Seeking a new career opportunity can be a thrilling experience. From the search and interview process to walking through the doors on the first day, it’s a time where the imagination can run wild with the excitement of possibility. Sure, changing jobs comes with a degree of stress and uncertainty, but those earliest stages of a new adventure, and all the potential they hold, can be the first steps toward something that’s much more than just a job.
To tap into the excitement of working at RDO Equipment Co., we connected with a few team members who are fresh into the journey, with two years or less under their belts. This group shares their stories about choosing the right position, navigating the early days of the job, and finding their place.
Jake Dawson – Store Manager – Redfield, SD
Growing up on a farm in Redfield, Jake was familiar with the RDO store there, working with the team on numerous occasions for equipment needs. Though he would go on to work in the engineering and insurance industries, Jake always desired to return to agriculture. When he heard about the RDO position from his Redfield contacts, he thought it might be just the opportunity he was seeking. At the encouragement of the RDO team members, he pursued the job and got it.
“The big adjustment for me was learning the viewpoint from the other side of the desk,” Jake said. In his role, Jake was immersed in dealership operations, relationships with manufacturing partners, and an entire industry he’d only ever experienced as a customer. But the new view, as Jake puts it, is part of the job he’s found most rewarding.
“I’ve been able to interact with customers, people I knew before joining RDO, and getting to learn more about their operations,” he said. “And I’ve gotten to meet more people from the community and get to know them, too.”
Jake values the relationships he has with members of his community and the ways he’s able to support them, which he finds reflective of an internal environment at RDO that empowers team members to do their best work.
“RDO is a large company but it has a small family feel and you develop close relationships. That applies to leadership too, all the way to the top. I feel comfortable talking and working with them on anything.”
Garrett Lacy – Sales Professional – Missoula, MT
Like Jake, Garrett found his role with RDO at a time when he was looking for change in his career. Fresh off the sale of a landscaping company he had owned for 20 years and a relocation to Montana, the position was a welcomed opportunity that aligned with his goals.
“I was interested in the job because I still enjoyed being around equipment, but I had no desire to start another business,” he recalled. “It was also something that would allow me to spend more time with my family.”
Garrett found a degree of freedom in his role that helped make his transition smooth. Now, he values his ability to apply his knowledge and experience from his years as a business owner to help customers with businesses of their own.
“Being able to relate with the customer, build relationships with them, and help them find ways to be more successful has been the most rewarding part of my job.”
Stefanie Miller – Account Manager – Riverside, CA
While Jake and Garrett found opportunities with RDO as a shift in their careers, Stefanie found it a great place to begin hers. Initially learning about the company by simply driving past the dealership, when she began her career hunt out of college, RDO came back to Stefanie’s mind.
“I remembered seeing the dealership and was considering a job in the construction industry. Along with this, I was already interested in doing sales and the Sales Trainee position that was open at the time seemed like a perfect fit,” she recalled.
The position was suited to address the biggest challenges Stefanie faced early in her role: learning the equipment industry and gathering sales experience. With access to resources and guidance, Stefanie found herself in a position to grow and gain knowledge.
“The training and support I had in my initial few months were more than I could have imagined,” she said. “But the continued learning and support I receive now, a year later, has made RDO a great place to be.”
Today, Stefanie cherishes her ability to apply her knowledge to help customers and make a positive impact on their buying experience, all while knowing she has a network of support she can rely on for assistance. And that network, and the family atmosphere it creates, is an environment that new team members find welcoming, regardless of experience level.
Markham Nichols, who joined RDO as the result of an acquisition—the fourth acquisition he’s experienced during his career—is no stranger to change and new challenges. As nerve-wracking as any business acquisition is for the people affected, Markham highlighted a positive and welcoming transition and a level of teamwork he’s able to rely on to this day.
“RDO has a huge support system. If I ever run into a problem or need advice, I can just reach out to other locations and I have teammates who are happy to answer my questions or point me in the proper direction.”
To Markham, change is an opportunity to adapt and grow, and with a network of support at his back, he’s been able to use that opportunity to do what he loves best about his job: being involved with customers and providing them the best possible service.
“It’s a great feeling when a customer stops in or calls and I can help them get up and going again with either parts or service,” he said.
Finding your place at work means something different for everyone. RDO team members find their passion fueled by building relationships and being involved in the community, being empowered to learn and grow, being able to make a difference for customers, and so much more. And, as Jake, Garrett, Stefanie, and Markham have discovered early on in their journeys with RDO, many of the most rewarding aspects of the job are the ones that make work about more than just getting a paycheck in the long run.
Visit rdoequipment.com/careers to learn more about current openings, culture, benefits, and much more.