What to Ask When Seeking Your First Job in Agriculture
Recent college graduates all over are embarking on a new adventure. A large part of the journey now includes putting their well-earned degree to use in finding a job. Those looking to land something in the agriculture industry have a few green pastures to explore. For example, the field of precision agriculture continues to expand at a torrid pace. And with any new technology, learning curves can be steep as groundbreaking R&D information floods the industry. Naturally, GenNext Growers are drawn to the emerging world of ag-tech and appear properly geared to take the lead in guiding farm operations to the next level.
So, how can one turn their newly acquired agriculture education into a paid profession? Eric Oeth, a Business Development Specialist, Commodity Analyst, and content contributor for PrecisonAg Professional, a fellow Meister Media Worldwide brand, recently wrote a piece on this subject based off his first-hand experience.
Here’s a portion of the advice Oeth has for GenNext Growers:
The decision of “what do I do with my degree?” shouldn’t be taken lightly, of course, and I know many of you reading this are lucky in that you already have a job lined up after college. However, I know that I speak for many of us when I say that it can be overwhelming to decide in which direction to go after college – not to mention to deal with all of the applications, the cover letters, interviews, and so on.
This was something that I had to deal with myself recently. While I’m happy to report that I was able to find a job I see my future in, this decision – “how do I turn my education into my profession?” – was initially difficult for me to answer. The economy is doing well, the precision agriculture space is expanding, and there’s a lot of really interesting avenues to explore for your career. When you’re putting in the hours of legwork, how do you know if you’re making the right call?
I applied to a lot of great companies in a variety of agricultural spaces – seed companies, software vendors, agronomy companies, chemical companies, you name it. I also applied for a lot of roles, too – sales, operations, analysis, among others – with varying degrees of success. The problem for me was that there was so much I wanted to learn, but also in that I lacked focus in choosing what I wanted to do specifically.
The key for me to finding my place in this industry ultimately arose by asking myself three questions. You’ll probably ask them a lot yourself at any point in your career, and you can probably ask yourself some or all of them now. It helped me to write them out, however, and to organize my job hunt based on them:
- What do I like?
- What am I good at?
- What is practical for me to pursue?
Not earthshaking stuff, is it? Maybe so, but I found that I was only focusing on one, or maybe two, of these things when I was sending out resumes and scheduling interviews. Maybe the same could be said for you, too. I believe that these three questions should guide your decision-making process, because asking them is what allowed me to cut through the noise and finally decide on a direction to go in.
To go more in-depth, read the full version of this article at PrecisionAg.com.