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Apr 082011
 

Welcome to the next installment of our “Career Book of the Month” feature!  As we’ve done so far this year, we’ll be reviewing a book designed to help advance your career.

This month’s book in the spotlight is Peaks and Valleys: Making Good and Bad Times Work for You—at Work and in Life by Spencer Johnson (2009, 112 pages).

Below is Dan Simmons’s review of this month’s selection.

“I recently read this book.  It helps to crystallize in the mind what we all understand: that life has ups and downs.  The most important lesson I picked up from this book is understanding how to get to the end of the valley and how to look back and see how you got there.  Thumbs up!”

If you have a career book that you’ve read and you’d like to endorse, we’d be happy to publish your endorsement.  Send your information to matt@animalsciencemonitor.com, and you might be included in a future issue of the newsletter!


Apr 082011
 

We’ve been highlighting videos about animals in The Animal Science Monitor for a few years now, and the one we’re highlighting in this issue of the newsletter just might be the best one yet!

As some of you know, we promote service animals here at The ASM, animals that are individually trained to perform tasks for people with disabilities.  Puppy Prodigies is a non-profit organization that focuses on early puppy development and service dog training.  One of the organization’s puppies, Ricochet, seemed destined to be a top service dog until her instincts for bird chasing made her unfit for the program.

As it turned out, though, Ricochet had another calling, one that Puppy Prodigies has put to full use and one which has turned out to be a blessing for a great many people.

Click here to watch the viral YouTube video that details Ricochet’s story.

Click here to visit Ricochet’s official website.

And if you have a video link that you would like to see published in The Animal Science Monitor, be sure to email it to matt@animalsciencemonitor.com.


Apr 082011
 

(By Dan Simmons)

It’s that time again.  New Year’s Resolutions have been made and by now, have either been kept or broken.  One of those resolutions should have been to make sure you took the time to focus on what you wanted out of your career this year.

Having a plan of attack for your career not only prepares you for the upcoming months, but also allows you to walk in confidently for your annual performance review.  While many dread this yearly event, there are simple steps you can take to make sure you’re prepared to answer the questions that need answering.

The first step: read last year’s review.  Not only does it give you an idea of where you were a year ago, but it also allows you to do a pre-review of yourself based upon the outlined plans made by your boss.  Make certain you’ve achieved your goals and implemented changes and adjustments as directed.

After you’ve done that, here are your next steps:

  1. Make Your List
    Create a list of accomplishments that you’ve achieved during the last 12 months.  Make sure to bring this list to the meeting so you can be prepared for a clearly organized and straightforward discussion.
  2. Attitude
    Walk in with a positive attitude.  No one likes to give a raise to an unenthusiastic employee.
  3. Compensation
    Expect a compensatory increase if you’ve earned it.  If your employer can’t afford one, come in with a list of suggestions they could offer in place of a salary increase.  These might include flextime, an extra few days of vacation, a training opportunity (either online or a conference out of town), or you may also suggest another review in six months when budgets open up.
  4. The Review
    MOST IMPORTANTLY—take a copy of your new review with you.  This is an excellent letter of recommendation, and you may need it someday soon when a great job opportunity comes along.  It’s also a great way to keep you on track to accomplish your objectives.

Wherever you’re at in your current job, make time and take time to focus on how you can prepare for these upcoming events in the life of your career.  Being prepared for your next performance review is a simple step which will make the event more enjoyable.

Apr 082011
 

(By Dan Simmons)

It doesn’t matter what line of work you’re in, it’s not getting any easier.  Technology is making improvements daily (a positive in my opinion), but in doing so, it requires us to hire smarter, more experienced individuals and upgrade our machines to implement the new technology that’s now the standard.

If your competitors are going out of business, and it’s still difficult to get customers through the door, it’s time for a change.  Since it’s not getting any easier, then it seems likely you need better people to help you accomplish the goals set before you.

This can come in two ways.  First, training + an article from January (LINK TO ARTICLE) will help start your creative juices flowing.  Second, upgrade your staff.  We’ll cover this topic now.

Upgrading any team falls within three simple guidelines:

  1. Keep the top 1/3 very happy.
  2. Keep the middle 1/3 content.
  3. Have the bottom 1/3 replaced with people who are at least equal to your top half.

The implementation of the third guideline:

Step 1: Find the weakest link(s).  (With numerous options for your reading pleasure on topgrading, I personally recommend Topgrading by Bradford Smart, Ph.D.)

  • Create a rating system for your employees based on job performance, teamwork, alignment with the company’s vision, and accomplishments and negatives in their work history with you.

Step 2: Identify what you wish that person could accomplish during the next 12 months.

  • This becomes a new job description.  Get approval for it, based upon the reduced headcount.

Step 3: Start the recruitment process and the termination process.

Step 4: Say “farewell” to the bottom 1/3 and say “hello” to your new recruits.

Below is a simple way to look at the implementation process I described above.

Major League Baseball’s spring training season has begun.  Last year, you had a baseball team with nine players.  The best three players each hit at least 40 home runs, the next three players hit at least 25 home runs, and the bottom three players hit 10 home runs apiece.  Assuming all else is equal, how many more games would you win if you upgraded the bottom 1/3 to those who hit at least 30 home runs each year?  Sixty more home runs will win you a bunch of ballgames.

See you in the dugout, manager.

(By Dan Simmons)

It doesn’t matter what line of work you’re in, it’s not getting any easier.  Technology is making improvements daily (a positive in my opinion), but in doing so, it requires us to hire smarter, more experienced individuals and upgrade our machines to implement the new technology that’s now the standard.

If your competitors are going out of business, and it’s still difficult to get customers through the door, it’s time for a change.  Since it’s not getting any easier, then it seems likely you need better people to help you accomplish the goals set before you.

This can come in two ways.  First, training + an article from January (LINK TO ARTICLE) will help start your creative juices flowing.  Second, upgrade your staff.  We’ll cover this topic now.

Upgrading any team falls within three simple guidelines:

  1. Keep the top 1/3 very happy.
  2. Keep the middle 1/3 content.
  3. Have the bottom 1/3 replaced with people who are at least equal to your top half.

The implementation of the third guideline:

Step 1: Find the weakest link(s).  (With numerous options for your reading pleasure on topgrading, I personally recommend Topgrading by Bradford Smart, Ph.D.)

  • Create a rating system for your employees based on job performance, teamwork, alignment with the company’s vision, and accomplishments and negatives in their work history with you.

Step 2: Identify what you wish that person could accomplish during the next 12 months.

  • This becomes a new job description.  Get approval for it, based upon the reduced headcount.

Step 3: Start the recruitment process and the termination process.

Step 4: Say “farewell” to the bottom 1/3 and say “hello” to your new recruits.

Below is a simple way to look at the implementation process I described above.

Major League Baseball’s spring training season has begun.  Last year, you had a baseball team with nine players.  The best three players each hit at least 40 home runs, the next three players hit at least 25 home runs, and the bottom three players hit 10 home runs apiece.  Assuming all else is equal, how many more games would you win if you upgraded the bottom 1/3 to those who hit at least 30 home runs each year?  Sixty more home runs will win you a bunch of ballgames.

See you in the dugout, manager.
(By Dan Simmons)

It doesn’t matter what line of work you’re in, it’s not getting any easier.  Technology is making improvements daily (a positive in my opinion), but in doing so, it requires us to hire smarter, more experienced individuals and upgrade our machines to implement the new technology that’s now the standard.

If your competitors are going out of business, and it’s still difficult to get customers through the door, it’s time for a change.  Since it’s not getting any easier, then it seems likely you need better people to help you accomplish the goals set before you.

This can come in two ways.  First, training + an article from January (LINK TO ARTICLE) will help start your creative juices flowing.  Second, upgrade your staff.  We’ll cover this topic now.

Upgrading any team falls within three simple guidelines:

  1. Keep the top 1/3 very happy.
  2. Keep the middle 1/3 content.
  3. Have the bottom 1/3 replaced with people who are at least equal to your top half.

The implementation of the third guideline:

Step 1: Find the weakest link(s).  (With numerous options for your reading pleasure on topgrading, I personally recommend Topgrading by Bradford Smart, Ph.D.)

  • Create a rating system for your employees based on job performance, teamwork, alignment with the company’s vision, and accomplishments and negatives in their work history with you.

Step 2: Identify what you wish that person could accomplish during the next 12 months.

  • This becomes a new job description.  Get approval for it, based upon the reduced headcount.

Step 3: Start the recruitment process and the termination process.

Step 4: Say “farewell” to the bottom 1/3 and say “hello” to your new recruits.

Below is a simple way to look at the implementation process I described above.

Major League Baseball’s spring training season has begun.  Last year, you had a baseball team with nine players.  The best three players each hit at least 40 home runs, the next three players hit at least 25 home runs, and the bottom three players hit 10 home runs apiece.  Assuming all else is equal, how many more games would you win if you upgraded the bottom 1/3 to those who hit at least 30 home runs each year?  Sixty more home runs will win you a bunch of ballgames.

See you in the dugout, manager.

Mar 112011
 

(By Dan Simmons)

You have a job . . . but what about your career? They’re not exactly the same.  While you should definitely be thinking about doing your job to the best of your ability day in and day out, you should also be preparing for the future and developing your career.

In short, you need to stay up-to-date with everything that’s happening in your industry, including technologically.  By doing so, you increase your worth and value as an employee and also position yourself strategically for future professional growth.

Below are some of the career development tools that you should consider using in 2011:

  • Training—This encompasses all forms of training.  It could be in-class training or it could be online training.  It doesn’t matter.  Identify what areas in which you need improvement or would like to learn more about, and then take the steps necessary to take this training.
  • Industry events—Conferences and conventions are not only great ways to increase your knowledge, but the networking opportunities that exist at these events are tremendous.  Find out which events are being held this year, and make plans to attend at least one of them.
  • Certifications—If you have the chance to earn more certifications within your chosen field of work, then seriously consider earning them.  They can help you in your current position, as well as down the road, should you choose to move on.
  • Mentoring programs—If your company offers such a program, be sure to take advantage of it.  If not, seek someone out who you think would be a good mentor.  This type of relationship can help grow your career in a number of different ways.

Which of these components is part of your career development plan for 2011?  Do you have a plan?  If not, it’s still not too late to put one together.  Maintaining the status quo is never acceptable, especially these days.

If you have any questions about this article or about how you can put together a career development plan, contact Dan at (888) 276-6789 or via email at dan@consearch.com.

Mar 032011
 

At The Animal Science Monitor, we like to highlight videos about animals, of course, as well as the employment world, if possible.  And when all the planets align, we’re able to highlight one that encompasses both, and that’s the case in this issue of The ASM

To top it all off, this video is a commercial that aired during the recent Super Bowl.  It’s a commercial for CareerBuilder that includes the company’s famous chimpanzee actors that it’s used in recent years.  And the slogan for the commercial is “Stuck between a bad job and a hard place?”  It doesn’t get any better than that for this feature. 

Click here to watch the video in The ASM spotlight. 

And if you’re stuck between a bad job and a hard place, be sure to email Dan Simmons at dan@consearch.com.

Mar 032011
 

Welcome to the next installment of our “Career Book of the Month” feature!  As we mentioned in the January issue of The Animal Science Monitor, in one issue per month throughout 2011, we’ll be reviewing a book designed to help advance your career. 

This month’s book in the “Career Book” spotlight is Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell (2002, 301 pages). 

Synopsis (from Publisher’s Weekly)—“The premise of this facile piece of pop sociology has built-in appeal: little changes can have big effects; when small numbers of people start behaving differently, that behavior can ripple outward until a critical mass or ‘tipping point’ is reached, changing the world.  Gladwell’s thesis that ideas, products, messages, and behaviors ‘spread just like viruses do’ remains a metaphor as he follows the growth of ‘word-of-mouth epidemics’ triggered with the help of three pivotal types.  These are Connectors, sociable personalities who bring people together; Mavens, who like to pass along knowledge; and Salesmen, adept at persuading the unenlightened.”

 

If you have a career book that you’ve read and you’d like to endorse, we’d be happy to publish your endorsement.  Send your information to matt@animalsciencemonitor.com, and you might be included in a future issue of the newsletter!

Feb 042011
 

About This Issue…
Welcome to a special issue of The Animal Science Monitor! The fact of the matter is that every job seeker wants to land the job of their dreams and every hiring manager wants to land the superstar employee of their dreams. In this issue of The ASM, we explore the advantages of “Behavioral-Based Interviewing” and “10 Keys to a Dynamite Resume,” articles that will help everybody get what they’re looking for. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, because we strive to always give you—our loyal readers—what you’re looking for in our publication. We hope that 2011 is treating you well so far, and that you enjoy this issue of The Animal Science Monitor.

Click here for full newsletter!

Feb 032011
 

About This Issue . . .

With every end, there comes a new beginning. This year is quickly coming to a close, and soon 2011 will be upon us, but a fresh year is just the start of new beginnings at The Animal Science Monitor. Due to the pent-up demands for talent now surfacing in our industry (despite the actions of the government), I’m investing in The ASM team by adding recruiters Jim Hipskind and Don Hunter to the fold. (Of course, long-time readers will remember that Don was previously part of the newsletter.) You can welcome Jim and Don yourself by sending an email to jim@animalsciencemonitor.com and don@animalsciencemonitor.com. In the meantime, we hope that you enjoy this issue, and we’re excited for what the New Year—and new beginnings—are going to bring.

—Dan

Click here for full newsletter

Feb 022011
 

Welcome to the next installment of our “In Search of . . .” series!  For those of you who aren’t familiar with this series, we highlight Dan Simmons’s hottest job opening in each issue.  The same job might run in consecutive issues, but our goal is to give exposure to as many openings as possible throughout the year.  Below is the position that we’d like to highlight in this issue of The Animal Science Monitor.

MARKETING MANAGER OF ANIMAL HEALTH PRODUCTS

Location: Iowa

Contact Dan Simmons: (888) 276-6789 or dan@consearch.com

Utilize the force of a major player in animal health and animal nutrition to identify product and marketing opportunities with animal health products.

In this role, you will:

  • Manage the product lineup, develop pricing strategies, and educate the sales force on how to market these products to customers.
  • Work with R & D to enhance current products and develop new products that meet the needs of today’s producers.
  • Work with vendors to create a complete lineup of products.
  • Be the product expert in your category, creating presentations and POS materials, and answer questions from sales reps and large customers.

To be considered for this role, you must:

  • Be comfortable speaking in front of groups of up to 50.
  • Be able to travel overnight 15% of the time.
  • Have experience marketing or selling animal health products.
  • Possess a B.S. degree in a related field.

Six (6) reasons why this is a great job for the right person:

  1. You will make an impact on the market by creating great products for producers.
  2. You will report to someone who understands your job.
  3. Decisions are made with limited red tape.
  4. This is a growth position with a dynamic company.
  5. You will have authority to match your responsibility.
  6. It has excellent compensation with competitive salary and great benefits.

If you’d like more information about how you can give your open positions exposure in The ASM or if you’d like more information about the position listed above, contact Dan Simmons at (888) 276-6789 or via email at dan@consearch.com.