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‘Sowing the Seeds of Success’ in Your Animal Health or Veterinary Career

You may or may not know who Kevin Bacon is.

For those of you who don’t know, Kevin Bacon is an actor and has been one for decades. You might say that he’s been a prolific actor, having starred in quite a few movies, television shows, and series over the years. In fact, he’s been so prolific that the Internet spawned a game called “The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon,” based upon the premise of “The Six Degrees of Separation.”

“The Six Degrees of Separation” is the idea that all people are six or fewer social connections away from each other. On the other hand, “The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” is the idea that an actor or actress was in a show with someone who was in a show with someone else who was in a show with someone else—all the way until a person starred in a movie or TV show with the actor Kevin Bacon. In six degrees or less, of course.

Well, in the Veterinary profession, it’s more like “The Two Degrees of Separation.” (Or “The Two Degrees of Kevin Bacon,” if he was a veterinarian.) That’s where you know someone who knows someone else. That makes your professional life a whole lot smaller than you might think.

The Veterinary profession is relatively small in size and scope. It’s certainly not as big as other industries, and professions, including Manufacturing, Engineering, and Healthcare. As a result, your words and actions can follow you throughout your career, which is why you should be exceedingly careful about what you say and what you do.

The ‘immediate gratification mindset’

There are a couple of things that can conspire to sabotage your Animal Heath or Veterinary career. The first is the “immediate gratification mindset,” which has been continuously cultivated in our society during the past several decades. We want it all and we want it now. The advent and the acceleration of technology have played their role in first introducing and then solidifying this mindset, and we all fall victim to it, to one degree or another.

The second thing is the current state of the job market. On the surface, it appears to be exceedingly positive for job seekers and candidates, and it is. After all, candidates possess the majority of the leverage in the market, and that means they can use that leverage to grow their Animal Health or Veterinary career as they see fit.

So since it’s a candidates’ market and since the “immediate gratification” mindset is alive and well, some candidates believe—subconsciously or otherwise—that they can do and say things they would not do and say if there was a recession or if employers possessed the majority of the leverage. In other words, they think they can “get away with” this behavior. And this can be a problem.

And it can be a problem because when you give into the “immediate gratification” mindset, doing so can have negative consequences. And even though you may not encounter those consequences until years later, they can still have a devastating effect on your Animal Health or Veterinary career. Below is a sampling of the behavior to which I’m alluding:

  • “Ghosting” an employer during the hiring process, whether it be for a phone screen, a face-to-face interview, or even your first official day of work
  • Accepting an offer of employment from another organization after you’ve already accepted an offer
  • Gossiping about someone behind their back or saying something unsavory about them

These are examples of what is known as “sowing bad seeds.” You’ve probably heard the phrase “You reap what you sow” before. This is a general principle and a natural law that is as true in agriculture as it is in relationships. To put it in simple terms, it means that “future consequences are shaped by present actions.” Within the realm of agriculture, it represents planting (or sowing) seeds when the time is right so that you can reap a good harvest after those seeds grow and eventually turn into crops.

‘Sowing good seeds’ instead of bad ones

Within the realm of the professional world and your Animal Health or Veterinary career, your “seeds” are your words and actions as a professional. If you sow good words and actions, then you’ll reap the rewards of what you’ve sown. On the other hand, if you sow negative words and actions, then you’ll likely reap the consequences of those words and actions. This is especially the case if you make a habit of “sowing bad seeds,” as illustrated by the examples listed above.

In contrast to that list, below are a few examples of “sowing good seeds” in your career, thereby increasing the chances that you will reap positive things:

  • Doing what you say you’re going to do, thereby branding yourself as someone who is reliable and trustworthy.
  • Saying good things about someone to other people and complimenting them instead of engaging in gossip. (When you say good things about another person, they’ll eventually find out about it, just as they would if you were gossiping about them.)
  • Being generous with your time and resources.
  • Being kind to other people in your dealings and interactions.
  • Setting aside the time to network and build relationships within the profession.

Ultimately, the kind of “seeds” that you sow is entirely up to you. Just remember that this principle is a principle for a reason. If you “sow bad seeds,” then you’ll reap whatever those seeds produce. On the other hand, if you sow good “seeds,” then you’ll reap the positive harvest that results from planting those seeds. And don’t think that you’re “missing out” if you don’t give in to the “immediate gratification mindset” and do whatever you can—no matter the cost—to advance your Animal Health or Veterinary career.

You can never go wrong by acting with integrity and dealing with everyone you meet with the utmost in respect and professionalism. It’s the best way to position yourself for long-term success in a small industry or profession in which actions travel fast and words travel faster.

Even if you don’t know who Kevin Bacon is.

If you’re looking to make a change or explore your employment options, then we want to talk with you. I encourage you to contact us or you can also create a profile and/or submit your resume for consideration.

We help support careers in one of two ways: 1. By helping Animal Health and Veterinary professionals to find the right opportunity when the time is right, and 2. By helping to recruit top talent for the critical needs of Animal Health and Veterinary organizations. If this is something that you would like to explore further, please send an email to stacy@thevetrecruiter.com.

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