Workplace 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.
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.
I LOVE podcasts! They help make a long drive more bearable and keep my mind alert while on the road. Admittingly, my favorite shows are murder mysteries, but I’ve also discovered shows that are beneficial for my professional life (and don’t creep me out when driving down a two-lane road late at night!).
Maybe you’re like me and have a stack of articles and books that would really benefit you professionally, if only you could make the time to read them. Podcasts enable me to gain wisdom during a time in my car that is otherwise spent trying to out-sing whoever is on the radio. They are also free and easily available on a range of devices. Check these podcasts out and download them for your next drive!
It is always important to grow as a person not only in your personal life but also your processional career. Conferences, continuing education and other training opportunities are a great way to learn and grow in your professional career. Sometimes it can be a bit awkward or even a little stressful to ask your boss to spend the money on you to participate in different opportunities. Here a few tips on how to ask for these opportunities.
Research the event or training program:
• What exactly is it that you want to attend
• What is the goal/takeaway of the continuing education or training program
• Compare a few different programs/events
• When will this occur and how much time away from your job
• How much will it cost: Registration, Hotel/Lodging, Food, Transportation
• What type of companies attend
Performance reviews typically aren’t most folk’s favorite day on the job, but they do serve as a valuable opportunity to check in with your manager. If you’ve ever had a poor performance review, you know that can be an especially devastating day. Having a less than stellar performance review isn’t the end of the world, there is still ample time to turn your performance around. Below are some tips for getting back on track.
Don’t make excuses.
Being confronted with less than desirable performance might lead you to give excuses for why things haven’t been going smoothly. It’s a good idea to avoid the blame game and it’s time to show your boss that you are serious about being a great employee.
One of the nuggets of wisdom my dad shared with me often as a child had to do with controlling your attitude. He would tell me about a job he had committed to when he was a younger man, that involved a construction project out in the middle of the desert. Now he was a steamfitter, so he spent a lot of time welding pipe, and you can imagine how fun that was in the desert. He got to a point where he just hated the project. He was miserable in the heat, and he dreaded going to work each day with a crew that wasn’t motivated. It was obvious they didn’t want to be there any more than he did, and they put as little effort into the work as possible. But my dad was not a quitter, so when he committed to go to work on that project, he was bound to see it through. So one day, he just made up his mind that he was going to make the best of his situation. You see, when you drudge through a job (or life in general) being sour and bitter, the one that is hurt and suffers most is YOU.
Ralph Towell was raised in packing houses, watching his mother and father ship beans, cucumbers, and squash to vegetable stores. His father and grandfather started their own produce distribution business. Despite the agricultural family he was born into, there came a point in his professional career where Ralph realized he was making decisions based on his gut and not his expertise: the decision to go back to school.
The agriculture industry continues to shift and change. If you’re working in this field, you may sometimes reach the same point Ralph did and wonder how you can continue to grow in your career. Which leads to the question, “Are you ready to go back to school?” There are many factors that go into a decision to finish your undergraduate degree or continue on to earn a master’s. Here are a few questions (and answers) to help guide your decision-making process.
We’ve heard it repeatedly, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Networking has become one of the most talked about terms (and perhaps overused) when it comes to career growth and business success. However, the effectiveness of this topic necessitates its continued emphasis. But what is it really? It surprised me when the first synonym that Microsoft Word and the thesaurus suggested was “schmoozing.”
Merriam-Webster defines networking as “the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups or institutions; specifically, the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business.” Illustrating the importance of career networking, this dictionary also includes a quote from Hal Lancaster, “Networking remains the No. 1 cause of job attainment.”
It may be top-of-mind in the job search process, as a principal connector for candidates and employers, but networking is imperative for overall career and personal growth too. Furthermore, if a company wants to persevere and prosper, their employees need to continue to grow as well. Professional development and networking often occur simultaneously. It’s all about making contacts, meeting people and exchanging ideas.
Have you thought about pursuing advanced education in agriculture but just haven’t had the time or accessibility? You may have heard it said that the master’s degree is the new bachelor’s. With agribusiness constantly advancing and employees seeking advancements in their careers, a master’s degree or an advanced certificate of some kind is growing increasingly attractive to both employers and businesses. But what institutions do you consider for this kind of education? What college will have your specific needs? And how can you pursue that kind of education without leaving your current job? The answer to these questions can be found in AgCareers.com’s University Partners. In this program for distance education, you’ll find six online master’s programs in agriculture that are both highly respected and highly effective. Take a closer look:
Early on in my career, I accepted a position managing a dealer network for a reputable horse trailer manufacturer. The work was fast-paced and dynamic, with a focus on relationships…all things I thrive on. However, just as I was starting to really settle in and hit stride in my role, I started noticing little things that signaled all was not as it seemed. What had appeared to be a thriving business, was really a once-solid business that had started to slowly crumble from within. It wasn’t long before I realized the business foundation wasn’t built strongly enough to handle growth. If things start to go awry in that situation, the domino effect can be devastating. However, there are cases where strong change management can recover from adversity and build a stronger company. When you are in the middle of a situation like that, how long do you stay with your struggling employer? In my mind, part of the answer to that question lies in your confidence in the leadership and your level of adversity to risk.