7 Steps for Maximizing Your Animal Health or Veterinary Career

by Stacy Pursell, CPC, CERS

The VET Recruiter®

The topic of maximizing one’s career is both a personal and  subjective one. After all, what is maximizing to one person may not be maximizing to another. People’s opinions can (and do) differ about this topic.

In addition, how people choose to maximize their career is also individual to their preferences and their situation. This also depends upon the personality traits and characteristics of the person involved, as well as external forces, such as their family or living situation.

However, with all of that being said, I’ve witnessed a great deal during my more than 20 years as an Animal Health recruiter and Veterinary recruiter. I’ve seen a wide variety of personalities, situations, and circumstances. I’ve also seen how people have made decisions regarding their situations and what happened as a result of those decisions.

Consequently, I’ve had the opportunity to see the decisions that have resulted in career growth and advancement . . . as well as those decisions that have not. And making good decisions is about more than just choosing the right path in the moment. It’s also about having the correct mindset regarding your employment situation and your career.

Many professionals have big dreams and ambitions when they start their careers. How many of those people do you think actually attain their dreams and ambitions? Not as many as you might think. The fact of the matter is that doing these things requires more than just setting vague goals and savoring the “idea” of reaching them.

Specifically, reaching them requires a plan, a plan which is comprised of individual steps. Below are seven steps for maximizing your Animal Health or Veterinary career:

#1—Identify where you want to end up.

Don’t be vague or talk in generalities here. You must be as specific as you can about where you want to go in your career. When you’re vague, it’s more difficult to create an actual plan. And if you don’t have an actual plan, then it will be more difficult to actually get where you want to go. Speaking in generalities is more like daydreaming than goal setting.

#2—Identify what you need to learn.

More than likely, you’ll need to know more than what you know right now to get where you want to go. You must identify what knowledge, training, and skills you’ll need. It’s also helpful to create a timeline for acquiring this knowledge. That way, you can keep yourself on task and not get off track, which is  easy to do. It is easy to drift.

#3—Determine the resources you’ll need.

In other words, how are you going to acquire the knowledge, training, and skills you need to get where you want to go? Do you need to enroll in classes or continuing education? Will you need to go back to school at some point? Does your employer offer training that would benefit you? These are all questions you must ask, and more importantly, these are all questions to which you must have answers.

#4—Plot a path for reaching your destination.

Now that you have the “pieces of the puzzle,” so to speak, you can start putting it all together. You know where you want to go, what you need to learn, and the resources you’ll need. Hopefully, you also have a rough timeline. Now you can start to plot a course for how you plan to reach your destination and maximize your career.

#5—Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize.

This is an important step because it can be all too easy to lose focus, especially with the professional and personal obligations that you already have. You must be able to recognize what is most important in your journey and address that first. Which next step is the most important? How will you go about completing that step and within what amount of time will you complete it?

#6—Be proactive about your plan and priorities.

There are some people who believe they just have to “sit back and life will come to them.” No, life is not going to just “come to you.” That’s not how it works. I say this because I have not seen it work that way. Truly maximizing your Animal Health career or Veterinary career requires effort. Being proactive and not passive is the best way to put forth that effort and receive a sizeable return on your investment of time and energy.

#7—Take risks!

This is perhaps the most crucial step. You can have all of the knowledge in the world, but if you’re not willing to take risks in order to benefit from that knowledge, then it’s not much use to you. I’m not recommending that you be reckless in the pursuit of your goals, but you will have to take a certain number of calculated risks. Most importantly, you must be open to opportunity—to both hearing about it and considering it.

As I’ve mentioned before, aligning yourself with an experienced Animal Health recruiter or Veterinary recruiter can also help you to maximize your career. In fact, a recruiter can be of assistance with every one of the steps on this list. They can also act as a career consultant, helping in a variety of ways:

  • Market intelligence about the best employers within the marketplace
  • Guidance throughout your job search, especially a confidential search
  • The presentation of your candidacy to employers for specific job openings that meet your predetermined criteria for consideration
  • Advice regarding the hiring process, especially the interviewing and negotiation stages of the process

Yes, it’s true that maximizing your Animal Health career or Veterinary career can depend upon many factors. However, many of the most important factors are within your direct control, and if they’re not within your control, then they are within your influence. Creating and then executing a plan to reach your goals and objectives is one of those factors. There’s no time like the present, so start today! Every day is an opportunity to move one step closer to where you want to be.

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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