Cyndi's Two Cents

Career advice

Commentary.

The countdown to graduation season is on!  Whether it’s eighth grade, high school or college graduation that lies ahead, it’s a milestone to be celebrated.

I was honored recently to be interviewed as part of a series of podcasts featuring conversations with women leaders in agribusiness.  The purpose of series is to offer “secrets of success” to help young women pursuing careers and leadership roles in agribusiness. There are no secrets and my advice is not specific to the female gender. I certainly don’t have all of the answers but I know what has worked for me.

One of the questions I was asked was if there were any pivotal moments that led me to where I am today.  I can answer that question with an unequivocal yes.  The first example that comes to mind is when I was in my mid-twenties I was offered an opportunity to take a position in a city 2 states away from home.  The only person I knew there was the person I was going to work for. I had very little experience driving in a big city and had never lived in one.  We packed everything I owned into my car and my parents’ livestock trailer and my dad and I set out at 0-dark-thirty for our 12-hour drive to my new home.

I am always surprised and usually disappointed when bright and capable candidates for amazing job opportunities shackle themselves to a limited geography in their first job out of college.  Taking a job in a state several hundred miles from where you grew up is not a lifetime commitment to that location.  It’s a chance to grow and learn. Go!  Have the experience!

Some other key advice I have for the Class of 2017 is to be present.  Put down whatever mobile device you are reading or listening to and be a part of what is happening in the space you occupy.

Not every endeavor will pan out the way you plan, and quite often you will find that which you thought at the time was a failure is really a step toward success.  For example, last summer, I hired a young man to join my team at Brownfield.  With several years of radio experience under his belt, including covering some agricultural news and events, he and I both felt he was a good fit for the role I offered.  He grew up on a small farm and had basic knowledge of the industry.  He has a great work ethic and finishes what he starts.  But his passion isn’t agriculture.  After ten months, he and I both knew it was time for him to move on to find that career that brings him greater joy.

No hard feelings.  No drama.  He will take what he learned in his role at Brownfield and apply it where and if it fits in his next career.

My wish is that the Class of 2017 will look to the future with wide-eyed hope and unbridled enthusiasm!

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