Meet the people that literally wrote the book on launching your career. Dr. Kerry Litzenberg and Codie Wright join us to share their book Launchers: Don’t Just Take a Job, Launch Your Career.  This book was inspired by many questions posed to them by students who were exploring their career options. They hoped to relieve some of the common frustrations seen in current populations of students. There is this mounting pressure to decide ‘what am I going to do?’. And if you don’t know that, it can be very daunting and very exhausting,” says Wright  This book is meant for proactive individuals that want to own their career through personal individual development and growth. What we find is that you learn in your twenties so you can apply what you have learned in your thirties and you can reap what you have sown in your forties and fifties,” explains Codie Wright.

The Approach

The first part of the book expresses the process the book will employ.  This is followed by a section on identifying the skill set you bring to your career prior to launching. The next part explores what core competencies are required for your career. Launchers then closes with a thought-provoking section to help you explore your options and opportunity. Real anecdotes from fellow launchers were used to develop examples and lessons throughout the book.

This book “took the experience of a baby-boomer and the knowledge of a millenial and blended it together.” 

Codie Wright completed her Masters in Agribusiness at Texas A&M University and is currently the assistant Director of the Weston Agrifood Sales Program. Her career focus is to bridge the gap between industry and academia. Dr Litzenburg is a lifelong teacher at Texas A&M University with a PhD in agricultural economy. More recently he has found an interest in human development and emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is understanding yourself, your triggers and how that insight can be used to further your prerogative. 

“Your career should happen for you, not to you.”

Both Dr. Litzenburg and Codie feel that strong self awareness is the most crucial part of launching your career. The common untruth “that you can be whatever you want to be” has led to a lot of disappointment. Together, they place a lot of significance on an individual’s emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is understanding yourself, your triggers and how that insight can be used to further your prerogative. They reinforce demonstrating and growing this insight by creating a “mentor council” filled with people in the job you want to have and people in the industry you want to join. Have your mentors chosen ahead of time to support your launch. People can be weak but teams should not,” shares Codie. Both authors encourage you to network to gain insight, guidance and skill sets you may not have access to. 

One of their final gifts to listeners was to caution their readers to not confuse an isolated “rainy day” with overall job dissatisfaction. Codie shares her techniques for evaluating self talk and the significance of its impact. She recommends first evaluating your self talk as true or not. She then goes on to examine whether that thought is helpful to your current situation. “If the voice in your head is not advocating your behalf” you may not be able to reach your full potential. 

“Sometimes parents, adults and even faculty drive (career launching) in the wrong direction. ‘Have you got a job yet?’…You end up saying I’ve got a job but I didn’t really think through launching my career.”

-Dr. Kerry Litzenberg

Look for Launchers on Amazon and Audible. Make sure to subscribe to the AgGrad YouTube Channel to learn more about career opportunities in agriculture and follow along on the special “30 Under 30 in Agriculture” series!

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Tim Hammerich

Tim is a strategic communications consultant, founder of AgGrad, and the host of the "Future of Agriculture" podcast. Originally from California, he is now based out of Boise, Idaho.