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Episode #342 | How to Secure a Raise in Your Animal Health or Veterinary Career

The Vet Recruiter®
The Vet Recruiter®
Episode #342 | How to Secure a Raise in Your Animal Health or Veterinary Career
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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 discussing how to secure a raise in 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, we’ve touched upon this topic a couple of times previously on the podcast, but we’re going to explore it in more detail today, is that correct?

Stacy: Yes, that’s correct. We’re going to cover the key steps involved with securing a raise in your Animal Health or Veterinary career, including knowing what you’re worth, setting the stage, timing your request right, knowing what to say and how to say it, and having a long-term perspective.

Caleb: The first step in securing a raise is knowing what you’re worth. Stacy, can you tell us why this step is so critical?

Stacy: Absolutely, Caleb. Understanding your market value is essential because it provides a solid foundation for your request. If you don’t know what others in similar roles are earning, then you might undervalue yourself or ask for too much, which can undermine your credibility. Start by researching industry salary standards. Websites like Glassdoor, Payscale, and industry-specific salary surveys can give you a good sense of the going rate for your position and experience level.

Knowing your worth is not just about numbers; it’s about understanding your own value in the job market. This means considering your education, experience, skills, and accomplishments. If you hold a unique certification or have specialized skills that are in high demand, this can significantly increase your market value.

Caleb: That’s a great point. How can professionals in the Animal Health or Veterinary field gather this information effectively?

Stacy: In addition to using online resources, network with peers and colleagues in your industry. Attend industry conferences, join professional associations, and engage in conversations about compensation. Veterinary professionals can benefit from connecting with others in the field to get a sense of what their peers are earning. In addition, consider speaking with recruiters who specialize in your industry; they often have valuable insights into salary trends.

When gathering information, it’s also important to consider the geographical region. Salaries can vary significantly based upon location due to the cost of living and demand for certain skills. Make sure you compare salaries within the same region or adjust for these differences.

Caleb: So, once you have a clear understanding of your market value, what’s the next step?

Stacy: The next step is to assess your own contributions and performance. Reflect on your achievements, the skills you’ve developed, and how you’ve added value to your organization. This self-assessment will help you build a strong case for why you deserve a raise.

For example, if you’ve streamlined a process that saved the company significant money, brought in new clients, or took on responsibilities beyond your job description, these are all factors that bolster your argument for a raise. Keep a detailed record of these accomplishments to reference during your discussion.

Caleb: Moving on to the second step: setting the stage. What does this entail, and why is it important?

Stacy: Setting the stage involves preparing your employer for the conversation about a raise. It’s important to ensure that your request doesn’t come as a surprise. Start by building a positive rapport with your manager through regular check-ins and discussions about your performance and Animal Health and Veterinary career goals. This ongoing communication helps create a supportive environment for your raise request.

Regular check-ins give you opportunities to highlight your contributions and receive feedback. They also allow you to gauge your manager’s perception of your performance and any potential areas for improvement. If your manager sees you as a proactive and engaged employee, then they are more likely to be receptive to your request for a raise.

Caleb: That makes sense. How can one initiate these conversations without being too direct or pushy?

Stacy: Begin by expressing your interest in professional growth and development. You might say something like, “I’m really enjoying my role here and I’m interested in discussing my future with the company. Could we set up a time to talk about my career progression?” This approach shows that you’re invested in the organization and opens the door for a more detailed discussion about your contributions and compensation.

Another strategy is to bring up your Animal Health or Veterinary career goals during your performance reviews or in one-on-one meetings. This sets the expectation that you are looking to grow within the company. When you do ask for a raise, it will feel like a natural progression rather than an out-of-the-blue request.

Caleb: Building a strong relationship with your manager is key. Are there other strategies to consider when setting the stage?

Stacy: Yes, another effective strategy is to document your achievements and contributions. Keep a record of your accomplishments, such as successful projects, new skills acquired, and positive feedback from colleagues and clients. This documentation will serve as evidence to support your request when the time comes.

Creating a portfolio of your work can be particularly effective. Include metrics and data that quantify your contributions. For example, if you improved a process that led to a 20% increase in efficiency, document that. If you received an email from a client praising your work, save it. This evidence will be valuable when you make your case.

Caleb: Timing is everything when it comes to asking for a raise. Stacy, what advice do you have on choosing the right moment for this conversation?

Stacy: Timing your request strategically can significantly impact the outcome. Avoid asking for a raise during periods of company financial instability or when your manager is dealing with high-stress situations. Instead, look for moments when the company is doing well financially, such as after a successful quarter or when new funding has been secured.

Understanding the company’s fiscal calendar can also be helpful. Some companies review budgets and allocate salary increases at specific times of the year. If you know when these periods are, then you can time your request to align with these budgeting cycles.

Caleb: Are there specific times of the year that are better for these conversations?

Stacy: Yes, many companies have annual performance review cycles, which can be an ideal time to discuss a raise. However, don’t feel limited to these cycles. If you’ve recently completed a major project or achieved significant milestones, that can also be a good time to bring up the topic. The key is to choose a moment when your achievements are fresh in your manager’s mind and the company is in a strong position to grant raises.

In addition, consider your own personal achievements and Animal Health or Veterinary career milestones. If you’ve reached a significant anniversary with the company or recently received a certification or completed additional training, these can be great opportunities to ask for a raise.

Caleb: What about personal timing? How should one prepare themselves for this conversation?

Stacy: Personal preparation is very important. Ensure that you’re well-rested and in a positive mindset. Practice what you want to say, either with a trusted friend or by recording yourself. This practice can help you feel more confident and articulate during the actual conversation.

Rehearsing your pitch helps you anticipate potential questions or objections from your manager and prepares you to respond calmly and confidently. It’s also helpful to practice in front of a mirror to observe your body language and ensure that you come across as composed and self-assured.

Caleb: Now, let’s talk about how to say the words the right way. Stacy, what tips do you have for framing the conversation effectively?

Stacy: The way you present your request can make a big difference. Start by expressing your appreciation for your current role and the opportunities you’ve had. Then, clearly state your request. Be specific about the raise you’re seeking and back it up with your research and achievements. For example, you might say, “I’ve really enjoyed working here over the past few years and am proud of the contributions I’ve made. Based upon my research and the value I bring to the team, I’d like to discuss the possibility of a 10% raise.”

It’s important to frame your request in a positive light. Instead of focusing on why you need the raise, emphasize why you deserve it. Highlight your contributions and how they have benefited the company. This approach shifts the focus from a personal need to a business justification.

Caleb: That sounds like a balanced approach. How important is it to highlight one’s accomplishments during this conversation?

Stacy: Highlighting your accomplishments is essential! Be ready to present concrete examples of how you’ve contributed to the company’s success. This could include specific projects, revenue increases, cost savings, or other measurable outcomes. Providing evidence of your impact helps make a compelling case for why you deserve a raise.

When discussing your achievements, be specific and use quantifiable metrics wherever possible. For instance, instead of saying, “I improved the efficiency of our processes,” say, “I implemented a new workflow that reduced processing time by 30%, resulting in an annual cost savings of $50,000.”

Caleb: Should one be prepared for potential pushback, and if so, how should they handle it?

Stacy: Absolutely. Be prepared for various responses, including potential pushback. If your manager raises concerns or says they need time to think about it, remain professional and open to discussion. Ask for feedback on what you can do to meet their expectations for a raise in the future. This shows your willingness to grow and improve, and it keeps the conversation moving forward.

It’s important to listen actively and understand your manager’s perspective. If they cite budget constraints, ask about the possibility of revisiting the conversation in a few months. If they mention areas for improvement, seek specific examples and create a plan to address them. Showing that you are responsive to feedback and committed to your development can strengthen your case over time.

Caleb: Should you have a plan B if your raise request is initially declined?

Stacy: Yes. Having a plan B demonstrates your flexibility and long-term commitment to the company. If a raise isn’t possible immediately, consider negotiating for other benefits such as additional vacation time, flexible work hours, or professional development opportunities. Sometimes these non-monetary benefits can be just as valuable and can help improve your overall job satisfaction.

Caleb: Finally, let’s talk about having a long-term perspective. Why is it important to have such a perspective when seeking a raise?

Stacy: Having a long-term perspective is critical because securing a raise might not happen immediately. It’s important to remain patient and persistent. Continue to demonstrate your value and seek opportunities for professional development. If your request is initially declined, use the feedback you receive to work on any areas of improvement.

The long game involves consistently proving your worth to the company. This means taking on new challenges, volunteering for important projects, and continuing to exceed expectations. Over time, your efforts will be recognized, and you will be in a stronger position to request a raise again.

Caleb: How can one maintain a positive attitude and stay motivated during this process?

Stacy: Staying motivated can be challenging, but it’s important to keep your end goals in mind. Celebrate small victories along the way and seek support from mentors or colleagues who can offer encouragement and advice. Remember that your growth in your Animal Health or Veterinary career is a marathon, not a sprint. Consistently delivering high-quality work and maintaining a positive attitude will pay off in the long run.

Another key aspect of having a long-term perspective is to continue building your skills and expanding your network. The more you invest in your professional development, the more valuable you become to your employer and the industry as a whole. Stay proactive about seeking new challenges and opportunities for growth, and don’t be afraid to revisit the conversation about a raise at an appropriate time.

Caleb: Are there any final tips that you’d like to share with our listeners on having a long-term perspective?

Stacy: Yes, one final tip is to remain adaptable and open to feedback. The workplace is constantly evolving, and being able to adapt to new situations and feedback is a valuable trait. If your manager provides specific areas for improvement, take them seriously and develop a plan to address them. This demonstrates your commitment to your role and your willingness to grow within the company.

In addition, keep an eye on industry trends and be proactive about learning new skills that are in demand. This not only enhances your value to your current employer, but it also keeps you competitive in the job market. Continuous learning and development are key components of long-term career success.

Caleb: Thank you, Stacy, for sharing all of this great information about how to secure a raise in your Animal Health or Veterinary career.

Stacy: Caleb, It’s 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 on our website and if you are an Animal Health employer of a Veterinarian employer be sure to connect with Stacy to discuss any hiring needs.  The VET Recruiter is doing a workplace workforce survey. Be sure to check that out and sign up for The VET Recruiter newsletter to get hiring tips and career related tips.  Okay everyone thanks for listening and we look forward to seeing you next time.

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