Tiffany Tomlin, a junior at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, joins the marketing staff, also based in Ames, for the summer as our marketing intern. Tiffany is an agricultural education major and participates as a member of the ISU Livestock Judging Team.
What do you do on a day-to-day basis in your role with AgCareers.com?
Every day I get the opportunity to work on a variety of tasks with the AgCareers.com team. Some highlight items that I am currently working on include internship surveys, Career Profile extensions, promoting the 2019 HR Roundtable, and writing content for blogs, newsletters, and the Ag and Food Career Guide.
What do you enjoy about working with AgCareers.com?
I enjoy having the freedom to take the lead on a wide variety of tasks. Through this, I am getting valuable experiences outside of what I would get in the typical classroom while having the help of the friendly AgCarees.com team when needed.
What advice would you give to job seekers using AgCareers.com for the first time?
Take advantage of the advanced search options but don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. There are countless job postings on the site and one you never would have thought of might be the perfect fit. Remember to add your resume and cover letter for even more positive exposure!
Full disclosure here, I kind of laughed when my colleague asked me to write this blog. I’m not awful when it comes to being on time, but definitely not known for being early either! While I’d love to use my two sweet children or my husband as my excuse, the truth is I’m accountable for me.
I think that is the key – you are accountable for you. And being on time for work says something to your employer about how accountable you are to the business. Now, I recognize that many organizations have flexibility when it comes to this topic, so take that into consideration and follow (or exceed) the norm.
While I think a lot of getting to work on time is just doing it, here are a few things that I’ve found helpful to motivate and keep me running on time.
There is no magic formula of how to perform within your job and not get fired. Every company is different, with different managers, employees, situations, and laws that apply to each based on their location. Can you be fired without warning? The short answer is it depends.
Generally, once an employee has committed an act of gross misconduct, the employee can be fired without warning. For example, stealing from your employer, hitting another employee or vandalizing office equipment may land you with a pink slip in a hurry. Gross misconduct rules should be equally applied to everyone from the top to the bottom of the organization. In addition, being a top performer doesn’t exclude one from the consequences of gross misconduct. If an employee is the top salesperson but uses illegal drugs at work, that employee may not have a secure job. Aside from steering away from gross misconduct, there are a couple of additional actions you can take that will help decrease the likelihood you’ll be fired without warning.
Are you stuck in a job or profession that you don’t enjoy and are looking to make a career move? Maybe you are about to graduate from college and don’t want to get stuck in a rut early in your career. With the help of my AgCareers.com teammates, we have compiled a list of career advice, so you don’t have a long list of regrets and have a successful career.
No matter your circumstances, go after what you want! If you are stuck, you can always turn things around and pursue something you are passionate about. With that being said, sometimes challenging or not so fun roles are what prepares us for our next step. Tough experiences can end up teaching us valuable lessons that we may need 10 years down the road.
Just because you have a degree or certification does not mean you are done learning. Take advantage of any learning opportunity that comes your way such as attending conferences, webinars, or unique trainings. Better yet, make sure you put what you have learned into practice! Continued education can even come from your manager or a mentor, don’t ever limit yourself and remember to keep learning because it will make you a more valuable employee at the end of the day.
Starting a new position is both terrifying and exciting. There is an old movie quote that paraphrased goes something like, “Beginnings are usually scary, endings are usually sad and it is what is in the middle that counts.” When it comes to starting a new job, there is a similar beginning, middle, and end. During the first 90 or so days on the job, you will go through an onboarding period that will help you get up and running in your new role. When it’s done well, the onboarding process will make you feel like you are being welcomed into a new community.
Think a moment about the different perspectives. Your new employer needs to convey both culture and structure to ensure you get on board quickly and know how to be successful. You as a new employee need to know who to turn to, how to get your questions answered and of course, how to be successful. Good onboarding can meet both of your needs.
It may be the most controversial addition to a resume if you are a recent graduate: should you include your GPA, or your grade point average? Do employers really want to know? Will it increase your chances of getting a job or will it hurt them? After years working with AgCareers.com, I’ve heard a lot from both sides of the argument. Let’s weigh the pros and cons.
Including grade point average on your resume is often more widely accepted if you have little or no experience aside from your education. This is often the case for current college students who have not yet completed an internship or have had little work experience outside the classroom.
And if you have great grades, why not? Cristine Buggeln of JBS USA told us in our 2014 Ag & Food Career Guide to only add your GPA to your resume if it is above 3.0. We at AgCareers.com would go so far to even say that it is more impressive to only include if it is 3.5 or above. If your major or field of study is intensive and widely considered “difficult,” such as a scientific field or in the pursuit of an advanced degree (Master’s or Doctorate), and you have maintained a strong GPA, it will show that you are a dedicated student committed to success.
We’ve all had situations where we’ve been frustrated with our boss, and sometimes you just want to vent. Maybe you didn’t like the decision your boss made, or you feel hurt because you didn’t get the promotion or raise you thought you deserved. Maybe you are struggling with a co-worker relationship, and it’s disrupting your productivity. Should you talk to your boss about how you feel about your work or their management? What should you just keep to yourself?
Let’s face it, it could be pretty risky to put yourself out there and “complain” to your boss, especially in certain corporate cultures. There’s not a one-size-fits-all approach here, and I think we could all argue that our own specific circumstance is unique. Therefore, the answer to whether or not you should give your boss critical feedback depends entirely on YOU and your personal journey. I love the way Andy Stanley talks about how to be drama free through wise decisions, and I think this method applies to any pivotal situation. Stanley suggests we look at the decision through the three lenses of past, present, and future in order to make the wise move. Consider asking yourself the following three questions:
Ah, the thought of working from home. No more commute. No chance of getting that sickness that goes around the office every winter. No need to even make a lunch to bring every day. You have your entire fridge!
Yes, it does sound glorious. And for many people, it is! But not necessarily for everyone. Is this something you have thought about? This checklist will help you evaluate if this is an option you should consider.
1. The Social Dynamic
Okay, this is perhaps the most obvious difference. Although this depends on your current workplace setting, this will most likely be a drastic change from working in an office constantly surrounded by others. I spoke with one of my dear extroverted friends about her experience working from home, and she mentioned that it was not a good fit for her because she needs more human interaction. Don’t underestimate the value of that daily talk with your colleagues at the watercooler. Everyone is different! You know yourself better than anyone else. Set yourself up for success.
On the same note, perhaps working in that office filled with people prohibits you from being productive and getting your work done. A simple walk to the restroom could suddenly bring you into a conversation about your coworker’s dog’s illness that you never asked about.
With all elements of a resume, there seems to be a lot of debate about how to introduce your resume, and if it’s even necessary. At AgCareers.com, we hear lots of opinions from employers we work with about how they’d like to see applicants open their resume. It can be difficult to successfully implement, especially considering you want to essentially summarize everything below in a very quick, non-fully kind of way. Here are four different ways we recommend to start a resume and how to do so successfully.
This is the most commonly referenced method to start a resume. Typically, objective statements present a picture of what you have to offer, and it is best utilized by applicants with less experience. An objective statement outlines your career goals and your reason for submitting a resume. However, you’ll note in the above video that we recommend steering clear from the outdated “objective statement.” Employers have repeatedly told us this is also a more unnecessary element on resumes. Just the same, if you think this is what would best introduce your resume, here is an example opening:
“Obtain a position as a sales agronomist with an industry leader to exercise my relevant skill and knowledge in plant science and customer relations.”
Your first reaction to PDA in the headline might be “How does this relate to my job search and pregnancy?” No, I’m not addressing “Public Displays of Affection,” also known as PDA. The U.S. Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) of 1978 states that a pregnant woman cannot be treated differently from any other employees with disabilities, even though they are temporary. Pregnant workers may have pregnancy-related impairments that qualify as disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The PDA prohibits sex discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. It applies to current, past, potential or intended pregnancies, and any medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.
To Share or Not to Share
Firstly, it’s good to know that this conversation is entirely up to you, the candidate! Any questions asked by employers regarding your marital status, pregnancy, or children are out-of-bounds. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) outlines guidelines in their Pregnancy Discrimination Fact Sheet.