Issue #163

My Single Best Piece of Career Advice is . . .
9 Factors to Consider About What Your Next Job Will Pay
3 Steps to a Record Year for Your Company in 2015!
A New Year and New Events in Animal Science!
In the News: 8 Animal Plagues Currently Wreaking Havoc

My Single Best Piece of Career Advice is . . .

(By Dan Simmons)

As is the case with a lot of things in life, the secret to enjoying a successful career is relatively simple. The problem is that it's so simple that people often overlook it. They can't "see the forest for the trees," so to speak.

I guess that's one part of my job that I really enjoy, guiding people who are maybe confused or concerned through the process and helping them to set concrete goals and career objectives.

If you were to boil that piece of advice down to one sentence, this would be it:

"You have to know where you're going before you can get there."

However, the problem people encounter with their job search is that they often overlook that step or skip it altogether. In other words, they start looking ahead before they focus on the starting point, which is determining where it is they want to go.

The building block of any successful career is a clear and well-defined path that has a specific destination in mind. Of course, you can plot a new destination once you reach the first one. You can even have one big destination, with a bunch of little ones in between - stepping stones, if you will.

But if you don't know specifically where you want to go - and know with certainty - then you simply aren't going to get there. You won't even knowhowto get there.

No matter where you are in your career journey, it's always a good idea to take a personal audit, an inventory of what you've accomplished and what you'd still like to accomplish (i.e., your destination). Once you've done that, the next step is determining which direction you want to go in order to reach that destination.

There are many ways in which to travel, and many different roads that you can take, but if you don't know where you're going,then how do you expect to get there?

If you have questions about your career path and goals for 2015, I encourage you to contact me

Let's make next year the best that it can be!

9 Factors to Consider About What Your Next Job Will Pay

(By Dan Simmons)

Compensation will undoubtedly be a key factor in your decision whether or not to accept a new position. However, few people take the time to really understand their economic choices, mostly because there are so many factors, including cost of living, benefits, and so forth.

To help you put your choices into perspective, I've divided those things that may affect your evaluation into two categories: the obvious factors and the "hidden" factors.

Below are the things that people think of first when contemplating a move (the obvious). The pros and cons of each of the following should be weighed both individually and then as a whole:

  • Base salary - This one is fairly easy, a number-to-number comparison. However, there are many other things to consider when you're thinking about changing jobs.
  • Bonus/commissions - Perhaps your new position involves more or less commission pay than base pay. It may also possess more opportunities for you to earn bonuses based on performance or other criteria.
  • Reimbursed expenses - What is your current company's policy regarding reimbursement? How about the company with which you're interviewing? Does your position even involve the need for reimbursement?
  • Pension - More and more these days, companies aren't offering pension plans to their new employees. Do you homework to find out the facts. If the company is offering a plan, how does it compare to your current employment situation?
  • 401K contributions - Once again, do some digging to find out if the company has a 401K plan and how much, if any, it contributes to it.
  • Value of stock or equity - Does the company offer stock options as part of its compensation package? What kind of history do those stocks have? Does the company offer other kinds of profit sharing options?
  • Other perks - Will you have access to a company car? An expense account? Does the company share its season tickets with the local professional sports team with its employees? Perks such as these means less money you have to shell out.

The ("hidden") factors below can make a significant difference when you're analyzing a potential move. However, they pose a problem because people don't look at them closely, if at all.

  • Cost of living differences - This includes property taxes, state taxes, and local taxes. Are they higher? Lower?
  • Moving expenses - Will the company pay for part of the move or for all of it? If not, the costs can add up quickly in this category and cut deeply into any wage increase you might be receiving during your first year of employment with a new company.
  • Travel expenses - More people are traveling longer distances to work and back every day. Will your new position offer a shorter driver or a longer one? With the price of gas, this is a pertinent question.

What a new job pays is much more than just salary and even more than salary and benefits. There are a lot of factors involved, some big and some small, and inattention to detail could leave you scratching your head at the end of the process.

For more on this topic, write

Don't forget tojoinThe Animal Science Monitor Groupon LinkedInandconnect with Danto leverage the power of his 13,000 LinkedIn connections!

3 Steps to a Record Year for Your Company in 2015!

The end of the year will be here before you know it. So there are two things you should absolutely be doing right now - figuring out whether or not your team is going to reach its goals for 2014andplanning for your success in 2015.

Below aretwo stepsfor helping you to accomplish just that:

Step #1 - Retain

At the beginning of this year, or ideally, at the end of 2013, you set concrete objectives and expectations for 2014. It's time to compare those to the progress you've made to this point. Are you on pace to reach your goals? If so, what are the reasons you've been able to do so? If not, list those reasons, as well.

Now take a close look at the top one-third to one-quarter of your team, those members who are superstars and those who perform at a consistently high level. What kind of relationship do you have with them? If they were unhappy, would you know it? If they were considering a move to another company, would you know that?

One of the biggest mistakes that a company can make is to take their top producers for granted and not show them enough attention and appreciation. Many times, too much energy is diverted to solving problems and addressing other needs. Just because a plant is growing and thriving doesn't mean you can stop watering it.

Step #2 - Replace

The second step is to replace those employees at the bottom, those whoaren't performingfor one reason or another. Remember, it could be a variety of reasons - ineptitude, a lack of drive or ambition, or a lack of passion. Maybe they just don't like what they're doing. It doesn't mean they're terrible employees in general; it just means they're not a good fit for your team.

After that, the key is to replace those team members with more top performers, those who are on a par with the superstars you already have. Once you've done that, it's almost a foregone conclusion that you're going to increase both productivity and profits. If you've reached that stage and you're ready to conduct a search, be sure to give me a call at(888) 276-6789.

BONUS Step #3 - Enjoy a record year!

Now that you've reviewed your goals for 2013, taken steps to retain your top performers, and hired more top performers, you can start setting goals for the upcoming year. The goals you set should be commensurate with the changes you've made with your team. If you believe you've increased the talent and drive of your team by 25%, then adjust your objectives accordingly.

Here's to a record year in 2015!

For more on this topic, write

Don't forget tojoinThe Animal Science Monitor Groupon LinkedInandconnect with Danto leverage the power of his 13,000 LinkedIn connections!

A New Year and New Events in Animal Science!

The New Year will be here before you know it, and along with it, new industry events in animal science and animal nutrition!

Due to popular demand (namely the results of our recentASMsurvey), we'll be presenting industry events inThe Animal Science Monitorthroughout all of 2015 . . . starting with this issue! Below is a list of the events for the month of January, including a link to more information about the event.

33rd Annual Horse Breeders and Owners Conferenceon January 9-11 in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

Southern SAWG Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms Conferenceon January 14-17 in Mobile, Alabama

North Dakota Grain Dealers Association's 103rdAnnual Convention & Industry Showon January 18-20 in Bismarck, North Dakota

Banff Pork Seminaron January 20-22 in Edmonton, AB, Canada

Minnesota Pork Congresson January 21-22 in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Dairy Forum 2015on January 25-28 in Boca Raton, Florida

International Production and Processing Expoon January 27-29 in Atlanta, Georgia

Iowa Pork Congresson January 28-29 in Des Moines, Iowa

Pacific Agriculture Showon January 29-31 in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada

Georgia International Poultry Short Courseon January 31-February 3 in Athens, Georgia

If we've missed an event, please let us know! Send your information tomatt@animalsciencemonitor.comso that we can add it to our upcoming schedule as soon as possible.

In the News: 8 Animal Plagues Currently Wreaking Havoc

InThe Animal Science Monitor, we strive to share timely news and information about animal science and animal nutrition, specifically news items that impact both the present and the future of the industry.

In this issue ofThe ASM, we have such an item in the form of an article inTIME Magazinetitled,"8 Animal Plagues Wreaking Havoc Right Now"by the World Science Festival.

While Ebola dominated the headlines earlier this year, animals have their own pandemics to worry about, as well, and these diseases can be deadly. As you'll notice by the list below, some of the plagues involve the animal science and animal nutrition industry (primarily cows and cattle).

Plague:White-nose syndrome


Plague:Canine distemper virus

Target:Tigers (and dogs, and other canines)

Plague:Starfish wasting disease



Target:Bison, cow, elk

Plague:Colony collapse disorder



Target:Bats, monkeys, dogs, raccoons, foxes . . . and a lot more



Plague:Cattle fever

Target:Cows, deer

For more information about each of these plagues, click here to read the full article on the website. Have you encountered any of these diseases, and if you have, in what capacity did you encounter them?

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