never wear to workWorkplace wardrobes can be tricky, particularly for those employees who do not have a mandated uniform or clearly written (and modernized) dress code policy. However, you may have a few things in your closet that you should never wear to work, regardless of how well the dress code is explained or enforced.

 

1. Flip flops. The weather is warming up and maybe you have a really comfortable pair. Sorry, put them back in the closet. Flip flops are never quiet and they’re never that nice (no mater how much you spent on them). While some offices may permit open toed shoes, sandals that expose more foot skin than they cover should be saved for the weekend.

 

2. Leggings as pants. While some dress codes may ban leggings all together, I can justify their presence in the office when worn under a LONG tunic or dress. However, substituting them for pants is not acceptable.


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Published on May 22nd, 2018

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job interviews are like blind datesOhhhhh, the nervousness, unpredictability, and awkwardness of blind dates…. or job interviews! It doesn’t take much effort to illustrate the similarities between the two, even in dictionary definitions:
 
• Blind Date: a social engagement or date with a person one has not previously met.
• Interview: a formal consultation usually to evaluate qualifications.
 
Fact #1: In job interviews, you’re typically socializing with someone who you haven’t met before.
 
Fact #2: In blind dates, you’re evaluating your date’s qualifications and “fit.”


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Published on May 17th, 2018

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Rita Cook Ag Loan OfficerRita Cook always knew she wanted to work with farmers. She recently returned to her home county to work as an Ag Loan Officer in Iowa Falls, Iowa with Green Belt Bank & Trust where she has been for one year. Rita talks about what she has learned in her first year of work as an ag loan officer and her advice for those interested in the career path.

 

What made you want to become an ag loan officer?

 

I grew up on a diversified grain and livestock farm in Iowa, and knew I wanted to work hands-on with farmers to help them be successful. The bank had an opening for an ag lender. It was a perfect fit to combine my passion of helping farmers with lending.

 

What is a day in the life like for you?

 

A lot of days are spent meeting with customers or visiting with them on the phone. I work with customers to update their balance sheets, put together projected cash flows for the coming year, and then analyze those numbers. Once the analysis is done, I present the customer’s request to our internal loan review committee for approval. There’s a lot of leg work that goes on behind the scenes, especially if a farmer is purchasing farm ground or a putting up a livestock barn.


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Published on May 3rd, 2018

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how to SPOT A GREAT EMPLOYERSo, you’re on the hunt for a new job or you are a new graduate looking for your first start! Navigating job postings, career fairs and social media can be time consuming. When targeting your job search, how do you spot a great company to work for? It isn’t just the job description you should focus on, it’s also the company. Outside of your family, work is said to be the biggest thing to influence happiness and most of us spend most of our time at work. Also, the more comfortable you are in your workplace, the better you will likely be at your job. Here are some tips for honing in on that company with the culture for you and how to spot a great employer:

 

1. Internet research. Research the company. Look on their website and read about what they say about themselves and their employees. There are also a variety of websites and forums where current and previous employees can post about their own employment experiences with the company. Social media is also a great tool for researching companies and look to see what brand the company is showing through their social media channels. Does their messaging appeal to you?


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Published on April 26th, 2018

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millennial career ladder As a millennial myself, I certainly understand the frustration when it comes to the longing for the fast track to career advancement. However, as it’s often liked to say about us, that “entitled” mentality only leaves us disappointed and agitated in our roles. That’s a term I really hate: entitled. Let’s say “energetic” instead. I can definitely say I feel energetic about my career and the possibility of where it could lead. But like all things in life, it’s important to simply enjoy the journey. So join me as I reflect on and give suggestions toward climbing the millennial career ladder.


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Published on April 17th, 2018

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interview mistakes to avoidHaving a great resume is key, but showing up to an interview with a positive attitude ready to sell yourself as a great fit for the position and company is even more important. When looking for the perfect candidate, every employer is different but there are certain expectations when going in to any interview. Check out these 10 Interview Mistakes to Avoid.

 
1. Arriving late

 
Employers are taking time out of their day to show an interest in you and to learn more about you and how you fit into their culture and organization – don’t waste their time by arriving late! Not only is it rude, but it could also give employers the impression that you are not serious or reliable.

 

2. Inappropriate Dress

 

Dressing inappropriately is one of those interview mistakes that can go both ways. Dressing too casual for an interview can be awkward and uncomfortable. Align your interview outfit with the industry and company style. Wearing a suit and tie is always recommended and professional, but some companies may give you a tour of a facility or visiting a work site during the interview. As always, make sure that whatever you choose to wear is appropriate, clean, and neat. If you aren’t sure, research the company or ask if there will be a tour or field visit during the interview to plan your outfit accordingly. If nothing else, err on the side of formal dress.


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Published on April 12th, 2018

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interview oversharingHonesty is the best policy and obviously it’s imperative in a job interview. However, as in your personal life, there can be a risk of “interview oversharing.” This concept can also be expressed in the notorious acronym, “TMI” – too much information.

 

The rise of reality TV and social networks has encouraged us to update everyone on our status, even if it’s just a photo of what’s for dinner. For example, it’s the person you just met that shares their entire life story, including much more personal information than necessary. This type of oversharing is especially imperative to consider in an interview when you’re asked that common question, “Tell me a little about yourself.” The keyword here is LITTLE!

 

Generally, respond to interview questions with relative, succinct answers that do not ramble on and on. As a guide, here are ten things you shouldn’t share during an interview:


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Published on March 29th, 2018

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best agriculture podcastsI talk about podcasts a lot. I am fascinated by the creativity, wide topic range and knowledge that is offered through this medium. Maybe you share my excitement, or perhaps you haven’t yet subscribed because you’re not sure where to start or haven’t found any that interest you. There are seemingly thousands of podcasts available and to be honest, some aren’t that great. So, when I find a good series to follow I am eager to share with others! Below are my current favorite agriculture podcasts:

 

Keeping Ag Real hosted by Jenny Schweigert – I recently found this series and have really enjoyed the variation of length (as short as 12 minutes or as long as 45 minutes) as well as the diversity of topics. Jenny tackles all sectors of the industry, even the challenges, while bringing in outside perspectives.


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Published on March 20th, 2018

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skills in an agricultural degree programGuest Blog Post by Colorado State University; click to view their agricultural degree programs

 

There are numerous reasons to consider a degree in an agricultural field of study. Not only will students earn academic credentials that can open doors to new job opportunities, they will also learn skills that apply across a variety of career paths. Here are just a few of the ways ag students benefit from their degrees:

 

1. Time management: If there is one skill that’s essential in agriculture, it’s working on a schedule. To complete assignments and other projects on a deadline, students must delegate their time wisely. Earning an agricultural degree requires students to set both short-term and long-term goals. Studying in an online program can help provide more flexibility and an opportunity to master time management skills. Learning effective organizational strategies will serve students well for the rest of their careers.


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Published on March 15th, 2018

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job search mannersGrowing up, we were taught to use our manners and have proper etiquette for about every situation, but what about during our job search? We have all been there. Job searching can be extremely stressful and frustrating. Whether you are a fresh graduate, have moved to a new area or are anxious to leave your current employer, we tend to put extra pressure on ourselves and sometimes our sense of urgency clouds the way we handle ourselves throughout the process. With so many other job seekers looking for employment as well, how can you make a lasting impression so that you will be remembered? These 6 simple tips will help you stay ahead of the game by showing proper job search manners and etiquette.

 

Resume

The first thing we do before searching for a job is re-vamp our Resume. Selling yourself through your resume is key. A big mistake that is often made is having one generic resume for each job that you apply for. Going the extra mile and tailoring your resume to each specific job is important and will help your resume stand out from the rest. Also, make sure to proofread your resume before sending it out, you would not want to reference a certain position on your resume and send it to the wrong company – yikes!


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Published on March 9th, 2018

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