Is Your Animal Health or Veterinary Career ‘Sitting on the Sidelines’ Due to COVID-19?

by Stacy Pursell, CPC, CERS

The VET Recruiter®

I do not profess to be a football fan. However, it is football season and there are a few football-related phrases that I know. One of them is contained in the title of this article, and I wanted to use it to address an issue that I’ve noticed during the past several months.

I’ve previously discussed the fact that there is still opportunity for your Animal Health or Veterinary career in the marketplace. For example, there are more than 3,300 open positions listed on the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) website right now, and that total has been rising steadily for the past several months. Even though the National Unemployment Rate has spiked in recent months, the unemployment rate in the Veterinary profession was anywhere from 0.5% to 1.5% before the pandemic started. Even if it doubled in the same way that the National Unemployment Rate doubled, it would still only be 1.0% to 3.0%, which is incredibly low.

Despite the opportunity that exists in the marketplace, there are still people who are allowing their Animal Health or Veterinary career to “sit on the sidelines” due to COVID-19.

Fear and your Animal Health or Veterinary career

One of the many problems with the pandemic is that it is causing fear among those in the marketplace and the workforce. However, in many cases, this is an irrational fear. Here is the difference between a rational fear and an irrational one:

  • A rational fear is based on something that is likely to happen.
  • An irrational fear is based on nothing but a person conjuring up the worst-case scenario and assuming that scenario is going to happen.

People can have an irrational fear about anything. It could be about the virus or it could be about their boss finding out they’re looking at other opportunities. What the person fears does not make it any more or less likely that they’ll suffer from an irrational fear.

Let me stop right here and clarify an important point. Is the virus dangerous? Yes, for some people, it is. Does that mean you should allow it to shut down your career for the foreseeable future? No, probably not, especially since we might never go back to the way things were before.

Now, don’t hear what I’m not saying. I’m not saying that you should not take precautions and follow recommended guidelines. Of course you should do those things. I’m instead saying that if you are taking precautions and following recommended guidelines, then there’s no reason to allow irrational fear to rule your professional life and limit your opportunities for career growth.

Think of it this way: every person who decides to “sit on the sidelines” during this pandemic is one less person you have to compete with in the job market.

Financial guru Warren Buffet said:

“Be fearful when others are greedy and be greedy when others are fearful.”

Yes, the pandemic has presented challenges and obstacles. And yes, for some people, there appears to be more to fear than there was before. It’s understandable, but do not let fear hold you back from moving forward in your career when the right opportunity presents itself.

A blueprint for Animal Health and Veterinary career growth

I have an example of how people’s fear of the pandemic leads them to neglect the growth of their Animal Health or Veterinary career. I recently spoke with a candidate who was too afraid to interview because of the pandemic. Her job required her to go inside a building every day, and with a new employer, she would also have to go into a building every day.

She told me that she knew the people she currently worked with and she knew they did not go to bars, so she felt like she was safe at her current employer. But since she didn’t know what the employees at my client did, she thought they could expose her to the virus.

I told her that my client was following the same safety protocols and guidelines as her employer, so she would be at no greater risk working for my client. These protocols are designed to protect the workplace, regardless of where some employees may go after work. But she wasn’t convinced and did not move forward with what could have been a better opportunity and situation.

This is a prime example of a person allowing their Animal Health or Veterinary career to “sit on the sidelines” due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

So what can you do? How can you stop this from happening? To answer these questions, I have a blueprint that you can follow to grow your career during the time of COVID. There are six steps in this blueprint, and they are as follows:

  1. Do not allow fear to dictate your decisions.
  2. Be proactive about making positive things happen instead of reactive to the things that happen around you and to you.
  3. Be open to considering AND exploring other employment opportunities, including those that are presented to you.
  4. Build and cultivate your personal brand.
  5. Maximize your networking efforts.
  6. Include an experienced recruiter in your network of contacts.

I want to elaborate on that final step. The key is to build a relationship with an experienced recruiter that has a track record of success placing professionals just like you. If you build a relationship with a recruiter the right way, they can provide tremendous value to you and help you to grow your Animal Health or Veterinary career.

Yes, the COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented situation for the employment marketplace, the workplace, and the economy. And as you can see, there are both opportunities and challenges that exist in the marketplace. However, what you choose to focus on can have a tremendous impact on how successful you ultimately are, so choose to focus on the opportunities that exist in the marketplace for you and your Animal Health or Veterinary career.

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.

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.