For Labor Day – the best career advice I received

The cow has four stomachs, I explained to my mom, and proceeded to describe the functions of each one. She patiently listened, then said, “You need to start taking some journalism classes.”

What she didn’t say – but clearly conveyed – was that it was time to think about what I would do for a job after graduation. While majoring in agriculture was certainly worthwhile, Mom knew better than anyone where my talents would best be utilized.

The next semester of my sophomore year at Northwest Missouri State University, I signed up for Introduction to Mass Media, discovering what Mom knew all along. I liked being a journalist. My first job out of college – and the next two after that – were at newspapers.

My present career as director of communications at the Agri-Business Expo Center allows for a perfect blend of my agriculture background and journalism experience. Knowing the rumen, reticulum, omasum, and abomasum has come in handy or time or two (such as while playing Scrabble), while newspapers and writing have put food on the table.

Susie PinkAs we observe Labor Day, I’m very thankful for Mom’s career counseling.

~Susan

 What’s your best career advice?

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About Susan Mires

Susan Mires is a writer in St. Joseph, MO.

6 responses to “For Labor Day – the best career advice I received”

  1. Lora Young says :

    Good story, Susie. And so true. My best career advice came from my high school music teacher. Mr. Grace had such a profound affect (Hope I used the right word there. I get confused. :P) on me, I wanted to go and do likewise. When I told him I wanted to be a high school music teacher, he gently sat me down and said, “No, Lora. They’ll chew you up and spit you out. You don’t have the temperament for high school Major in elementary ed and teach grade school. You’ll be perfect.” That’s what I did and I’ve never regretted it. I have former students as FB friends. Some tell me I was their favorite teacher. 🙂

    • Susan Mires says :

      You’re a natural born teacher, Lora. I can tell you’re glad someone was kind enough to tell you the truth – even though it didn’t fit your dream. Others can see what we can’t some times and it’s a gift when they set us straight. (But it doesn’t always feel that way at the time!)

  2. Cherie Gagnon says :

    When I first started working, I reported to four different people. Although I followed the directions given, I was sometimes frustrated with some of my superiors’ methods. My dad simply told me that a supervisor/manager was given that position. It’s their job to manage or mis-manage as they see fit. I could respectfully offer my opinion, but in the end, it was my job to follow orders (unless it was immoral or illegal!).

    You know, that advice was very freeing. I didn’t worry so much if they were doing their job correctly, I made sure I was doing my job right.

    I think this is good advice for young idealists who are just starting out in the workplace. It’s great when you can see ways to do things that might seem better, but it’s your manager’s job to decide on how things are going to run in the end.

  3. Susan Mires says :

    Cherie, You are exactly right. I see many young workers struggling with this. And I have, too.

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