Lisa Cassady Jayne’s Top Ten Tips to Entering into Ag Communications 1. Agriculture is an asset- I never expected to work in agriculture. While working at O&B, I have found my farm background to be a definite advantage. I have used it to relate to my clients’ customers and to offer my clients savvy communications recommendations. 2. Diversify your portfolio- I have a passion for agriculture, but I also have a passion for politics. With degrees in political science and journalism I have been able to blend both worlds and expand my opportunities. You need to stand out in a competitive environment and by diversifying your experiences you can. 3. Crawl before you walk- Everyone wants direct access to clients and to work on multimillion dollar campaigns when they start, but keep your expectations realistic and have the attitude that you are willing to do pretty much anything. As a manager, I will say that trust comes with time and is something you earn. I need to trust you can do a job before I assign it to you because your work reflects on me and this agency. 4. Cool under pressure- In selecting individuals for positions, I look for people who are problem solvers. Don’t come to me with a problem and expect me to fix it for you. Come to me with a problem and possible solutions. 5. Divas need not apply- Make an effort to have a good working relationship with those around you. Managers hate dealing with people with attitudes who cannot get along with others. If you have a conflict with someone, approach them to solve the problem before going to your boss. 6. Learn from mistakes- One of the hard lessons to learn in this business is to take ownership when you make a mistake. We all are not perfect. It can be hard to admit a mistake to a boss, coworker or client. There are three important things you need to convey to the person(s) you wronged. You need to admit it’s your fault, tell them how you will fix it and let them know you learned from this mistake. Never dust mistakes under the rug and hope they never surface because they always do. 7. It takes a community- One of the great things about agriculture communications is the people. This is a small tight net community that can be gracious with helping others. Competition is still present, but I feel this industry has less of that mentality than some others. Take advantage of this and ask for advice and help from others. 8. Networking for success- Since the agriculture communication is a small community, networking is essential. Print business cards and keep track of who you meet. The person you have an informal conversation with at a tradeshow this year could be your boss next year. 9. Promote your good works- Self promotion sounds vain, but to move up, you have to learn how to talk about your strengths to those around you especially your bosses and clients. There is a difference between bragging and just letting others know when you hit one out of the park. 10. Find your niche- The right environment with the combination of challenging work you feel passionate about doing makes you want to come to work every day. Having great coworkers and a good boss to mentor you is essential. Look for positions and work situations that play on your strengths and personality. In this competitive climate you might to want to take the first job offered, but ask yourself first if it will make you happy. If you can’t find the perfect job find one that will lead you to it. I’m always available to answer questions or to give advice at [email protected] Good luck!!!