The Secret I Wish Every College Graduate Knew

I was recently contacted by a new college graduate.

We were discussing career options and I described some of the current job openings that I was aware of around the industry.

He stopped me suddenly and said, “I think I just want to look at internships.”

“Why is that?” I asked. “You completed your degree and have already done an internship.”

His response was eye-opening for me: “I just don’t feel prepared yet. I don’t feel that if I got a job I would know what I’m doing.”

This is a concern I’ve heard regularly while working with students and young professionals in agriculture. Many graduating students are paralyzed by feeling like they are totally unprepared for a career.

I don’t think the failure is truly in preparation. I think it’s that nobody has told them the truth.

Want to know the secret?

Nobody knows what they are doing.

What I mean by this is the difference between those that get out there and make something of themselves and those that struggle is action with or without having all the answers.

Now, this doesn’t mean you pretend to have skills that you do not have. Instead, it means that you take action before having all the answers and learn as you go.

It’s about being comfortable with charging ahead. You will encounter problems your entire career that you don’t know how to solve. That’s when you say to yourself or to others “I don’t know, but I’ll find out”.

We live in a time where information and inspiration are carried around in our pocket and accessible whenever needed.

The only thing stopping you from your career goals is your mindset. Start developing a mindset of action.

How?

Stop thinking. Start trying. The key is to start. Action will not only create momentum, but it will give you knowledge. Treat your first steps as experiments.

Reach out to someone knowledgeable in your field with your thoughts/ideas/aspirations. I love Twitter for this. You can tweet anyone. Will everyone reply? Of course not. But I have found that in the agriculture industry, even at the highest levels, people admire sincerity and ambition. Show both.

College isn’t about giving you 100% of the skills needed to do a specific job. Employers know this and expect to train you. However, they also expect for you to have the initiative to learn quickly and work proactively. That’s mindset – not preparedness.

Your education has given you the skills to learn, analyze, and research. Apply these skills whether you’re an Animal Science major selling seed and fertilizer or a Ag Communications major running a grain elevator.

Bottom line: EVERYONE IS LEARNING AS WE GO.

The difference maker for you will be your mindset, attitude, and work ethic.

Make it happen. YOU’VE GOT THIS.

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Tim Hammerich
tim@aggrad.com
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