Control What You CAN Control to Grow Your Animal Health or Veterinary Career

by Stacy Pursell, CPC, CERS

The VET Recruiter®

On many days, it might appear as if the world is “spinning out of control,” what with the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent Presidential election. The good news is that it’s NOT actually “spinning out of control.” Unfortunately, that reality is but a small comfort to those who are caught up in the day-to-day activities of life and immersed in a 24-hour news cycle.

However, I have more good news: there IS something that you can do about this. And what you can do is not only applicable to your Animal Health or Veterinary career, but it’s also applicable to the rest of your life, as well.

What can you control in your career?

The military has coined an acronym. That acronym is VUCA, which stands for:

  • Volatile
  • Uncertain
  • Complex
  • Ambiguous

Many times, this acronym is used to describe a state of war, and as you can see, these adjectives are accurate in their description. As you might imagine, the military coined this phrase so that they could successfully navigate these situations, instead of possibly being overcome by the circumstances surrounding them. And you, too, can do what the military does. Specifically, you can successfully navigate the seemingly volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous circumstances in the world today.

The basis for this strategy is simple. Control what you can control and don’t try to control what you can’t control.

This makes sense, because people often experience stress when they try to control things over which they have no control. This experienced is heightened during a VUCA situation, for obvious reasons. That’s why it’s critical to focus on those things you directly control and/or over which you have at least a degree of influence.

Below is a list of things that you CAN control to grow your Animal Health or Veterinary career:

#1—Showing up on time.

How easy is this to do? Not everyone shoes up on time. Be reliable and dependable.

#2—Being present.

This means not being easily distracted, including by your smartphone and the 24-hour news cycle that it contains. In order to create and build relationships, you have to be “present in the moment” with the people with whom you are trying to build those relationships. And yes, that includes over a Zoom meeting.

#3—Actively listening.

This is related to #2 on our list. When you are present and not distracted, you are able to do a better job with active listening. Active listening is one of the skills that professionals are lacking the most right now. I know this because hiring managers have told this is the case on numerous occasions.

#4—Communicate well.

The first step in effective communication is the ability to listen well, which we covered in #3 on our list. If you don’t know how to listen, then you don’t know how to communicate well, and communication is one of the soft skills coveted the most by employers. And your soft skill set is how you set yourself apart from other professionals.

#5—Have a positive attitude.

I cannot overstate the importance of having a positive mental attitude. This is not a “pie in the sky” mentality. Instead, it’s one that is based in realism, but it anchored with a consistent expectation that good things are going to happen.

#6—Work to enhance your personal productivity.

Your value as an employee is rooted in your productivity. The more productive you are, the more productive your employer is. And when your employer is more productive, there’s a good chance they will be more profitable, as well.

Being proactive about your Animal Health or Veterinary career

One final thing that you can control—and quite possibly the most important item on the list—is being proactive instead of being reactive. And I mean being proactive in every aspect of your professional life, not whether or not you’re exploring other employment opportunities. Even if you’re not open to opportunity at the moment, you can be more proactive at your current job. In fact, if you’re not open to opportunity, then your current job is very important, because it represents the full scope of your Animal Health or Veterinary career at the present time.

I’ve said this before, but I will certainly say it again. When you are proactive, you are moving from a position of strength instead of moving from a position of weakness. You do not want to be passive and reactive in your job and with your career.

The members of the military are NOT passive and reactive. They are proactive, and they practice this important trait during times of VUCA, when things appear volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. So accept the fact that there are certain things that are out of your control . . . but also acknowledge the fact that there are things that are well within your control.

So now that you’ve identified those things, be proactive about controlling them and growing your Animal Health or Veterinary career in the most intelligent way possible.

If you are 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.

Copyright © 2020 The VET Recruiter 

The VET Recruiter is The Animal Health Executive Search Firm and The Veterinary Recruiting Firm

Stacy Pursell is an Animal Health Executive Recruiter and Veterinary Recruiter and Workplace/Workforce expert for the Animal Health Industry and Veterinary Profession.