It’s usually hard to see things from other people’s perspective. When roles are as different as they are between equine employer and employee, the challenge is even greater. Here are some misconceptions job seekers are prone to.
1. Employers know what they are doing. Employers should understand how to hire and keep good help. However, many do not. Don’t assume that employers know how to write job descriptions, screen candidates, select who to hire, and keep employees happy. Many employers have not taken the time to learn these skills. Above all, do not expect a courtesy reply from an employer when you contact them. Many employers will only respond if they are interested in you.
2. Employers will not understand what an organized, reliable, and self motivated person I am unless I tell them. Even if an employer is not very good at personnel management, the chances are they have a pretty good B.S. meter. When you communicate with employers, stick to the facts and leave the subjective judgements up to them. As you establish a relationship with potential employers, they will learn about your organizational skills, reliability, and motivations first hand from the way you relate to them. Don’t B.S. them with how great you think you are.
3. Employers will respect me as a human being. Many will, but some won’t. Some employers approach hiring help the same way they approach buying a used car. They kick your tires for a while and then if they don’t like what they see, they simply stop returning your calls. This is the reality of the job market. Expect it and be ready to move on.
4. Employers will be impressed by my college degree. There are lots of good reasons to go to college and you worked hard for your degree, but the reality is that horse industry employers are usually more interested in job experience than a college degree. Most employers will have no idea what you studied to earn your degree and may never have heard of your school. Be prepared to explain the courses you studied, who you studied under, and why you chose your school. Above all, be ready to prove yourself on the job as if you never went to college.