why having advocacy skills is importantGuest Blogger: McKenzie Baecker, Education Specialist – Advocacy and Government Relations Division, National FFA Organization

 

A couple of years ago, I remember talking to a friend after she had gotten out of a job interview. It was for her dream job—an agriculture teacher at a local high school. The program had great potential to grow and it had always been my friend’s goal to build up a high school agriculture program. She had so many ideas of how she could get students involved and expose them to all of the opportunities agriculture has to offer.

 

During the interview, they asked her one of the most important questions, “Why should we hire you?” This question opened up the door for her to share her vision and the attributes she possessed to make it a reality. She talked about her previous experiences, her passion for agriculture and her desire to positively influence students. More than that, she talked about what she had in common with the students she would be teaching, how she would improve the program and how she would establish connections in the community. She had to advocate for herself and her future students.


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Published on August 25th, 2016

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agcareers.com resume databaseThe process of looking for a new career can be exhausting.  Searching, networking, searching more, sending your resume and waiting. The searching part can be challenging depending on what you’re looking for and how much time you have to look.  Maybe you’re passively looking.  Not wanting to search every day but if the right role came across your computer screen you’d certainly welcome a call from a company recruiter.  For job seekers, there is a tool that can help make this process a little easier, a way of getting your resume out to the employer and letting them come to you! However, many job seekers overlook this avenue to connecting with their next career.

 

One of the first points I share with job seekers when educating them about the AgCareers.com resume database is that employers have to pay to have access.  Employers are only granted access to the database as part of a job posting package they’ve purchased or by purchasing monthly access.  The fact that the employer makes this investment, creates a level of legitimacy for the database.  AgCareers.com isn’t just allowing any employer or person access to your personal information.

 

Another point I often share with job seekers is that there are some employers who opt to search databases before ever posting an opening.  This could be for a variety of reasons; they may be a little more selective in their process and only want to invest time in candidates they truly feel match the role.  They may also be planning to replace a current employee and do not want to run the risk of that employee discovering their job advertised online.  Therefore, having your resume in a database may be your only chance for connecting with the perfect job.


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Published on August 19th, 2016

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business email etiquetteOMG…r u kidding me? THERE IS A PROPER WAY 4 COMMUNICATING VIA EMAIL?!

 

The above illustrates some very bad email habits. You may communicate with your friends and family this way, but it is not appropriate in the business environment. Keep in mind you’re emailing and not texting. I’ve caught myself using texting jargon in email messages, especially when responding on my mobile phone. LOL!

 

In addition, using all caps makes it sound like you’re yelling your message at the recipient, or you’re just plain lazy. Use appropriate capitalization and punctuation like you would in a letter.

 

Your email message format may vary depending on who you are sending it to– coworkers, management, or customers. Your close circle of immediate colleagues may not need as formal of communication as supervisors and customers. If you are in the job search process, emails to potential employers require your most formal style and attention to detail.


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Published on August 16th, 2016

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protean career actorIn my previous blog post, I discussed the consequences of career inaction. In this post, I will discuss a career self-management concept, the protean career. What is a protean career? It focuses on achieving subjective career success through self-directed vocational behaviour. Individuals who hold protean career attitudes are intent upon using their own values (versus organizational values) to guide their career (Tim Hall, 1996).

 

A protean career must be considered as a life-long series of experiences, skills, learning, transitions and identity changes that is managed by a person instead of an organization. The ingredients of success change from “know-how” to “learn-how”, from job security to employability and from “work self” to “whole self” with psychological success as a terminal goal.


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Published on August 11th, 2016

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One of my favorite TV series is The Office (my husband and I have Netflixed the entire series at least five times), and I like to feature memes from the show on this blog a lot. An episode that came to mind when I started working on this article comes from season seven when Michael has left Dunder-Mifflin and Dwight is made acting manager. Dwight being Dwight, he orders a new gun holster, has it delivered to the office, and decides he wants to wear it around, but he insists that he can’t wear a holster without a gun in it. While showing off his holster to the staff, most of them become concerned at the sight of a gun in the office and ask him to get rid of it, and while Dwight is doing so, it goes off, blowing a hole through the floor and temporarily deafening Andy Bernard.

 

Most major work mistakes may not escalate to the extreme of shooting a gun in the office, but if you have ever been hungover in front of your boss, said something you definitely should not have, or even just made a critical error on an important document, you could have a strike against you. I know that when I’ve made a mistake, I’ve felt like I’ve had to prove myself again, and Dwight had to do so to his office teammates as well, in order to regain their trust. Here are a few tips for how to bounce back after a major work mistake.


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Published on August 9th, 2016

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DSC_0106Betty Draughton has spent one year as administrative manager with AgCareers.com. She works out of the Clinton, North Carolina headquarters.

 

What do you do on a day-to-day basis in your role with AgCareers.com?

 

I support both the company President, Eric Spell, as well as the leadership team with a variety of administrative functions. This can be anything from managing calendars and schedules, booking appointments, organizing and booking travel arrangements, coordinating meetings and events, to maintaining personnel files and ordering office supplies, just to name a few.

 

What do you enjoy about working with AgCareers.com?

 

I really enjoy that no two days are alike when I come to work each day. It is definitely not a monotonous job and I love that. I also enjoy knowing that I work for a company who truly cares about its employees and work-life balance. That means a lot this day and time!

 

What advice would you give to job seekers using AgCareers.com for the first time?

 

I would advise job seekers to make sure they use keywords when searching and also search by location. Most people that are seeking employment have a preference as to what region they’d like to work in. Then I tell them to make sure they set up an account (and that it’s free to do so), post their resume and apply right on our website to any job they find and feel suited for.


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Published on August 1st, 2016

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IMG_3843Eric Spell serves as president and co-founder of AgCareers.com. He has been with the organization since its beginnings in 1997. He works out of the Clinton, North Carolina office.
 
What do you do on a day-to-day basis in your role with AgCareers.com?
 
Much of my day consists of supporting my teammates – client requests, marketing-related activities, new product/service development, and monitoring key performance indicators for our business. I also spend time each week planning my travel schedule for upcoming industry events.
 
What do you enjoy about working with AgCareers.com?
 
I enjoy helping people around me develop and grow professionally. It’s very important to me that people around me enjoy what they do, feel like they are accomplishing their goals, and proud to be a part of our team! I also get great satisfaction knowing that we are helping connect people with careers every single day.
 
What advice would you give to job seekers using AgCareers.com for the first time?
 
Be patient and thorough. When applying to jobs online, realize that most employers will allow a certain amount of time for a list of candidates to accumulate before replying to any candidates. This is not in all cases, but know that it may take 2-3 weeks before you hear back from a prospective employer.


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Published on August 1st, 2016

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