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Episode #319 – Being Open to Opportunities to Grow Your Animal Health or Veterinary Career, Part 2

The Vet Recruiter®
The Vet Recruiter®
Episode #319 - Being Open to Opportunities to Grow Your Animal Health or Veterinary Career, Part 2

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’re continuing our series about being open to opportunities to grow your Animal Health or Veterinary career. Welcome, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.

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

Caleb: Stacy, how are we proceeding with this series today? I know this is a subject about which you’re very passionate.

Stacy: Yes, that’s right, I am. One of the things that we talked about last week is that you should never be too busy to consider other opportunities, even if you’re only doing so passively and not aggressively or proactively.

Today, I want to talk about the mindset associated with being open to opportunity, because everything starts in a person’s mind. The way you view things or approach something ultimately dictates what your actions will be.

Caleb: That makes sense. Where would you like to start Stacy?

Stacy: I’d like to begin with a series of quotes. These are three of my favorites, especially in regards to being open to opportunity. The first one is by author Emily Dickinson, who said, “Not knowing when the dawn will come, I will open every door.”

Caleb: What is she saying with that quote?

Stacy: She’s saying that she doesn’t know exactly when fortune will shine upon her, so she wants to make sure she wants to open every door in case fortune is behind one of them.

You never know when an opportunity will be a life-changing opportunity for you. And since that’s the case, you must “open every door.” This means being open to opportunities that are presented to you. It doesn’t mean acting upon every opportunity, but it does mean not saying “No” before you at least being open to hearing about one so that you can make an informed decision.

Caleb: What’s the second quote Stacy?

Stacy: The second quote is by the late journalist Andy Rooney. Some of our older listeners might remember him from the television show 60 Minutes. Andy Rooney said, “I’ve learned that . . . opportunities are never lost. Someone will take the ones you miss.”

Caleb: What’s behind that quote?

Stacy: What he was trying to say is that just because you don’t consider or explore an opportunity doesn’t mean that the opportunity ceases to exist. It just means that if you don’t seize the opportunities that are best for you or meant for you, then someone else will take them and then take advantage of them.

Caleb: Ouch. It’s rather painful when you think about it in those terms.

Stacy: Yes, and that’s on purpose! That’s because the only way to get through to some people is to present it in those terms. It has to be somewhat painful before they’ll sit up, take notice, and maybe do something about it.

Caleb: Okay, so we have two quotes down and we have one to go. What is your third quote about being open to opportunity?

Stacy: My third and final quote is by the late author and motivational speaker William Arthur Ward, who said, said, “Opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long, you miss them.”

Caleb: Can you elaborate on this quote, as well?

Stacy: I certainly can.

When it comes to opportunities, you must be willing to act upon them. Because if you wait too long, an opportunity can and will pass you by. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “He who hesitates is lost.” That phrase is also true when it comes to opportunities.

So the next time opportunity knocks on someone’s door, they should not automatically say “No” to it.

Caleb: You were right. Those were three thought-provoking quotes. What would you like to discuss next in regards to be open to opportunity?

Stacy: Since we’re talking about the mental aspect of being open to opportunity, I’d like to point out that, unfortunately, our human brains have been programmed over the years to say “No” sometimes due to a fear of change.

Caleb: They have?

Stacy: Yes, and that’s one of the reasons why it’s so difficult to change this way of thinking.

In 2015, the results of a study were published in a magazine called Computational Biology. The study revealed that human beings are more likely to say “No” than “Yes” for biological reasons tied to how the brain functions.

Human beings are also biologically wired to not be open to opportunity because they’re comfortable and they want to stay that way. But being comfortable and being successful or reaching your full potential are NOT the same things.

And although I don’t have another quote, I would like to reference a book.

Caleb: Which book is that?

Stacy: The title of the book is Just Enough Anxiety: the Hidden Driver of Business Success, and Robert Rosen is the author. Listen to the following quote from Rosen’s book:

“Many scientists and change experts say we’re engineered biologically, socially, and psychologically to seek homeostasis. We search for security. We prefer order. We long for predictability and stability in our lives. These conditions, we’ve come to believe, are the signs that we have arrived. We equate comfort with success.”

Caleb: I guess you’re right. Human beings equate being comfortable with being successful, even if that means they’re not moving forward. They might think that they’re successful, but they’re not actually improving or evolving.

Stacy: Exactly! There’s a difference between enjoying your success and allowing that success to stop you from moving forward. An example of this is NBA legend Larry Bird, who won three league championships with the Boston Celtics. He said he allowed himself to celebrate for one week after each of those championships and then, once the week was over, he got back to work.

Caleb: Wow, he certainly didn’t allow success to get in the way! I guess that’s one of the reasons why he was so successful.

Stacy: Yes, I definitely believe that’s the case. I’m not even a basketball fan or a sports fan in general, but I can relate to Larry Bird’s mentality about achieving success and maintaining success.

Caleb: And to achieve success and maintain success, you can’t be comfortable all of the time?

Stacy: Yes, that’s right. It’s okay to be comfortable every once in a while, but it should not be the ultimate goals. I’ve said this before, but the goal should be to become “comfortable with being uncomfortable.” When you’re able to do that, you’re positioning yourself for achieving and enjoying more success.

Caleb: So what would you like to discuss next?

Stacy: I have a series of steps that people can use to help change their mindset so they’re more open to opportunity and to considering and exploring opportunities in their Animal Health or Veterinary career.

Caleb: Great! What’s the first step?

Stacy: The first step is self-reflection and self-awareness.

Caleb: What does that involve?

Stacy: It’s like embarking on a journey to an unknown destination but realizing that you need to know where you’re starting from before you can plan your route. This process involves taking a critical look at your current mindset, beliefs, and attitudes towards opportunity, and it also involves asking yourself questions, such as:

  • What do I believe about my abilities and potential?
  • Do I usually shy away from new challenges, or do I embrace them?
  • How do I react to failure or setbacks?
  • Am I open to exploring new opportunities, or do I tend to stick with the familiar?

Caleb: Those are all great questions.

Stacy: They are. If you’re not aware of your limiting beliefs or habits that hinder your ability to embrace opportunities, it’s challenging to make significant progress. Document your thoughts and feelings in a journal, seek feedback from trusted friends or mentors, or even consider working with a therapist or coach to gain deeper insight into your mindset.

Caleb: What’s the second step?

Stacy: The second step is to embrace a growth mindset and believe in your potential.

In a growth mindset, you believe that abilities and intelligence can be developed through effort, learning, and perseverance. This shift from a fixed mindset, where you believe your abilities are static and unchangeable, to a growth mindset is a major leap forward. There are three main things that people can do to help themselves embrace a growth mindset.

Caleb: What things are those?

Stacy: The first thing is to challenge your self-limiting beliefs and negative self-talk. Replace thoughts like “I’m not good enough” with “I can improve with effort and learning.”

Second, view challenges and obstacles as opportunities for growth. Instead of fearing failure, see it as a stepping stone toward improvement.

And third, acknowledge the power of effort and persistence in achieving your goals.

Understand that mastery comes with practice and learning, and that you can develop new skills at any age.

Caleb: What step is next on our list?

Stacy: The third step is to set clear goals and intentions and create a roadmap for change.

These goals should align with your desire to be more open to opportunities and explore them. Whether it’s advancing your Animal Health or Veterinary career, deepening personal relationships, or pursuing a passion, well-defined objectives provide direction and purpose.

Caleb: Stacy, do you have some guidelines for setting goals? I know that I sometimes have trouble setting goals. It’s sometimes not as easy as it sounds.

Stacy: I agree, it’s not as easy as it sounds. When you set goals, make sure that they’re SMART goals. That’s an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.

In addition, break down larger goals into smaller, manageable steps, which is something that we’ve discussed before on the podcast. Also, ensure that your goals are aligned with your values and interests. That’s critical for ensuring that you follow through and complete them. And finally, keep your goals visible, either in written format or through regular reminders.

Setting goals is like creating a roadmap for your journey towards a more open mindset. It gives you a clear path to follow and allows you to measure your progress as you begin to explore new opportunities in your Animal Health or Veterinary career.

Caleb: Once again, that makes sense! What’s the fourth step?

Stacy: Our next step is to cultivate a learning attitude and seek knowledge and experience.

Caleb: Okay, how exactly can someone cultivate a learning attitude?

Stacy: There are multiple ways, starting with being curious and being open to new ideas and experiences. You can also take courses, attend workshops, and read books to acquire new skills and knowledge.

In addition, seek out mentors, advisors, or experts. The goal is to surround yourself with people who encourage personal growth and exploration.

A learning attitude not only makes you more open to opportunities but also equips you with the skills and knowledge to seize them when they arise. It’s a dynamic mindset that ensures you’re always ready to embrace the unknown.

Caleb: We’re getting toward the end of our list. What is the fifth and final step?

Stacy: The final step is the biggest one: challenge your comfort zones and step into the unknown.

Caleb: This sounds like the “scary” part. How can our listeners step into the unknown?

Stacy: There are a handful of ways. First, identify areas where you tend to play it safe or avoid risks due to fear or self-doubt. Then start with small, manageable steps that push you slightly beyond your comfort zone.

Once you’ve done that, start to build resilience by viewing setbacks as opportunities for learning and growth. And finally, embrace a “can-do” attitude and take calculated risks in your Animal Health or Veterinary career.

And yes, the act of challenging your comfort zones and actively seeking opportunities is the final and perhaps the most important step in changing your mindset. It’s where your newfound self-awareness, growth mindset, clear goals, and learning attitude converge into action.

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 share a message that a candidate shared with me. This was someone who I’ve placed in a position that really advanced his Veterinary career forward. After I placed him, they sent an email that said:

“I probably have never said this before and I should have, [but] thank you for changing my life.”

Emails like this one are what get me out of bed every morning to go to work. That’s because helping people is my passion.

But as much as I want to help change people’s lives for the better, they have to be open to opportunity before that can happen. As I’ve said on this podcast previously, those people who are open to opportunity are usually more successful in their Animal Health or Veterinary career. It costs nothing to be open to opportunities and consider them.

Caleb: How can the members of our listening audience contact you, Stacy?

Stacy: They can visit The VET Recruiter website at www.thevetrecruiter.com, and if you’re listening to this podcast episode, then you might already be on the site. I would recommend navigating to the “Contact Us” section in the main navigation, where you’ll see multiple ways in which you can reach out to us.

Caleb: Stacy, thank you so much for joining us today and for all of this great information about being open to opportunity in your Animal Health or Veterinary career.

Stacy: You’re very welcome, Caleb, and thank you. 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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