Episode #85 – Forget Talent: Do THESE Things to Excel in Your Career Instead

Samantha: Welcome to “The Animal Health Employment Insider,” brought to you by The VET Recruiter. In this podcast, executive search consultant and recruiter, 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 and Veterinary organizations hire top talent, while helping animal health and veterinary professionals attain career-enhancing job opportunities that improve their quality of life.

In today’s podcast, we’ll be talking about what professionals can do to excel in their Animal Health job or Veterinary career that have nothing to do with talent. Stacy, thank you for joining us.

Stacy: Hello, Samantha. I’m glad to be here.

Samantha: Stacy, obviously talent is important. In fact, you use the words “top talent” a lot when we discuss the best candidates in the marketplace. So can you talk about why the words “Forget Talent” are in the headline for today’s episode?

Stacy: I certainly can. You’re right, talent is important. I don’t want our listeners to get mixed messages or the wrong impression. Of course, experience is also important. Both of those things are pretty high on the list of what Animal Health employers and Veterinary organizations are looking for in job candidates and employees. However, the list does not stop there.

You may have heard of the author John Maxwell?

Samantha: Yes, I have. I like him as an author.

Stacy: I agree! John Maxwell wrote a book titled Talent is Never Enough: Discover the Choices That Will Take You Beyond Your Talent. This is a very good book that I think every professional should read. It’s one of many books that I think professionals should read, and maybe one day we’ll do a podcast just on those books. I’m a big proponent of continuous training and education, and reading is a great way to achieve that.

The main point and what I want to talk about today is that there are plenty of things professionals can and should do that can give them a career edge and that have nothing to do with talent. The best part is that no one is excluded from doing these things if they have the desire to do them.

All of these things point to one important aspect of a person’s career.

Samantha: What’s that?

Stacy: Value, specifically how much value a person can offer to a potential employer. Talent is one form of value. Experience is another form of value. Even though these are important forms of value, they are not the only ones. Professionals in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession can and should add other forms of value. And as they do that, they will become more attractive to potential new employers.

Samantha: And you’re saying that anyone can add the forms of value we’re going to discuss today?

Stacy: That’s exactly right. Anyone can do the things we’re going to talk about today and anyone can add them as forms of value. There are eight forms, and we’ll address them one at a time.

As we do so, I want our listeners to remember that Animal Health and Veterinary employers are looking for these forms of value in the candidates they’re interviewing. They definitely want this value in their employees.

The first form of value is working hard.

Samantha: I figured that one would be one of the values on our list.

Stacy: Absolutely. There’s no substitute for hard work. The good news is that putting forth great effort has nothing to do with talent. It has everything to do with desire and motivation. You can have all the talent in the world, but if you don’t have the desire and motivation to put forth your best effort, then you’ll never reach your potential. On the other hand, even if you don’t have the most talent, if you work as hard as you possibly can, you can fulfill and even exceed your potential.

Now, I’m going to lump the next three forms of value together because they’re related in terms of how they don’t have much, if anything, to do with a professional’s personality. Some of the items on our list do deal with personality, but these do not.

The first one is being punctual. Be on time. Don’t be late.

Samantha: That doesn’t seem like it would be too difficult.

Stacy: I know, but for some people, it is! And there might be a few listeners out there who believe that being punctual is a product of one’s personality, but I don’t buy that. This is a simple thing. How difficult is it to be on time? I’m talking about being on time for work, appointments, meetings, and job interviews.

It doesn’t matter if you’re an introvert or an extrovert, you can be on time.

When you’re not on time and you’re always late, you’re essentially sending this message: “This isn’t that important to me. It’s okay if I’m late because I don’t really care about it.” That is NOT a good message to send to an employer. It doesn’t matter if it’s your current employer or a potential new one.

Employers want to hire professionals who care, and the first step is to care enough to arrive on time for meetings and job interviews.

Samantha: Stacy, what’s our third value?

Stacy: Our third form of value is being prepared. I put this on par with being punctual. How difficult is it to be prepared? Once again, there could be listeners in our audience who believe that it’s easier for some people to be prepared than it is for others. I would imagine that those listeners probably have struggles with preparation.

The bottom line is this: if being prepared is important enough to you, then you will have the desire to be prepared. And I can tell you without a doubt that those who are more prepared are more successful and more valuable to employers. This includes their current employer and also any potential new employers.

That brings us to our fourth form of value, which is being flexible.

Samantha: Stacy, in which ways do you mean being flexible?

Stacy: I’m talking about being flexible in your thinking. Flexibility is a valuable trait to an employer. This is especially the case when you’re working in a group or as a member of a team. You should be flexible with your time and your resources. When you’re more flexible, you create more options for yourself and you’re better able to tackle problems and solve problems. And organizations definitely want employees who can solve problems.

As we move to our next three forms of value, these are ones that do relate to personality.

Samantha: Stacy, do you mean that they might come more naturally to some people because of their personality?

Stacy: Yes, that’s the case. However, I want to emphasize that people can learn to provide these forms of value, even if their personality is not naturally conducive to them. It might be more difficult, but every professional faces obstacles if they want to continue growing.

With that being said, our next form of value is being positive.

People who have a positive attitude and positive outlook are a commodity in the workplace. That’s because they don’t see obstacles as obstacles. They see them as opportunities. They don’t look for reasons why something can’t be done; they look for reasons why something CAN be done.

Every organization wants employees who look for reasons why something can be done.

Being energetic is next on our list. I have a quote by Benjamin Franklin that I like to use, and that quote is, “Energy and persistence conquer all things.”

Samantha: Stacy, could persistence also be a form of value?

Stacy: Yes, but for our purposes, we’ll include it here with being energetic. You may have noticed that people are drawn to those who have a lot of energy. In addition, people who are energetic seem to “rub off” on other people. They have a way of infusing situations with energy and motivating others.

And the third form of value in our series that deals with personality is being passionate, although I sometimes think this one doesn’t have much to do with personality, either. It doesn’t matter what your personality, you’re passionate about something. And when a person is passionate about something, it’s difficult for them to not show their passion.

Not only that, but passion is also the key to unlocking a lot of the other items on our list.

Samantha: How’s that?

Stacy: Well, when you’re passionate, you’re on time. When you’re passionate, you’re energetic. When you’re passionate, you work hard. It almost serves as the starting point for being more successful professionally.

And that brings us to the final item on our list, which might just be the most important form of value.

Samantha: What form is that?

Stacy: Doing what you say you are going to do. This is another way of saying be reliable. And another way of saying be reliable is be trustworthy. Being trustworthy is extremely valuable. It’s valuable because it’s so rare. It doesn’t require a shred of talent for a person to do what they say they’re going to do. It takes no talent at all, and yet some people are not able to do it.

Samantha: So Stacy, this list is how professionals in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession can gain an edge in the employment marketplace?

Stacy: Yes, and let me illustrate with a hypothetical situation. Let’s say that you’re competing for a job with another candidate. You both have roughly the same level of talent and the same amount of experience. However, one of you has more in terms of the eight forms of value we just discussed. Which one of you do you think will be hired?

Samantha: The person who stacks up better in these eight areas?

Stacy: That’s right. That’s why I encourage our listeners to forget about talent for a moment and instead focus on these areas. They can be the key to increasing value as an employee, gaining an edge in the marketplace, and enjoying tremendous career growth.

Samantha: Thank you once again for sharing this great information with us today. As usual, I’m sure our listeners found it to be interesting.

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