by Stacy Pursell, CPC, CERS
The VET Recruiter®
The new year is here! In fact, we’re already more than a week into it. However, we’re not here to talk about New Year’s resolutions. Such things come and go and they do so, as you guessed it, on a yearly basis.
Today we’re here to discuss concrete, actionable steps that Animal Health industry and Veterinary professionals can do enhance their career. And by that, we mean your career now as well as in the future.
Keep in mind that we’ve discussed these steps previously, to one degree or another, in newsletter articles and blog posts. However, this is the first time we’ve brought them all together in one place. That highlights their importance, especially at the beginning of a new year, when you have 12 months’ worth of opportunities stretching out before you.
With all of that in mind, below are the top 10 steps for enhancing your career in 2019:
#1—Update your resume.
Ideally, you should update your resume once a quarter or every six months. It should also be updated following major achievements or other changes. The real test is this: if someone asked for your resume, would you be able to give it to them almost immediately . . . or would you have to ask for a day or two to get it together?
#2—Update your LinkedIn profile.
The same thing that goes for your resume also goes for your LinkedIn profile. In fact, you should update them both at the same time and keep them consistent. When a hiring manager receives a candidate’s resume, the first thing they do is look at the candidate’s LinkedIn profile. What you don’t want them to see are discrepancies between the two.
#3—Increase your networking efforts.
Start with LinkedIn. Seek to expand your network. Engage with your connections. LinkedIn is all about engagement. However, effective networking does not begin and end with LinkedIn. You should also make it a goal to attend industry conferences and conventions on a regular basis. Face-to-face networking is just as good (if not better) than online networking.
#4—Engage in continuous learning.
Speaking of attending conferences and conventions, that’s also one way to engage in continuous learning and education. However, there are other ways to accomplish this. These ways include workshops, online webinars, books (both traditional books and audio books), CDs, DVDs, and any and everything else that will allow you to accumulate knowledge.
#5—Assess and increase your value.
As we’ve discussed before, everything in the employment marketplace boils down to value. As such, it’s a good idea to ascertain how much value you provide to your current employer, including the different ways that you provide that value. Once you’ve done that, brainstorm ways to increase your value to your current and future employers. (Hint: one way is through continuous learning.)
#6—Sharpen your soft skill set.
The value that you provide includes more than just your technical or hard skills. It also includes your soft skills, and these types of skills are highly sought after in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. We’re talking about skills such as negotiation, sales (or the art of persuasion), and leadership. So make sure that soft skills are included in your journey of continuous learning.
#7—Focus on your personal brand.
People sometimes forget about this one, but it’s just as important as the other items on the list. What kind of experience do you provide for people? What are their thoughts following an encounter with you? That, in a nutshell, constitutes your personal brand. And an experience with you can be an email or a phone call. It applies to more than just a face-to-face interaction.
#8—Be open to opportunity.
The flip side of this is to not cling to the status quo or pledge allegiance to the comfort zone. Instead, at least be open to the possibility of opportunity. Just because you’re open to it does not mean you have to take it if it isn’t right for you. However, without opportunities, there is no growth. And after all, career growth is the focus of this article.
#9—Do not let fear rule your decisions.
This is good advice for just about any situation, but it also pertains to your professional life and your career. During my more than 20 years as a search consultant and executive recruiter, I’ve seen people allow fear to rule important decisions regarding their career. As a result, they did not take a chance or take advantage of an opportunity that could very well have changed their life for the better. Some realized it when it was too late and regretted missing out on a pivotal opportunity.
#10—Align yourself with an experienced Animal Health recruiter or Veterinary recruiter.
This is a strategic move for a number of reasons. The right recruiter has knowledge that they can share with you—for example; knowledge about the job market including the “hidden job market” and about employers. They have relationships with hiring managers and they can provide advice and guidance regarding the interviewing and hiring process. Not only that, but they can be on the lookout for your ideal job, and once they come across it, they can alert you.
How many of these steps are you prepared to carry out this year? At the very least, think about each of these steps carefully in terms of your own situation and career. Contemplate how they could help you and give you a competitive edge in the marketplace.
Forget about New Year’s resolutions for your career. Instead, take these concrete, actionable steps and start enhancing your career in 2019 now!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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