Ways to Gain a Career Edge That Have Nothing to Do with Talent

In my newsletter articles and blog posts, I talk a lot about strategy. That’s because strategy is instrumental in the employment marketplace and it’s integral to getting ahead.

Of course, in order to get ahead, you need things like talent and experience. Those are pretty high on the list of what Animal Health and Veterinary organizations are looking for in job candidates and in employees. However, the list does not stop there.

That’s because talent isn’t everything. In fact, esteemed leadership thought leader John Maxwell has written a book titled Talent is Never Enough: Discover the Choices That Will Take You Beyond Your Talent. So even if you won’t take it from me, take it from John Maxwell. If he thinks that talent is not enough, then that’s probably the case.

The fact of the matter is there are plenty of things that can give you a career edge that have nothing to do with talent. And nobody is excluded from doing these things if they have the desire to do them. But desire is the key word. Nothing happens without desire, especially some of the items on this list.

A variety of value

As I’ve discussed many times before, everything in the employment marketplace comes down to value. This includes how employers decide which candidates to hire . . . and which ones to not hire. Unless you have value to offer to an employer, you will not get hired. However, value comes in many different forms.

Talent is one form of value. Experience is another form of value. But those are NOT the only forms of value that exist, nor are they the only forms that employers care about. No, there are other forms, and we’re going to address them in this blog post.

In other words, Animal Health and Veterinary employers are looking for these forms of value in the candidates that they’re interviewing. They definitely want these forms in their employers.

Below are eight ways to gain a career edge that have nothing to do with talent:

#1—Being prompt and punctual

How difficult is it to be on time? I’m talking about being on time for work, appointments, meetings and job interviews. When you’re late, it sends this message: “This isn’t that important to me. It’s okay if I’m late because I don’t really care about it.” Employers want to hire professionals who care, and the first step is to care enough to arrive on time for meetings and job interviews.

#2—Working hard

Putting forth maximum effort has nothing to do with talent. It has everything to do with desire. You can have all the talent in the world, but if you don’t have the desire to put forth your best effort, then you’ll never reach your potential. You won’t even come close to reaching it.

#3—Being positive

Positive people are a commodity in the workplace. They carry tremendous value. That’s because they don’t see obstacles as obstacles. They see them as opportunities. They don’t look for reasons why something can’t be done; they look for reasons why something CAN be done.

#4—Being energetic

Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying, “Energy and persistence conquer all things.” So while we don’t list it separately, we’ll just include persistence here as another way to gain an edge. People are drawn to those who are energetic. Not only that, but energy seems to “rub off” on others and be contagious.

#5—Being passionate

Being passionate about what you do for a living can take your career to a whole new level. That’s because in a way, it holds the key to everything else on this list. When you’re passionate, you’re on time. When you’re passionate, you’re energetic. When you’re passionate, you work hard.

#6—Being prepared

Once again, how difficult is it to be prepared? You say it’s easier for some people than it is for others, and that might be true. Similar to the other items on the list, though, if it’s important enough to you to be prepared, then you will have the desire to be prepared. And those who are prepared are more successful and more valuable to employers.

#7—Being flexible

Flexibility is an incredibly valuable characteristic. Those who are flexible and not rigid in either their thinking or their ways can contribute a great deal in an employment situation. This is especially the case when you’re working in a group or as a member of a team. The ability to be flexible in the pursuit of solving problems can give you a tremendous advantage in both the workplace and marketplace.

#8—Doing what you say you’re going to do (being reliable)

This might be the most important one on the list. That’s because being reliable and being trustworthy is an extremely valuable trait. It’s valuable because it’s so rare. Think about the number of people in your life that you consider to be reliable and trustworthy. That’s how you want your employer and potential employers to think about you.

YOU are ultimately responsible

Let’s say that you’re competing for a job with another candidate. You both have roughly the same level of talent and the same amount of experience. However, one of you has more in terms of the eight items listed above. Which one of you do you think will be hired? That’s right: the person who stacks up better in these eight areas.

YOU are ultimately responsible for what happens to you during your career. It’s you who decides where your career takes you and how much success you enjoy along the way. Yes, some of it depends upon your talent level and how much experience you have. However, a LOT of it does not depend upon those things.

A lot depends upon the areas that we just discussed. If it’s important enough to you to gain a career edge, then you will have the desire to improve in these areas. If it’s not important enough to you, then you will only go as far as your talent and experience alone can carry you.

How far do you think that will 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.