13 May Meg Becker
Managing Multiple Offices
“I love everything that has to do with words,” says Meg Becker and she most definitely does! As the Marketing Specialist at Cargill Animal Nutrition, Meg wears multiple hats that all focus on working with their team on marketing initiatives. This can include anything from internal newsletters, assisting the sales team with marketing material, and communication through the rest of the company.
More than manage all of these responsibilities and team members, Meg also works in two offices; her business office and her home office. She’s not the only one, so does her boss! Learning how to manage the two locations has been both rewarding and efficiency increasing, but took some time.
Working for a Large Company
It seems that Meg’s mom always knew that she would work at Cargill, having grown up in Sidney, Ohio, where Cargill had a corn and soybean operation. Meg always said “no,” though when her mom asked her about her future with Cargill. It wasn’t because she didn’t want to, it was more that she didn’t realize how many facets to agriculture that Cargill was involved with and the potential opportunities that it could provide for her.
Working for a marketing agency for about a year, Meg took the job her mom knew she was destined for! Knowing about Cargill before applying and taking the position allowed for Meg to be comfortable with their size and she felt no reservations that she would be “just a number.”
Putting people first is one of the top values of Cargill and it is represented from the Human Resource side, the work-life balance side, ad pretty much any team member. They have worked hard to build that culture and build that time for personal and professional development for their employees.
Cargill also believes strongly in mentorship programs, where Meg has found monthly calls with her mentor to be extremely helpful. It is an opportunity to ask questions, get answers, ask for wisdom and create a relationship with her supervisors. These conversations can also include where she is at professionally and how she can grow. The calls are formal with a loose agenda, but not strict, allowing the conversation to develop as they converse.
The purpose is to start your foundation within the company the “right way,” and that is to create a culture of being a lifelong learner. As a young adult and professional, Meg is still involved with AFA, so she took the opportunities their coaching provided as a leader.
“If there is something that you were really involved with in college, then continue to give back,” says Meg.
She also finds time to listen to podcasts and read books that interest her. Personal development is just as important as professional development. She highly recommends anything Rachel Hollis!
Blending Office Styles
Living an hour north of the main office, Meg says that while the drive is doable it does take time out of her day to make the drive both ways. Cargill stresses the importance of work-life balance, and one of the ways that Meg has been able to live that out that is by working from her home office three days a week and the main office twice a week.
“I love people and working in teams,” says Meg about getting to work in the office a couple times a week. These days she is able to capitalize on face-to-face meetings, working on projects with the team and making those personal interactions to ensure success of projects and transparent understanding through the levels.
Days that she spends in her home office are perfect for heavy execution days where sitting down, focusing and powering through a project is ideal. It’s also perfect for an evening meeting or function where she doesn’t have to worry about commuting time impeding the time she has to work during the day.
Meg’s supervisor is also remote, working in the Wisconsin area, and is in the office a couple times a month with the rest from her home office. In between those days, they Skype to get the face-to-face interaction necessary for success. If Meg has a question or needs something, Cheryl is a “ping” away thanks to modern technology.
Overcoming a Fear of Failure Through Strategy
Anyone who is goal-driven knows that it’s a work in progress whenever you step out of your comfort zone and do something doesn’t 100% guarantee success. Being surrounded by a team that makes it okay to fail is imperative. Making those risks and being vulnerable has helped Meg build trust within her team and be strategic.
Objectives. Strategies. Tactics.
“At the end of the day, if we have built the objectives and strategies, take some risk when it comes to the tactics, than we can build on it. It’s been an opportunity to learn and grow – it’s been a huge help for me to see that and grow!”
Get outside your comfort zone and do something different. That allowed me to do something different than I thought I would at a young age.
“Play the ball, not the player.” Don’t get stuck in the weeds of a project. There are going to be things that go wrong or meetings that go bad. But what will move your professional development forward, Cargill and our customers forward? Don’t get caught up on the emotional side of business – keep your eye on the ball.
Follow Meg Becker on LinkedIn or on Twitter to stay up to date with what she is doing or ask her questions!
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