• The VET Recruiter
  • TVR Executive Search

Established in 1997

Your trusted partner for Animal Health and Veterinary Recruitment

Select Page

Episode #335 | ‘Building Bridges’ vs. ‘Burning Bridges’ in Your Animal Health Career or Veterinary Career

The Vet Recruiter®
The Vet Recruiter®
Episode #335 | ‘Building Bridges’ vs. ‘Burning Bridges’ in Your Animal Health Career or Veterinary Career

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 will be talking about building bridges vs. burning bridges in your Animal Health career or Veterinary career. Welcome, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.

Stacy: Hello, Caleb. As always, I am glad to be here with you today.

Caleb: Stacy, we have talked about “burning bridges” before. What made you decided to discuss this topic again?

Stacy: One reason is that behavior that “burns bridges” is still prevalent. This is still an issue for some professionals, candidates, and job seekers, including within the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. This is an important topic of conversation and in my role as a workforce/workplace expert, it is important to educate people and discuss topics like this that will help people advance in their career.

Caleb: Stacy, would you say that this type of behavior has gotten better or worse during the past several years? Or would you say it is remained basically the same?

Stacy: There are a couple of different ways to answer that question. I have been an executive recruiter and search consultant for more than 25 years now, and I would say the behavior has gotten worse since I started my career. Also, the behavior has accelerated during the past five years or so. This is unfortunate because, as we are going to discuss, this type of behavior can have serious and far-reaching consequences on a person’s Animal Health career or Veterinary career.

Caleb: And although we have discussed “burning bridges” before, we’re also going to talk about “building bridges,” which we might have alluded to in previous podcast episodes, but we haven’t explored it any real depth.

Stacy: Yes, that’s right. I wanted to do more than just point out behaviors that “burn bridges.” I also want to explore what professionals can do instead, what they can do to “build bridges.”

Caleb: That all sounds great. Where would you like to start Stacy?

Stacy: Let’s start with a recap of “burning bridges,” what it means and how it can negatively affect a person’s Animal Health or Veterinary career.

Caleb: Absolutely! Can you elaborate on some examples of destructive professional behavior that could lead to burning bridges in our industry?

Stacy: Of course. “Burning bridges” refers to actions or behaviors that damage professional relationships and trust, ultimately closing doors to future opportunities. In the context of the Animal Health industry or Veterinary profession, such behavior can have serious repercussions. Some common examples include “ghosting” an employer during crucial stages such as interviews or job offers, taking credit for others’ achievements, blaming others for personal shortcomings, engaging in unprofessional conduct with colleagues, and misrepresenting results to management. Essentially, any form of dishonesty or deception that undermines trust and collaboration can lead to burning bridges.

Caleb: Those examples indeed highlight the importance of maintaining professionalism and integrity in our careers. What are some of the repercussions that professionals might face if they engage in such destructive behavior?

Stacy: The repercussions can be significant and far-reaching, Caleb. Firstly, there’s the damage to one’s reputation. Trust is paramount in any professional setting, and instances of unprofessional behavior can tarnish one’s reputation and erode trust among colleagues and peers. This erosion of trust can hinder future career prospects and limit opportunities for advancement.

Caleb: Reputation is undoubtedly crucial in any industry, particularly in fields where trust and credibility are paramount. What other repercussions might professionals face?

Stacy: Another significant consequence is the loss of opportunities. Burning bridges can result in missed opportunities for collaboration, mentorship, and career advancement. When relationships sour or trust is breached, doors that were once open may close indefinitely, depriving individuals of valuable resources, insights, and support.

Caleb: It’s clear that burning bridges can have profound effects on one’s career trajectory. Now, let’s shift our focus to a more positive aspect: building bridges. How can professionals proactively cultivate connections in their Animal Health or Veterinary careers?

Stacy: Building bridges is essential for fostering growth and success in any profession, and the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession are no different. One of the most common types of connections within these industries is colleague relationships. The bonds formed with peers go beyond camaraderie—they represent opportunities for collaboration, support, and mutual growth. By fostering a culture of collaboration and knowledge-sharing, professionals can create an environment where collective success thrives.

Caleb: Colleague relationships are indeed crucial. What other types of connections should professionals prioritize in their careers?

Stacy: Another valuable type of connection is mentorship and guidance. In such complex industries, the wisdom and experience of mentors can be invaluable. Seeking out mentorship relationships not only provides access to expertise but also opens doors to new opportunities and perspectives. Mentors serve as trusted advisors, offering insights to navigate the intricacies of the Animal Health or Veterinary career.

Caleb: Mentorship can undoubtedly provide invaluable guidance and support as professionals navigate their careers. Are there any other types of connections professionals should focus on cultivating?

Stacy: Absolutely, Caleb. Engaging with industry networks and associations is also essential for staying informed and connected within the Animal Health or Veterinary profession. By actively participating in these networks, professionals can stay abreast of emerging trends, best practices, and opportunities for professional development. Contributing to industry discussions and attending conferences expand one’s sphere of influence and position them as active contributors to the advancement of their field.

Caleb: Engaging with industry networks and associations sounds like a proactive way to stay connected and informed within our rapidly evolving industries. Now, let’s discuss the essential elements of trust and reciprocity in building bridges within the Animal Health industry or Veterinary profession. What traits are critical for fostering trust and collaboration?

Stacy: Trust is indeed the cornerstone of successful professional relationships. Three essential elements contribute to fostering trust and reciprocity: integrity and authenticity, reliability and consistency, and empathy and understanding. Integrity and authenticity aligns actions with values, reliability builds confidence, and empathy fosters compassion and collaboration. Upholding these traits can lay the foundation for enduring partnerships and opportunities for growth. But I’d like to stop here for a moment and talk about integrity more in-depth.

Caleb: Why is that?

Stacy: Because it might be the biggest key to “building bridges” instead of “burning them.” For a person to make connections, “build bridges,” and maintain a good reputation 100% of the time. Not some of the time or even most of the time.

Caleb: What are some ways that people can do that?

Stacy: There are multiple ways. In fact, people are presented with ways to show their integrity on an almost daily basis. Some of the behaviors that show a person’s integrity include:

  • Telling the truth on your resume and not exaggerating
  • Showing up for a phone or face-to-face interview when you’ve said that you’ll be there
  • Telling the truth during the job interview
  • Telling the hiring manager if you are no longer interested in the position
  • Letting a hiring manager know if you have accepted an offer from another organization
  • Showing up for work if you have accepted an offer of employment with a company

Caleb: These all sound like common sense things.

Stacy: I can tell you from personal experience that some people have not done these things. And their Animal Health or Veterinary career was negatively impacted as a result of their actions.

Caleb: Do you have examples of this?

Stacy: I certainly do! In fact, I have a couple of case studies regarding integrity and “burning bridges” in a person’s Animal Health or Veterinary career.

In the first case study, a client of ours was filling an open position, and that client hired one of the candidates that we had presented. The client made an offer to the candidate, and the candidate accepted the offer. However, right after that, the candidate received an offer from another organization. Even though she  had committed to our client,  she accepted that offer, too. So, then the candidate waited until the day before her scheduled start date with our client to let our client know she would not be showing up for their first day of work because she had accepted an offer with another organization.

Caleb: The day before their scheduled date? Why did she wait so long?

Stacy: I do not know. Perhaps she knew it would be an uncomfortable conversation and she wanted to put it off. I understand it is uncomfortable, but you can’t wait until the day before to have the conversation. In fact, the person should not have accepted the second job offer altogether. She accepted the first offer and gave her word to that employer that she would start on her scheduled start date.

This would be like an employer offering you the job but continuing to interview for the position in the hopes of finding someone better and then hiring that person instead. You would not appreciate it if an employer did that to you.

Caleb: No, not at all! I can only image what that would be like. What is your second case study?

Stacy: The second case study involves an executive who accepted an offer of employment with one of our clients. My client went all-out for this person, getting her office ready, buying a laptop computer and a phone for her. The hiring manager was very excited about her joining the organization. Then the candidate sent an email saying that she would not be able to start employment because of “personal issues.”

Caleb: Personal issues? What did that mean?

Stacy: Nobody knew. The candidate was very vague and evasive in the email, but finally when I was able to get her on the phone, she admitted that it wasn’t “personal issues” that prevented her from starting work with my client. Instead, it was the fact that she had accepted a counteroffer with her current employer. But she waited until the day before her scheduled start date with our client to let our client know this.

Caleb: Again the candidate waited until the day before their scheduled start date? It is amazing that it keeps happening that way.

Stacy: Yes, and it brings to mind a quote by Zig Ziglar that I believe we may have used before on the podcast.

Caleb: What quote is that?

Stacy: Zig Ziglar said, “The most important persuasion tool you have in your entire arsenal is integrity.”

Caleb: That certainly makes sense.

Stacy: Indeed, it does. If you brand yourself as a person of integrity, then you are actively “building bridges” and making positive connections. And if others believe that you are a person of integrity, then they will also see you as trustworthy. Being seen as reliable and trustworthy is a great way in which to brand yourself.

Caleb: Okay, as we have seen, integrity, reliability, and empathy are certainly essential qualities in any professional setting. Now, let us explore actionable strategies for building bridges in a person’s Animal Health career or Veterinary career. What steps can Animal Health and Veterinary professionals take to proactively cultivate connections and foster trust?

Stacy: There are several strategies Animal Health and Veterinary professionals can employ to build bridges effectively. Firstly, strategic networking is key. Actively cultivating relationships with peers, mentors, and industry colleagues through initiatives such as conferences and online platforms can expand one’s professional network and open doors to new opportunities.

Caleb: Strategic networking is indeed vital for career growth, but what specific actions can professionals take to enhance their networking efforts?

Stacy: Animal Health and Veterinary professionals can start by identifying key individuals within the industry or area of interest and reaching out to them with personalized messages or requests for informational interviews. Attending industry events, joining relevant online communities or forums, and participating in professional development workshops are also effective ways to expand one’s network and forge new connections.

Caleb: Those are excellent suggestions for Animal Health and Veterinary professionals looking to expand their professional networks. What about mentorship and professional development? How can professionals leverage these resources to build bridges in their careers?

Stacy: Mentorship and professional development are invaluable tools for career growth and advancement. Animal Health and Veterinary professionals can seek out mentors within their organization or industry who possess the skills, knowledge, and experience they aspire to acquire. Establishing a mentorship relationship involves demonstrating genuine interest and commitment, actively seeking guidance and feedback, and being receptive to advice and insights.

Caleb: Mentorship relationships can provide invaluable guidance and support as professionals navigate their career paths. What about professional development opportunities?

Stacy: Investing in ongoing professional development initiatives is essential for staying relevant and competitive in today’s rapidly evolving industries. Animal Health and Veterinary professionals can pursue continuing education courses, certifications, workshops, and seminars to enhance their skills, expand their knowledge base, and stay abreast of emerging trends and best practices within the field.

Caleb: Continuous learning and skill development are indeed critical for career growth and adaptability. Are there any other strategies professionals should consider for building bridges in their Animal Health career or Veterinary careers?

Stacy: Commitment to professionalism is very important. Upholding high standards of professionalism and integrity in all interactions, both within and outside the organization, demonstrates reliability and accountability. This fosters trust and respect among colleagues and peers.

Caleb: Professionalism is indeed foundational in building lasting relationships and fostering a positive work environment. What about effective communication and conflict resolution? How can professionals navigate these aspects of relationship-building effectively?

Stacy: Strong communication skills and proactive conflict resolution are essential components of effective relationship-building, Caleb. Animal Health and Veterinary professionals can cultivate these skills by actively listening to others, expressing themselves clearly and concisely, and seeking to understand different perspectives. When conflicts arise, professionals should approach them with a solutions-oriented mindset, focusing on constructive dialogue and collaborative problem-solving.

Caleb: Effective communication and conflict resolution are undoubtedly vital skills in any professional setting. Thank you, Stacy, for sharing your expertise. Before we wrap up, is there anything else you would like to add?

Stacy: I would like to encourage professionals in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession to prioritize building bridges and fostering connections throughout their careers. By cultivating meaningful relationships, upholding high standards of professionalism, and embracing opportunities for growth and collaboration, Animal Health and Veterinary professionals can unlock new opportunities and achieve greater success in their chosen paths.

Caleb: Wise words indeed. Stacy, we are out of time for today, but thank you so much for joining us and for all of this great information about “burning bridges” vs. “building bridges” in your 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: Before we go today I want to encourage all of the Animal Health employers in our listening audience to contact The VET Recruiter for all of your hiring needs. If you are an Animal Health professional or a Veterinarian looking to take the next step in your career reach out to Stacy at The VET Recruiter.  Thank you for joining us for another episode of The Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider!

Learn More About This Hot Candidate

"*" indicates required fields