“It’s what I’ve always known…” Growing up on his family’s livestock operation, rancher Ryan Sproul (husband of AgCareers.com Education and Marketing Specialist, Kristi Sproul) was surrounded by immediate and extended family that made their living off the land and the cattle that grazed it. Ranching has been a part of him for as long as he can remember. Now, Ryan and Kristi own Sproul Livestock, raising commercial Red Angus cows in Northwestern Oklahoma.
There’s never a typical day! I also work a full-time job as a Field Representative for the United States Senate, so I balance this with the work needing to be done with the cattle. This often means the ranch work is done during early mornings, late nights and weekends. Our operation’s work load varies by season. During the summer we are slower, while winter and spring are consumed with feeding and calving.
arrival of fall means football season is in full swing! Whether you’re spending Friday nights rooting for the hometown pride, Saturday’s on a college campus or playing armchair quarterback from your recliner for the NFL teams on Sunday, football season is a big deal to a lot of people! Some of our own AgCareers.com staff members are devout college football fans and during the fall you’ll most likely find them spending Saturdays at their alma mater hosting great tailgates and cheering loud!
Since 2006 my friends and I have hosted a tailgate at the same location of Oklahoma State Universities campus. Hosting a tailgate is no simple task; it takes a lot of planning to be executed successfully. While setting up the tailgate this past weekend I started thinking about how much great tailgates and great job interviews have in common.
Coordinating the menu, décor and entertainment for a tailgate takes some planning well before gameday. The same goes for job interview prep. Spend time prior to the interview researching the organization, practicing answers to commonly asked questions and learning more about the organizations industry.
Are you an executive or senior level professional in the agriculture industry? If so, we invite you to check out AgCareers.com Elite Talent platform. Elite Talent is a private online community from AgCareers.com where experienced, quality-checked professionals within agriculture can explore career opportunities and be matched with jobs through a confidential platform.
Generally speaking, the Elite Talent community is exclusively for those in a role within agriculture and food making $85,000 or more, although there are some exceptions for specialist roles. Upon registration, your information is sent to our Elite Talent team for review. They will connect if additional information is required or proceed to grant you access to the community.
Once a member, we’ll do the work for you and alert you of new job opportunities that match your desires. Elite Talent also provides additional resources to help you out.
We hear a lot of chatter about workplace diversity. Employers often allocate resources to recruiting diverse talent and are quick to tell candidates how welcoming of a work environment they’ll find. Job seekers want to know they are going to work for an organization that welcomes diversity in its most traditional sense, as well as a broader scope that accounts for diversity of thought and experiences. At AgCareers.com we recognize that as agriculture itself has diversified, so has its workforce. In response, we conducted a survey to capture employer’s efforts to address diversity within their organizations. While there’s a lot of talk about diversity in agriculture, we wanted data to back up the statement that the industry generally embraces and supports diversity in the workplace.
Our objective was that the survey responses would help us tell the story that we knew to be true. No longer is there a typical employee in agriculture; rather we’ve outgrown stereotypes about the demographics of our industry. The Workplace Diversity Survey- 2018 U.S. Edition did just that.
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.
I 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.
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!
Video resumes have become an emerging trend over the last few years, but as with any trend you should evaluate if it’s right for you before jumping on the bandwagon. (I sure wish I would have done that with some of my early 2000’s clothing choices!) Is a video resume something that will entice employers or turn them off?
The jury is still out on what employers think of receiving video resumes from candidates. A survey by Vault Inc. discovered what while most employers are receptive of video resumes less than 20% have actually viewed a video resume. Some employers are leery of being accused of discrimination if they do not proceed with the candidate, as the video will clearly showcase gender, race, age and other characteristics. If you do create a video resume, simply include the URL on the information you share with the employer and they can choose whether to view it.
It happens to all of us at one point or another. Whether it’s a work project, laundry, or Christmas shopping, there tends to be at least one thing that continuously gets pushed back until the last possible minute. There’s a procrastinator in all of us. I am big proponent of list making- crossing off a task once completed is a feeling that I love! However, I’ll admit that there is generally at least one task on my weekly to-do list that doesn’t get crossed off and then reappears on the next weeks list, and the next weeks and sometimes even the week after that.
Why is this? The easy answer is that some tasks are just less appealing than others (I don’t know anyone who gets excited about folding laundry). But what about the work projects that you just can’t seem to get a start on and keep pushing off? Assuming you’re not a lazy employee and are just a procrastinator, it likely has more to do with:
There is certainly no shortage of advice when it comes to the job search process, as most everyone has an opinion about the steps both novice and seasoned job seekers should take. Knowing that the insight comes from a place of credibility is key. That’s why I’ve asked AgCareers.com staff members to share job search lessons learned from their personal experiences as well as from working with active job seekers as part of their daily roles. Interviews with these staff members included so much great information that is pertinent to today’s job seeker!
What are some of the most memorable job search lessons you’ve learned from the process?
“Accomplishments do not necessarily mean you will get a job if they are not relevant to the specific job. Out of school, I listed a lot of my awards and accomplishments that were not relevant to the job…employers are looking for specific skills and competencies.” Carolyn Lee, Talent Solutions Manager Western Canada
“Even if you don’t have all the preferred qualifications listed in a job description, apply anyway! If an applicant meets the required qualifications, employers will likely still consider your application. Oftentimes the preferred qualifications are their wish list, but perhaps not realistic in the candidate pool.” Bonnie Johnson, Marketing Associate