Episode #44 – Things You Should STOP Believing About Your Career

Sharita: Welcome to “The Animal Health Employment Insider,” brought to you by The VET Recruiter. In this podcast, search consultant Stacy Pursell, founder and CEO of The VET Recruiter, provides insight and practical advice for both companies and job seekers in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. The VET Recruiter’s mission is to help Animal Health Companies and Veterinary Businesses acquire top talent, while helping Animal Health Industry and Veterinary Professionals attain career-enhancing opportunities that increase their quality of life.

In today’s podcast, we’ll be talking about things that professionals in the Animal Health Industry and Veterinary Profession should stop believing about their career. Welcome, Stacy. Thank you for joining us.

Stacy: Hello, Sharita. I’m glad to be here again with you today.

Sharita: Stacy, we’ve discussed this before, but you’ve been a recruiter for more than 20 years now. During that time, you’ve seen quite a lot, including the right way to do things and the wrong way to do things. How does your experience as a recruiter relate to today’s topic?

Stacy: Over the years, I’ve talked with literally  thousands of professionals in the Animal Health Industry and Veterinary Profession. That’s because I talk with Animal Health and Veterinary Professionals every single work day. When you talk with that many people over an extended period of time, you get to know the way people think. In this case, I’ve gotten to know the way people think about their job and their careers.

On the other hand, I’ve also observed what has happened to these individuals in regards to their job and their careers. I have followed their careers and I’ve seen how what they’ve thought about a situation or how they’ve viewed a situation has either helped them or not helped them with their careers. I want to share what I’ve learned through the years with our listeners today, so they can have the proper outlook and mindset. I firmly believe that the proper mindset is important if a person truly wants to maximize their career in the Animal Health Industry or Veterinary Profession and enjoy it to its fullest.

Sharita: So let’s dive right in, Stacy. What are some of the things that professionals should stop believing about their career?

Stacy: Well, the first thing they should stop believing is that they’ll have their current job as long as they want it.

Sharita: But aren’t we in a candidates’ market right now? Isn’t the economy good?

Stacy: It is, but we also live in the age of mergers and acquisitions. This is especially the case within the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. Mergers and acquisitions happen all the time. In fact, they’ve become more prevalent in recent years. That means even if you’re not in danger of losing your job with your current employer, your employer might merge with another organization. If that happens, then you still might be in danger.

Sharita: Stacy, I’ve heard this before, but do some people believe that losing their job is something that happens to somebody else rather than something that could happen to them?

Stacy: Yes, that mentality does exist and it’s a dangerous mentality to have. The only people who don’t believe they can lose their job are those who have never lost their job. Unfortunately, for a lot of people, they don’t believe it can happen to them until it does happen to them. But it does happen. I’ve seen it happen. I’ve talked with plenty of individuals who have had it happen to them when they didn’t expect it to. It’s not a good situation to be in, and that’s why I urge professionals to avoid the situation.

Sharita: Stacy, what’s something else that professionals should stop believing about their career?

Stacy: They should stop believing that if they simply wait, then good things will happen to them.

Sharita: Is this the difference between being reactive and being proactive?

Stacy: Absolutely. When you’re reactive, that means you can only react to what has happened to you. When you believe that all you have to do is wait for good things to happen, you believe that only good things will happen. Yes, there is a saying that states, “Good things come to those who wait.” However, I can tell you after more than 20 years in the recruiting profession that when it comes to a person’s career, “Good things come to those individuals who go after those good things.” Both good things and bad things can happen to people, and it’s short-sighted to think that only good things are going to happen. Once again, optimism is good, but optimism combined with a proactive mentality is even better.

Sharita: What’s another thing that our listeners should stop believing about their career?

Stacy: Another thing they should stop believing is that they have plenty of time to do whatever they want with their career.

People have a certain bias in their minds when it comes to their career, and sometimes they have the same bias with the rest of their life, as well. They think they have more time than they actually have. As you might imagine, the younger you are, the more time you think you have. Or perhaps more accurately, the younger you are, the more time you mistakenly think you have.

But no matter how old you are, do not fall back on the belief that you have plenty of time to do whatever you want. That is most likely not the case. That’s why you should act with a sense of urgency.

Sharita: That makes sense. What’s next on our list, Stacy?

Stacy: Professionals in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession should stop believing that “playing it safe” is the best way to grow their career.

Sharita: What do you mean by that, “playing it safe”?

Stacy: You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Big risk, big reward” before. Or maybe the phrase, “No guts, no glory.” Both of those have more than a kernel of truth in them, and that includes when it comes to people’s careers. You have to take risks if you want to have rewards. There’s no other way around it. The problem occurs when people want to be rewarded for not taking any risks. It rarely, if ever, works that way.

Sharita: But isn’t this more of a personality thing? Aren’t some people okay with taking risks and other people don’t like to take them?

Stacy: Yes, personality definitely plays a role. Some people are more hard-wired to take risks than others. Some people even like taking risks, if you can believe it. Those people are your entrepreneurial types who are running their own companies. However, they are the exception rather than the rule.

However, even if some people don’t like to take risks, more often than not, you can’t be rewarded without taking them. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to “throw caution to the wind” and go crazy by taking every risk that comes along. But what you don’t want to do is be afraid to take risks. That’s because just about everything in life can become a habit. Being afraid of taking risks can become a habit, and it’s not a good habit for people who want to grow their career.

Sharita: Stacy, you’ve talked with thousands of professionals over the years. So that means you’ve also talked with people who weren’t afraid of risks. What made them different?

Stacy: What makes them different is that they didn’t allow fear of the unknown to stop them from taking a risk that could lead to greater things for their careers. I’ve worked with

people employed at many levels of the corporate structure. I’ve placed Board of Director Members at publically traded companies, and I’ve placed individual contributors at lower levels in organizations and just about every level in between. I can tell you for sure that those people who do not “play it safe” and are not afraid of taking risks are more successful than their peers.

Sharita: What’s the last item on our list as we wrap up today’s podcast?

Stacy: Professionals in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession have to stop believing that even if they don’t like their job, staying where they are is better than looking for a new opportunity.

Sharita: This is sort of like the “devil you know is better than the devil you don’t” mentality.

Stacy: Yes, that’s a great way to describe it. Believe it or not, there are people in the marketplace right now that don’t even like their jobs. In fact, there are some people who are unhappy in their jobs. Despite that fact, they refuse to look for or consider other opportunities.

Sharita: But haven’t we been saying that this is a candidates’ market and that candidates have plenty of options?

Stacy: Yes, we’ve been saying just that. Despite that fact, these professionals are more comfortable being dis-satisfied than they are uncomfortable. They prefer predictability over anything else. Sure, their job is unfulfilling, but it’s predictably unfulfilling.

Sharita: That sounds kind of crazy when you put it that way.

Stacy: Unfortunately, people believe all sorts of things that they don’t have to believe. Having false beliefs do not contribute in a positive way toward career development or to life in general.

Sharita: What is the proper mindset that professionals should have? How should they approach their career?

Stacy: Professionals should grow their career in a way that will be fulfilling for them. Be proactive and do not be afraid to take risks in order to get what you want. In addition, recognize you have options and you don’t have to settle for “the devil that you know.”

Sharita: Stacy, thanks so much for all of this great information today.

Stacy: Thank you, Sharita. I look forward to our next podcast!