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What to Do If You Don’t Love Your Job (and How to Love Your Career)

By Stacy Pursell, CPC/CERS
The VET Recruiter®

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, people’s thoughts usually turn to the topics of love and affection. Typically, these thoughts are about another person, but how about your job? Do you love your job? And if you do, what about your career?

Because believe it or not, it’s possible to love your job, but not really love your career. Allow me to explain.

If you love your job, then you enjoy going to work every day. You like what you do on a daily basis (even if it’s hectic and stressful sometimes), and you like your co-workers, as well. In other words, you gain fulfillment and satisfaction from your job.

Your career, on the other hand, is different. Your career is more like a pet or a plant. It needs constant care and feeding. You can not neglect your career by being too comfortable in your present situation and clinging to the status quo when we all know that nothing lasts forever . . . and that includes your current job.

I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating. Unless you plan to retire at your current job, then it’s always a good idea to keep an open mind about other employment opportunities. After all, who among us plans to retire at the job we have right now, no matter how much we love that job? If you don’t at least stay open to the possibility of other opportunities, then you’re neglecting your career and not loving it.

It’s possible to both love your job and also love your career. It may not be easy to do all of the time, but it’s the best course of action for those people who want to fully enjoy their job right now and their career in the long run.

What to do if you do NOT love your job

There is a chance, of course, that you do not love your current job. After all, not everyone can. That would be a statistical impossibility. If that’s the case, then the good news is there are things you can do to improve your situation. It may not improve immediately, but at least you will be taking action to change your circumstances instead of allowing those circumstances to dictate what happens to you.

Below are five proactive and practical things that you can do if you do not love your job:

#1—Conduct a quick audit of the situation.

This does not have to be as long nor as painful as it sounds. It simply comes down to identifying what is working in your current job and what is not. What is the main source of your pain and what can be done about alleviating that source of pain? Sometimes, the answer is something simple and small and addressing it directly can make a big difference. On the other hand, you may simply be burned out. And if that’s the case, you might just need to take a break or a vacation so that you can rejuvenate yourself. The last thing you want is to do something rash or act out of impulse.

#2—Explore other options at your current employer.

Perhaps there are other viable options at your employer, maybe another position for which you would be better suited. Although this is not always the case, it is wise to determine whether or not there are options, evaluate those options, and then take the appropriate course of action. If you work for a veterinary practice or Animal Health company with multiple locations, perhaps asking for reassignment would be a strategic move to increase your employment satisfaction.

#3—Clearly define what you want in a job (and in a career).

This step is similar to step #1, in which you conducted an audit of your current employment situation. In this step, you must conduct an audit of what you want, not only in a job specifically, but also in a career overall. And remember, when conducting this audit, be as specific as you can be. Include not just the job itself, but the organization, the company culture and its employer brand, and what it stands for. In terms of your career, plot the course that you’d like for it to take. Where do you want to be, how do you want to get there, and how long do you want it to take to get there?

#4—Conduct research and seek counsel from those you trust.

One piece of good news is that you are certainly not alone in this situation. Literally millions of people have fallen out of love with their job—if they were even in love with it in the first place. Countless volumes of books have been written about the subject, as well as an avalanche of blog posts and Internet articles (just like this one, as a matter of fact). This is also why it’s a good idea to build a professional network of people whom you trust. In addition, this is where a mentor could prove to be valuable.

#5—Align yourself with an experienced recruiter.

An experienced and reputable recruiting firm like The VET Recruiter can help you. I have worked with countless Animal Health and Veterinary professionals down through the years who did not love their job or even like their job and wanted a change of employment.

There are many benefits to working with a recruiter, one of which being that you can conduct a covert and confidential job search while still working your current job. Another benefit is that recruiters are a wealth of information about a great many things, including employers, hiring managers, and how much people with similar skill sets and experience are being compensated in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession.

The VET Recruiter has nearly 25 years of experience helping Animal Health and Veterinary professionals with their employment situation and also with their career. Specifically, we have the expertise and resources to help you both love your current job and also love your career.

Because in the final analysis, you should not have to choose between the two.

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.