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Episode #340 – Do NOT Feel Guilty About Changing Your Animal Health or Veterinary Job

The Vet Recruiter®
The Vet Recruiter®
Episode #340 - Do NOT Feel Guilty About Changing 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 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 discussing why it’s not a good idea to feel guilty about changing your Animal Health or Veterinary job.

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

Caleb: I am going to go out on a limb and guess that you have encountered at least one job candidate recently who was feeling guilty about leaving their current employer, am I right?

Stacy: Yes, you are correct. And this is not the first time I have encountered such a thing during my career as an Animal Heath recruiter and Veterinary recruiter. I have seen this kind of thing happen scores of times.

In the most recent instance, I spoke with a veterinarian who had been in her current role for close to 10 years. She indicated that she wants to make a move and is ready to further her career, but she feels badly about leaving her current Veterinary job. Specifically, she feels guilty about resigning and leaving her employer in what she believes would be a bad spot.

Caleb: And there is a lot of opportunity in the job market right now for veterinarians, isn’t there?

Stacy: Yes, there is still a tremendous amount of opportunity in the market. I know that in some industries and niches, like Information Technology, there have been layoffs. However, that has not been the case within the Veterinary profession, especially when it comes to veterinarians.

In fact, there is still a drastic shortage of veterinarians within the profession and employers are scrambling to hire them. This candidate could definitely further her career by exploring other opportunities, even if it meant leaving her current Veterinary job.

Caleb: Stacy, from your perspective and based upon your extensive experience as a recruiter, why do people often find themselves wrestling with feelings of guilt when contemplating leaving their current job for something better?

Stacy: It is a multifaceted issue, Caleb. One of the primary reasons stems from a sense of loyalty.

While loyalty is undoubtedly admirable, it shouldn’t be a barrier to personal and professional growth. The reality is that the landscape of work is constantly evolving, and individuals must adapt to thrive. Staying in a role solely out of loyalty, without considering one’s own aspirations and potential, can lead to stagnation and missed opportunities for advancement.

Caleb: So, it is about striking a balance between loyalty and self-interest. What are some common misconceptions surrounding loyalty that individuals should be aware of?

Stacy: One common misconception is that loyalty requires unwavering allegiance to a single employer throughout one’s career. In reality, loyalty is a two-way street that involves mutual respect, trust, and support. Individuals should prioritize loyalty to their own values, aspirations, and well-being, rather than blindly adhering to an employer out of a sense of obligation.

Caleb: It is about redefining loyalty as a commitment to one’s own growth and fulfillment. Can you share some examples of how misplaced loyalty can hinder career progression?

Stacy: Certainly. Misplaced loyalty can manifest in various ways, such as staying in a stagnant role for fear of disappointing colleagues or managers, or turning down lucrative opportunities out of a sense of obligation. In doing so, individuals may sacrifice their own professional development and long-term happiness for the sake of preserving the status quo.

Caleb: It is clear that loyalty, when misdirected, can act as a barrier to realizing one’s full potential. How, then, can individuals reconcile their sense of loyalty with the pursuit of better opportunities?

Stacy: Reconciling loyalty with career advancement begins with introspection. Individuals must reflect on their values, aspirations, and long-term goals to determine whether their current role aligns with them. If not, it is essential to recognize that prioritizing one’s own growth and fulfillment is not only acceptable, but it’s necessary for long-term success.

Caleb: So, it is about aligning loyalty with personal growth and fulfillment rather than blind allegiance to a single employer. Are there any practical steps individuals can take to navigate this internal conflict?

Stacy: Absolutely. First, individuals must engage in open and honest conversations with their current employer about their aspirations and concerns. This dialogue can help create mutual understanding and identify potential opportunities for growth within the organization. If no viable opportunities exist, then individuals should feel empowered to explore external opportunities that align with their goals and aspirations.

Caleb: Communication and self-advocacy are key components of navigating this kind of situation. What advice do you have for individuals who may feel guilty about leaving their current Animal Health or Veterinary job due to a sense of loyalty?

Stacy: To those grappling with feelings of guilt, I would urge you to prioritize your own well-being and professional growth. Remember that loyalty is not synonymous with self-sacrifice. Embrace change as a catalyst for growth and view it as an opportunity to pursue new challenges and experiences that align with your aspirations.

Caleb: Loyalty indeed plays a significant role in this struggle. Are there other factors at play here?

Stacy: Absolutely. Another common factor is the fear of “burning bridges.” Individuals worry that severing ties with their current employer might tarnish their professional reputation or hinder future opportunities. This fear is compounded by concerns about disappointing colleagues, mentors, or even oneself by opting for change.

Caleb: But Stacy, we have talked about “burning bridges” on the podcast before. In fact, we did so just recently. However, of all the behaviors we discussed that could brand someone in a negative way, growing your career by pursuing other employment opportunities was not one of them.

Stacy: Yes, that is correct, and that is exactly the point! Leaving your current Animal Health or Veterinary job in the pursuit of a better opportunity is NOT an example of “burning bridges,” even if it feels as though it might be.

Caleb: As we just discussed, it is clear that this fear stems from a sense of loyalty and a desire to maintain positive relationships. Can you elaborate on why leaving a job for a better opportunity should NOT be equated with “burning bridges”?

Stacy: Absolutely. It is crucial to understand that the job market is fluid and dynamic. People change jobs for multiple reasons, ranging from career advancement and professional growth to personal fulfillment and better work-life balance. Employers are well aware of this reality and typically view employee turnover as a natural aspect of business rather than a personal slight.

Caleb: So, it is about recognizing that career transitions are a natural part of professional growth and evolution. Why, then, do you believe individuals should not allow the fear of “burning bridges” to hold them back from pursuing better opportunities?

Stacy: For many individuals, the fear of “burning bridges” can become a significant barrier to personal and professional growth. Staying in a job out of fear of damaging relationships or “burning bridges” can lead to stagnation and missed opportunities for advancement. It is essential for individuals to prioritize their own career aspirations and well-being, rather than succumbing to undue pressure or guilt.

Caleb: It is about empowering individuals to prioritize their own growth and fulfillment. Can you share some practical steps individuals can take to alleviate this fear and navigate the transition smoothly?

Stacy: Certainly. First, as I mentioned before, open and honest communication with one’s current employer is key. Expressing gratitude for the opportunities afforded and explaining one’s decision to pursue a better opportunity can help alleviate any potential concerns or misunderstandings. In addition, offering to assist with the transition process and maintaining positive relationships with colleagues can help preserve valuable connections for the future.

Caleb: Communication and relationship management are indeed crucial components of a smooth transition. How can individuals reframe their mindset to view leaving their Animal Health or Veterinary job for a better opportunity as a positive step forward rather than burning bridges?

Stacy: It is all about perspective. Instead of viewing career transitions as “burning bridges,” individuals should see them as building new pathways to growth and opportunity. Each career move presents a chance to learn, grow, and expand one’s professional horizons. By embracing change with confidence and optimism, individuals can navigate transitions with grace and resilience.

Caleb: It is evident that these concerns can create a “mental tug-of-war” for many professionals. But at what point does staying in your current Animal Health or Veterinary job out of guilt become detrimental to one’s career growth?

Stacy: That is a great question, Caleb. Staying in a job solely out of guilt can stagnate one’s professional development and hinder their pursuit of fulfilling opportunities. It breeds a sense of complacency and inhibits the exploration of new horizons. It can also create resentment and dissatisfaction, ultimately impeding both personal and career growth.

Caleb: So, it is not just about making a career move; it is about reclaiming control over one’s professional trajectory. How, then, can individuals overcome the gripping clutches of guilt when considering a career transition?

Stacy: Excellent point. Overcoming guilt begins with a shift in perspective. Rather than fixating on what one is leaving behind, it is essential to focus on the potential for growth and fulfillment in the new opportunity. Embrace the notion that prioritizing one’s own well-being and career advancement is not only acceptable, but it’s important for long-term success.

Caleb: That shift in mindset is undoubtedly pivotal. Are there practical strategies individuals can employ to navigate this transition with grace and confidence?

Stacy: Indeed, there are. First, transparent communication is key. Openly discussing one’s decision with their current employer can help create mutual understanding and paves the way for a smoother transition. Expressing gratitude for the opportunities afforded and offering assistance during the handover process can help alleviate guilt and maintain positive relationships.

Caleb: So, it is about creating a sense of closure rather than “burning bridges.” Once individuals have made the leap to a new role, how can they manage any residual feelings of guilt?

Stacy: Managing post-transition guilt involves acknowledging its presence while reframing it as a natural part of the process. Embrace the excitement of new challenges and opportunities, while also nurturing connections with former colleagues and mentors. Balancing gratitude for past experiences with enthusiasm for the future is key to navigating this emotional terrain.

Caleb: Stacy, we have talked a lot about the reasons why changing your Animal Health or Veterinary job is not bad. However, there are a lot of positive things associated with changing your job, isn’t that right?

Stacy: Yes, there is, and thank you bring that up because I’d like to spend the rest of today’s podcast episode talking about those things.

Caleb: Well, let us dive right in! Where would you like to begin?

Stacy: First, as we have discussed previously, leaving your Animal Health or Veterinary job to pursue a better opportunity often means advancing your career. Whether it is securing a higher position, better pay, or more fulfilling work, seizing opportunities for advancement is essential for personal and professional growth. It is about honoring your own potential and aspirations.

Caleb: Advancement is undoubtedly crucial for growth. Can you elaborate on how changing jobs contributes to personal growth?

Stacy: Absolutely. Changing jobs provides a fertile ground for personal growth. It offers new challenges, experiences, and perspectives that broaden your skill set and expand your horizons. Each new role presents an opportunity to learn and evolve, shaping your identity and contributing to your overall development as a professional and as an individual.

Caleb: Personal growth is indeed a lifelong journey. Now, let us talk about professional fulfillment. How does finding a role that aligns with one’s passions and values contribute to overall job satisfaction?

Stacy: Professional fulfillment is the “holy grail” of career satisfaction, so to speak. When your work aligns with your passions and values, it ignites a sense of purpose and meaning that go beyond just having a job. Pursuing a better opportunity that resonates with your core beliefs and interests can lead to a more fulfilling and rewarding career trajectory, where every day feels like a step toward your true calling.

Caleb: Another crucial aspect is work-life balance or work-life integration. How does pursuing better opportunities contribute to achieving a healthier balance?

Stacy: Work-life balance—or work-life integration as it is called these days—is the elusive equilibrium we all strive for. A better opportunity often comes with improved work-life integration, allowing you to prioritize your well-being and nurture your relationships outside of work. Achieving this balance is essential for happiness and fulfillment, ensuring that you thrive not only in your professional endeavors but also in your personal life.

Caleb: It is about finding harmony in both spheres of life. Financial stability is also a significant consideration. How does pursuing better opportunities impact financial well-being?

Stacy: You could say that financial stability is the cornerstone of peace of mind. Pursuing better opportunities often leads to better compensation and benefits, providing a solid foundation for you and your family’s financial security. This stability alleviates stress and allows you to focus on your personal and professional growth without the burden of financial uncertainty looming overhead.

Caleb: Financial security certainly provides a sense of stability. Now, let us discuss learning and development. How does changing jobs help encourage continuous learning and growth?

Stacy: Continuous learning is the fuel, so to speak, for personal and professional evolution. Changing jobs exposes you to new environments, industries, and challenges, pushing you out of your comfort zone and into the realm of growth. It is through these experiences that you acquire new skills, knowledge, and perspectives, keeping you relevant and adaptable in today’s ever-changing job market.

Caleb: Continuous learning is indeed essential in staying ahead of the curve. Taking control of one’s career is another aspect we need to explore. How does pursuing better opportunities empower individuals to shape their professional destiny?

Stacy: Taking control of your career is the ultimate act of self-determination. By actively pursuing better opportunities, you reclaim agency over your professional trajectory and future. Instead of feeling like a passive bystander in your career journey, you become the architect of your destiny, shaping it according to your aspirations, values, and vision for the future.

Caleb: That sense of empowerment can be very effective. Setting a positive example is also vital. How does embracing change set a positive example for others?

Stacy: Setting a positive example can generate a ripple effect of personal growth. When you embrace change and pursue better opportunities, you inspire others to do the same. Your courage, resilience, and commitment to growth become an inspiration for your colleagues, friends, and family members, showing them that change is not something to be feared but embraced as a catalyst for personal and professional growth.

Caleb: It is about leading by example and inspiring others to follow suit. Finally, let us talk about honoring oneself. Why is it essential to prioritize one’s own happiness, growth, and well-being?

Stacy: Honoring oneself is the cornerstone of authentic living. Prioritizing your happiness, growth, and well-being is not selfish—it’s self-care in its purest form. You owe it to yourself to pursue opportunities that align with your values, aspirations, and vision for the future. By honoring your truth, you cultivate a life of purpose, fulfillment, and authenticity—a life worth living.

Caleb: Stacy, we’re just about out of time, but before we conclude, what parting words of wisdom do you have for our listeners who are struggling with feelings of guilt for leaving their Animal Health or Veterinary job or wanting to leave it?

Stacy: To all those navigating the guilt of career advancement, I urge you to trust in your capabilities and aspirations. Embrace change as a catalyst for growth rather than a source of guilt. Remember, your professional journey is yours to navigate, and prioritizing your own well-being is not only acceptable, but is essential for long-term success and fulfillment.

Caleb: Thank you, Stacy, for sharing all of this information about why it’s not a good idea to feel guilty about changing your Animal Health or Veterinary job.

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

Caleb: Before we go be sure to check out our hot Animal Health jobs and Veterinarian jobs at www.thevetrecruiter.com  If you are an Animal Health employer or Veterinarian employer be sure to reach out to The VET Recruiter for help with your recruitment needs. We will see you again here next week!

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