy: Once again, in multiple ways. As we discussed earlier, it can lead to chronic stress and burnout. Constantly feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and unable to disconnect from work takes a toll on mental and emotional well-being. This can lead to decreased job satisfaction, decreased productivity, and an increased risk of mental health issues.

Caleb: Can’t it affect a person’s physical health, as well?

Stacy: Absolutely. Lack of exercise, poor eating habits, and insufficient rest can lead to increased risk of chronic health conditions, decreased immune function, and overall diminished vitality.

In addition, lack of a positive work-life balance can strain relationships with family, friends, and loved ones. Lack of quality time and availability to nurture these connections can lead to feelings of isolation, increased conflicts, and a diminished overall sense of happiness and fulfillment.

Caleb: What is another reason that a person should consider quitting their Animal Health or Veterinary job?

Stacy: Our next reason is one that does not get a lot of press. It is a misalignment of organizational values.

Caleb: What does that mean, exactly?

Stacy: When the core values and principles of an individual do not align with those of the organization they work for, it can cause several problems.

First, it can create a deep sense of dissatisfaction and a lack of purpose. When people are unable to align their personal beliefs and principles with their work, it can erode their motivation, engagement, and overall job satisfaction.

Second, it can also mean that the person is a not a cultural fit for the organization. If an individual’s personal values are incongruent with the prevailing culture, it can create a sense of alienation and make it difficult to connect with colleagues and the overall work environment. This can hinder collaboration, teamwork, and overall job performance.

And third, it can even lead to ethical dilemmas, forcing individuals to compromise their own moral compass in order to comply with the organization’s expectations or practices. This internal conflict can be emotionally and mentally draining, negatively impacting an individual’s integrity and sense of self.

Caleb: Stacy, correct me if I’m wrong, but would this reason be more important to the members of the younger generations?

Stacy: I wouldn’t say that it’s necessarily more important, since this is a critical factor for everyone, but I would say that the members of the younger generations are more sensitive to this factor. Because of that, it might play a bigger role in their decision-making process.

Caleb: What’s next on our list?

Stacy: Another reason that a person should consider quitting their Animal Health job or Veterinary job is if the person is not learning anything new or doesn’t have the opportunity to learn new things.

Caleb: In other words, they’re not growing.

Stacy: Right, exactly, and there is a host of reasons why this is important.

When you’re not learning anything new, it can lead to a sense of professional stagnation. Without new challenges, skills, or knowledge, there is a risk of becoming complacent and losing motivation. Stagnation can hinder personal and career growth, limiting your potential for advancement and development.

In addition, staying up-to-date with new trends, technologies, and industry best practices is essential. If you’re not learning anything new, you may risk falling behind and becoming less relevant in your field. This can limit future opportunities and hinder your marketability.

Caleb: You mean that it can hurt your chances of getting a better job, or at the very least, getting another job?

Stacy: Yes, that’s correct. And of course, sustained career satisfaction is closely tied to continuous learning and growth. If you’re not learning anything new, you may find yourself feeling unfulfilled and dissatisfied in the long run. Seeking new challenges and opportunities for learning is essential for maintaining enthusiasm and a sense of purpose in your career.

Caleb: Stacy, I know we’re coming down to the wire for today’s episode, but I have to ask about compensation. I know you haven’t discussed that reason yet, but I’m guessing that it’s on the list.

Stacy: Yes, it is, and I saved it for last, not because it’s the most important, but because it’s the one that many people think of first. Although salary, compensation, and benefits are important, they’re often not the most important reason why people leave their Animal Health job or Veterinary job. On the other hand, salary, compensation, and benefits do belong in this conversation and they do merit discussion.

Caleb: What would you like to discuss about compensation and benefits?

Stacy: First, I’d like to address the reasons they belong in this discussion. The first reason is financial stability. If your current job offers limited compensation that does not align with industry standards or fails to reflect your skills, qualifications, and contributions, it can create financial strain and impact your overall quality of life.

The second reason is a matter of value and recognition by your employer. Compensation serves as a form of recognition and appreciation for your work and contributions. When compensation is limited, it can be demoralizing and devalue your efforts. Feeling underappreciated or undervalued in terms of compensation can lead to decreased motivation, job dissatisfaction, and a decline in overall morale.

Caleb: Once again, I can see how all of these things are interrelated.

Stacy: Yes, they are. And the third reason compensation and benefits belong in this discussion is a person’s market value.

Caleb: What do you mean by that?

Stacy: Limited compensation and benefits can indicate that what you’re getting paid is not aligned with your market value. If you believe your skills and experience warrant higher compensation, staying in a job that does not recognize your worth can hinder professional growth and limit future earning potential.

Caleb: Stacy, it seems as though, based on everything that we’ve discussed today, that the longer the person stays in a job that they shouldn’t stay in, the worse off they are in the long run. Is that true?

Stacy: Yes, that is absolutely true. I know I’ve alluded to this statistic before, but that’s only because it’s so powerful.

According to an article on the Forbes.com website, “staying employed at the same company for more than two years on average is going to make you earn less over your lifetime by about 50% or more.” The article also indicates that 50% is at the lowest end of the spectrum, with the potential for the percentage to be even higher. Not only that, but the numbers are only based on the assumption that a person’s career is going to last 10 years. As a result, the longer you work, the greater the difference in income will be over your lifetime.

Here is something important to point out about this article: it was published in 2014. Upon learning that, you might think it’s outdated.

Caleb: That’s true. Is it outdated?

Stacy: Yes, but not in the way you might think. This article is more than likely outdated because 50% is now far too conservative of a number. Market conditions have driven the dynamics involved to a fever pitch, ramping up the pace, the frequency, and the severity of the factors contributing to the difference in income levels between people who change jobs frequently and those who do not.

Caleb: Is that because of the labor shortage, especially the shortage of veterinarians in the Veterinary profession?

Stacy: Yes, exactly. The shortage of veterinarians has driven up the cost of hiring a veterinarian, due to the Law of Supply and Demand. That’s because, of course, there is a small supply of them and a huge demand for them. Consequently, it takes more to convince a veterinarian to leave their current employer. After all, their current employer may be treating them rather well, considering the existing shortage of veterinarians.

During the past few years, we at The VET Recruiter have seen an increase in what it takes for employers to recruit and hire veterinarians. For example, employers are not making offers to veterinarian candidates below $100K that are being accepted. Offers with starting salaries of less than $100K are turned down. Keep in mind that these trends apply to new Veterinary graduates, as well. Not only that, but students are also receiving competitive offers before they graduate, and some of them are receiving multiple offers prior to commencement.

Caleb: So would it be accurate to say that if there is a veterinarian in our listening audience and that veterinarian is earning less than $100K with their current employer, that person should consider getting a new job?

Stacy: Yes, that would be fair to say and it would accurate to say if they are working full time. There is no better time for veterinarians to explore the employment opportunities that are in the job market than right now, and the chance to earn more in the way of starting salary, compensation, and benefits is just one of the reasons why this is the case.

Caleb: Stacy, thank you so much for joining us today and for all of this great information about how to know when it’s time to quit your Animal Health job or Veterinary job.

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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