Josh Dowbiggin: 7 tips for your first job in farming

For any university graduate, starting in the working world can be a daunting process. We all want to ensure we make the right impression, but there is more to the job than just the role itself.

It’s crucial you find the right approach that will allow you to do your job better and progress in your chosen career. These are my top tips for getting the balance right.

See also: More articles from Josh Dowbiggin

1. Breakfast

I’m sorry to sound like your mum, but this is a big one for me as without my morning porridge I’m no good to anyone.

We’ve known for ages that this is the most important meal of the day yet it surprises me how many people skip it. Even if it’s just a yoghurt or a banana, some breakfast grub will help you start the working day right.

2. Networking

“Networking not working” as one of my friends calls it. Joking aside, one of the easiest wins for new starters in any business is getting to know as many of your colleagues as possible.

You’ll gain their respect but also learn about how everyone fits into the business you are part of. It’s not all about having your head down and cracking on – you are part of a bigger picture.

3. Respect your time off

You might think I sound lazy by suggesting this, but no matter how hard you want to impress the boss, it is crucial you respect your time off.

This downtime exists for a reason, because all of us will run out of steam at some point. Even if you’re working long hours during harvest, when you get some time to yourself, use it to recharge so you are fully productive when you come back.

4. Ask for help

If you don’t understand something, just ask. Managers do not expect you to understand how everything works straight away and they will be more than happy to help you.

The worst thing you can do is guess or assume, because if you get it wrong then you’ll be quizzed on why you didn’t ask.

We all want to hit to ground running but it doesn’t make you stupid if you don’t immediately understand – you’re stupid if you don’t ask.

5. Stay hydrated

Sounding like your mum again, but staying hydrated is another quick win, and if you are working in a fast-paced job, believe me, you’ll know about it when you don’t drink enough.

It is proven that if you don’t drink plenty of fluids throughout the day you will be less effective and more likely to make mistakes.

Why let something so simple knock your performance? Oh, and I don’t care what anybody says, tea counts as hydration.

6. Be yourself

It sounds cheesy, but don’t pretend to be something you aren’t – instead be the best version of yourself.

Your colleagues will get to know you for who you are, making it easier for you to work as a team. The basics are: be confident and approachable, respect your superiors, but don’t be afraid to put your own twist on your approach to work.

7. Broaden your experience

You will probably have your job role explained to you within the first few days of starting, and it is really important to understand your main responsibilities and nail them.

Try to get to grips with other aspects of the business as well, and use this to develop your wider skills.

If you have a half day free, ask if you can experience a different part of the business – it will help you do your own job better.

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