Understanding how to successfully transition into the workforce after graduate school can be intimidating. Some of the valuable advice for women who pursue career in poultry are listed below.

  • Develop your network
  • Learn how to deal with difficult conversations
  • Consider your development and create an action plan
  • Performance reviews are an important tool to advocate for yourself
  • Develop self-confidence
  • Develop personal resilience

Expand your horizon

Starting a career in poultry can seem one directional at first. However, several positions that a rookie in the industry may not be aware of, such as sales, business development, digital marketing, market communications, market intelligence, product management, category management, regulatory management, IP management, acquisitions, screening and more.

“Go to LinkedIn and see if anyone has any of these titles. Reach out to them and ask what kind of job they have and how they got into it,”.

So many graduate students are focused on only technical or innovation positions,  expert explained. Finding a job that fits your personality type will help ensure your success. For example, if you are extroverted, sales or marketing may be a good option.

Taking control of your path and defining your environment is extremely important because if you don’t know what you want, no one else can define it for you.

Take personal responsibility for your development

When looking for or starting a new job, it is important for women to understand that leveraging your strengths and writing down your goals on paper is key to building self-confidence and progressing your career growth.

“You need to own what your development plan looks like,”. “Sometimes as women, we get laser focused on what we need to be better at. We need to focus on what we’re great at.”

Becoming a conscious contributor and assessing your impact is important when establishing yourself in your role.

Talk about yourself with confidence

Expert stressed that writing down the things you have achieved and communicating those points to your manager is an effective way to advocate for your performance.

“Females have the tendency to think that their performance will get acknowledged without having to say it,”. “Talk about your performance. A performance review is a great time to brag on yourself. It’s okay to brag on yourself.”

Concerning resumes, expert emphasized that the projects or initiatives you led need to be highlighted and not supplemented with phrases like “I supported” or “I assisted” if that’s not true.

Run towards difficult conversations

As you take on new roles and additional responsibility in your career, difficult conversations will arise. Finding out how to have them early in your career will help drive your success in the role on a professional level, and confidence on a personal level.

“Having difficult conversations right up front will give so much peace of mind,”.

According to experts, an easy way to approach a difficult conversation in a professional role is to ask three questions:

  • What’s going on?
  • What’s the impact?
  • What can we do about this?

Be Curious

Be open to learning new things, meeting new people, and working in functions that push you out of your comfort zone. The path to success doesn’t have to be linear. It is OK to do a little zigzag as you climb up the corporate ladder as long as you are collecting new skills on the way. And most importantly, pour your passion into whatever you do. It is the only way to build meaningful relationships that later help accelerate your career. Being curious will fuel your growth. Unfortunately, your diploma doesn’t make you a better poultry professional, so ask, read (a lot), don’t assume, don’t think you know, and don’t be afraid of not knowing. Even if you feel lost, inexperienced, or dumb, make an effort to learn and participate. Remember that asking questions counts as help too. And if you’re shy to speak up in a meeting, send an email or ask for a one-to-one session.

Say ‘No’

Women often feel pressured to prove themselves and their abilities. We consistently ‘give’ as we take up more responsibilities, and have to meet the demands of work and families. But it is crucial to remember – every time you are saying no to someone, you are saying yes to yourself – you are taking back control of your life by not allowing others to make your decisions because otherwise it is very difficult to move forward.

A good way to handle requests that require your effort, especially when you are trying to guess whether it belongs in your schedule or not is to see how it impacts your other tasks. Check if you have all the necessary information before you say ‘yes’ and gauge if you need to remove another commitment from the schedule to make room for the new request. If it gets in the way of your schedule or peace of mind, you are allowed to say no.

Take up that challenge

Oftentimes if you ask successful people what catapulted their careers forward, they will tell you that it was a situation, project, or situation that they were most nervous about taking up. It would’ve been something that nobody wanted to attempt because of how tough it seemed and that they would have to step out of their comfort zone to do it. We tend to underestimate our capabilities, but when thrown into the deep end, you will certainly be surprised by what you can accomplish. So put yourself out there and take on that challenge.

“Personal resilience is one of the things that is real focus of a company – the well being of its employees,”. “It shares some things personally that you can do to support your well being, so you can be good for your family, your customers and your company.”

Raising a family and working full time can be a challenge, especially as the world has coped with the pandemic.

“When you first got out of school, it was very different – everybody was in the office every day,”. “Today, there was a lot of good discussion around setting boundaries – not being accessible all of the time – and learning to set a space for yourself.”

Discover when you are most productive and manage that time effectively with work and family. Have discussions with your employer to ensure a balance work, family and you-time.