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Agrimarketing : November December 2009
52 Agri Marketing November/December 2009 Your cell phone is ringing. The voicemail light on your office phone is blinking. You just got an e-mail saying that your inbox has reached maximum capacity. The pile on your desk continues to magically grow overnight. You're busier than ever. It's almost a new year, and even if you're not sure where 2009 went, it's a good time reflect on what you've accomplished. Pull out a piece of paper and write down five achievements. It won't take very long, and that voicemail will still be there when you finish. Maybe you reached a sales goal or successfully launched a new product, or maybe it's something more personal, like coaching your son's little league team to a championship. Whatever it is, get it down on paper. Now, take a look at your list and ask yourself how many of the accom- plishments were an investment of your time in personal growth and professional development. Probably not many, if any at all. Unless your company requires a certain number of professional development hours, it's easy for you to push it aside and focus on the daily grind. By taking advantage of professional development opportu- nities, you can become a stronger leader and more effective employee. PINPOINTING NECESSARY SKILLS The first step in professional growth is identifying the areas in your career where you need to, or would like to, improve. Are there skills that you see yourself using in the future that you don't already possess? Is there an area in which your manager would like to see you develop? For exam- ple, if you have to give sales presen- tations, and you struggle to make an impact in front of groups, then you'd want to find a program on public speaking. Once you've identified the specific need you're trying to meet, you can start looking for a program offering. You will want to consider a number of factors when making your program selection. These include: • How long can you be away? (Program duration can vary from one to several days.) • How far away are you willing to travel? • What's your budget? How much is the company willing to spend? (This may also affect your travel radius.) • Is the organization offering the program credible? Do they under- stand your industry? • Does the program instructor have a good reputation? (You want to learn from someone who is an expert in your specific need.) • Is the program designed for people at your management level? (The program should be appropriate for your current level or stretch you in terms of where you want to go in your next position.) • What are the program's tangible benefits? • Overall, what value does the program offer you and your com- pany? GETTING PERMISSION TO ATTEND While your manager may suggest seminars for you to attend, it's typi- cally up to you as an employee to find programs that will benefit you, and to present them to your employer. To improve your chances of get- ting a request to attend a professional development seminar approved, come prepared. When you request the semi- nar, discuss the reasons you think you'll benefit from the seminar with your supervisor. This is especially helpful if the seminar's ties to your current position are not immediately clear from its title, or if you want to attend a seminar about general man- agement skills, like strategic thinking or organizational leadership. SETTING DEVELOPMENT GOALS Take out that list of accomplishments you created earlier and write down a few professional development goals for 2010. Now, post that list some- where so you can see it daily --- the dashboard of your vehicle or your computer monitor. Your voicemail light may still be blinking, but you've just made a commitment to become a stronger leader and more effective employee, and that's something any manager would commend. AM Room to Grow: MEETING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT GOALS IN 2010 by Megan Sheridan and Kristyn Kapetanovic Sales and Marketing Insights from Purdue University SEMINARS Upcoming Agribusiness Center for Food and Agricultural Business Agricultural Retailers Association Management Academy February 2-4, 2010 American Seed Trade Association Management Academy March 2-5, 2010 Learn more at www.agecon.purdue.edu/cab Megan Sheridan is the marketing manager at the Center for Food and Agricultural Business at Purdue University. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Kristyn Kapetanovic is the marketing assistant at the Center for Agricultural Business at Purdue University. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Marketing Services Guide 2010
World Ag Congress