By Rob Jacobs
Within any industry, it’s challenging to find a business that has most of what a person is looking for professionally. This is especially true within the equestrian industry. The industry is designed for the workaholic who is detail-orientated and willing to work more than the traditional 40 hours per week. In reality, every job may not be “roses and palm trees” and may not be an ideal fit. Finding balance, chemistry, respect, trust and a shared vision is difficult and will likely take time for a young professional to find.
The most important part of “manufacturing” a fit is to understand how a person may be able to add value to that particular stable. From there, a young professional should understand themselves enough to know what their professional goals are. Creatively aligning the two is what I ultimately mean when I use the phrase “manufacture a fit.” This is essential to creating longevity. My intention of choosing this topic is to encourage young professionals to align their goals with the value they’re able to add to a business in hopes of creating a professional partnership where value is added and received mutually. This encourages balance, fulfillment and longevity.
It’s important to spend more time focusing on how the current job opportunity may fit a person’s needs than focusing on the weaknesses of the job. It’s also important to understand how, as an employee, a person is able to add value to the business. Ideally, the business and the employee are involved in a mutually beneficial professional relationship that has “give and take.” Within any relationship, there will be times when one side requires more than the other; this is reasonable as long as this imbalance is short-term and not consistently uneven.
Rob, right, helping as a student gets ready to show.
Photo by Tom Burlington
As equestrians, in order to be successful, we should learn how to manufacture things on many levels. Talented riders like Scott Stewart, Hunt Tosh and Patricia Griffith, to name a few, are able to manufacture the stride when needed to produce a beautiful jumping effort. Similar creativity is needed when a person is aiming at manufacturing a job opportunity in order to produce a long-lasting professional relationship with a particular stable. Most of us have experienced jobs that are not an ideal fit; I’m speaking in reference to the jobs that have most of what is desired on a person’s list and encouraging creativity in increasing longevity.
Just as if we were to manufacture the canter to produce the desired jump, as young professionals, we should consider the benefits of manufacturing the alignment of mutual goals to produce the desired professional outcome. As I reflect on the many job experiences I’ve had around the country, one thing I’ve learned and now aim to practice is working to consistently align my goals with my employers’ goals. From one young professional to other young professionals, I intend to serve as a continued resource for the community just as others have served as a resource for myself.
In graduate school, I was able to study knowledge sharing and its benefits to organizations and entire industries. I’ve viewed this opportunity to write this column as such; an opportunity to share knowledge and experiences to strengthen our community. A community so many of us love and cherish.