Millennial, Meat Eater, Mom

Taking Risks & Balancing Careers

With one of the most interesting headlines on LinkedIn, Brittany Bailey’s title of “Millennial, Meat Eater, Mom,” accurately groups the many facets that make up the day-to-day for this mom of two, Meatingplace blogger, and newly named Food Safety Marketing Manager for Zoetis. By following her number one career advice of “not being afraid to take a risk,” Brittany has been able to move through a variety of continued education and successful careers while continuing to build her skill sets and resume along the way.  

From Pre-Pharmacy to Food Security

An untraditional background in agriculture and the food industry, Brittany attended Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa as a pre-pharmacy major. The end goal was to be in pharmaceutical sales, but there was never an intention of being a pharmacist. A strong interest in business led her to believe that she would round out her education by receiving a masters in business upon completion of her pre-pharmacy undergrad. 

After completing her first year of school, doing some shadowing and a job in pharmacy, she realized that it wasn’t her passion. The direction she felt pushed by the curriculum and the program was not where she wanted to be headed. Changing her degree to BioChemistry Cellular Molecular Biology with a business minor, Brittany found a true passion in marketing which evolved into a full-fledged marketing minor.  

Her first job upon completing college was for an ingredient company with anything from animal to pet to personal care ingredients where she was in charge of the food ingredient and marketing division. Through a series of promotions, she was there for almost five years before an opportunity at a lab testing agency presented a new challenge: managing people.

With nine people reporting directly to her and 30 indirect reports, it was a huge undertaking unique to any experiences she may have had before. 

“It was much more difficult that I thought it was going to be,” Brittany says about adding people management to her skill set. The job showed her a real enjoyment in involvement with the customers directly. 

In developing her passion for the food industry, Brittany continued her education with a masters in public administration with an emphasis in health care management. She knew that she was committed; it was worth the risk. She applied to graduate school at Michigan State for a more technical background in the food industry with a masters in food safety. 

Brittany has found strength in her science background in the food industry. While not the original pharmaceutical pursuits she had embarked on in her college education journey, she is able to branch out from the basic science principles and applying them to food safety.  

Blogging for Meatingplace Magazine

The go-to source of all information red meat and poultry processing in the United States and Canada, Brittany had long been one of the worldwide subscribers to the daily industry updates by Meatingplace. While also working at the National Pork Board a call-to-action was sent through her email inbox; Meatingplace was looking for a guest blogger to fill some holes in their posting calendar that had been vacated.

Brittany had considered blogging for roughly three years prior, but had never felt like she could act upon it. When she saw that they were looking, she took action! Without any delay, she penned a blog that day, turning it in within 24 hours, telling herself that if she was the first one to respond, she would stand a better chance at being selected!

Her trick paid off and the blog was chosen for November 2017! This led to a direct request from Meatingplace for her to blog in December 2017, which then, in turn, led to a more permanent offer. Millennial Musings is Brittany’s Meatingplace blog that she updates monthly, joining forces with 11 other professionals specializing in a variety of topics. 

Balancing Personal Branding & Your Career

A lot on her plate, Brittany says that none of it would be possible without the support of her spouse. Two young children, aged one and five years, she has spent a lot of time in her career on the road and traveling; all made possible by balancing her personal life, career and hobbies.

It can also be challenging to keep her personal brand and her career separate, especially through the blogging platform of Meatingplace. 

Quick rules to keeping your personal brand and career separate:

  1. Include the disclaimer that the opinions expressed are your own and not those of a company that you may represent. 

  2. Be careful to not interject specific claims or information about your job.

  3. Do not focus on the topic that your job is in (i.e. Brittany doesn’t focus on just pork, she also discusses chicken and beef on her blog).

Leaps of Faith; Takings Risks

In her fourth career post college, Brittany now finds herself supporting the sales team in selling the company’s products. This includes everything from riding along with the sales team to find out what customers need or are thinking about to research and development of new products to the creation of marketing tools to help the sales team do their jobs more successfully. 

“You never know how long or what time I’m going to be in a position; you feel it in your gut when it’s the right position for you,” explains Brittany. While the older generation may feel that millennials spend too much time “job hopping,” Brittany feels that it’s not a negative as long as you gain experiences from those jobs that make you a better employee and colleague.  

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Katie Schrock