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.
Well, let me tell you, after doing some work travel with AgCareers.com, my packing has become a bit lighter and much more strategic. It’s not that cute when you are running through airport terminals with a large, heavy bag only to finally reach your seat and you are literally sweating… yes, unfortunately, I have been that person.
I always think it is a good idea to do a little prep work before packing.
Career success is a subjective term and means different things to different people. However, there are some commonalities that the majority of people agree is important when it comes to discussing “career success”. A successful career is usually one where the person feels happy to go to work every day, doing something of interest to the individual. Many people also measure career success by income, employer, prestige, etc. However when it comes to these criteria, they are not the same for everyone. So, why should someone define what career success means for them? Without defining career success, it is difficult to define career goals and without goals, it is difficult to plan and achieve.
If you don’t define career success, you will never know when you achieve it.
Here are points to consider when defining career success for you:
Oh the horror! As an employee, you’re bound to run into your share of terrifying moments. Telling your boss you’re taking another job can be as scary as seeing Michael Myers watching you from down the street. Asking for a raise can be more frightening than The Blob! Here are a few scary work situations you might experience and how to be prepared to handle them.
Telling Your Boss You’re Leaving: Putting in your two weeks notice can make you nervous, because it could be difficult to do without burning bridges. Your boss might even be the reason you decided to leave in the first place but are not sure how to tell them. Remaining positive and being upfront are key to creating a smooth transition with your soon-to-be former employer. Check out this post for more tips to ease the anxiety of this scary work situation.
Asking for a Raise: Now, hopefully, the worst thing about asking for a pay raise is that your supervisor will say “no.” But let’s be honest: if they say no, it can also leave you with a bruised ego. Prepare for the meeting (and you should prepare a formal meeting to discuss this, by the way), by asking yourself these three questions.
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.
In 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.
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.
What exactly is “career inaction” and why should anyone be worried about it? Career Inaction is a term coined by Belgian careers researcher Marijke Verbruggen in 2013 to describe situations where people decide to not do something or failing to act on one’s decisions. Importantly, both meanings of inaction refer to situations where people make a decision which is followed by the absence of action or change.
Inaction seems to be more prevalent in the working world than action when it comes to careers. For example, there are many people who complain about their jobs on a daily basis without ever looking for employment elsewhere. Careers result from many constructs including social structure, family influence, socio-economic status and of course, deliberate action taken by the person concerned.
Research has shown that career inaction spurs further inaction and causes “inaction inertia.” People who have bypassed an initial career opportunity are less likely to act on further opportunities even if they appear more attractive. This may explain why people get stuck in careers they dislike or why they end up in long-term unemployment even after being presented with multiple job offers.
There is no better starting point to nurturing one’s career than establishing a foundation of mutual trust within the workplace. Regardless of your title or level of authority, trusting others and having others trust you in return are the most basic elements of being looked upon as a respected professional. And working in an environment where co-workers can rely upon one another and are confident in each other’s abilities is very rewarding.
But how do you get trust? Trust is built intentionally and involves being a good communicator, remaining committed to integrity, and believing in others. Here are some thoughts on how to earn others’ trust at work:
1. Be trusting – To be trusted, you must first trust others. When you begin a relationship with a co-worker, make the assumption that they are fully capable of doing their work and are appropriately motivated. Trust them until you are proven wrong. If that person disappoints you or makes a mistake, be cautious in drawing conclusions about their level of competency or motivations until you understand more about them.
2. Be forthright – When an issue arises, address it with your co-worker with respect and kindness. Go directly to them without talking behind their back or complaining to others. These candid conversations are not always easy, but it is best not to delay in approaching the issue as resentment or anger can build and cause damage to the relationship. Being forthright in the workplace is a huge step towards earning others’ trust! (Exception: If the situation involves harassment or an ethical or safety violation, go directly to your boss.)