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My Journey from Dead End Job to Success

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  • My Journey from Dead End Job to Success

    Writing things down makes them real. Putting the plan in print means all that's left is to execute the plan one day at a time, right? So here goes:

    In summer 2014, after finding the company with whom I was employed for 15 years had decided to stick me in an unpromotable pigeon hole, I decided to get another job. Only to find the recruitment computers (and the recruiters who are no better than computers) were sorting my resume out.

    Hating a system that reduces abilities and experience to key words, I had no choice but to analyze why I was not a viable candidate and do something about it. 3 things became clear:

    1) an associate's degree was not enough to get me in front of a hiring manager - my expertise is operations and I'm very good, but interviews go to applicants with bachelor's degrees or higher
    2) my experience as an operations manager in healthcare kitchens is not understood by those outside of the industry (don't you just have people microwave the frozen food you bring in?) Nothing is further from the truth, but irrelevant if I can't explain my experience to a hiring manager who thinks this as they look at my resume
    3) before, I was promoted and hired based on my reputation but the world has moved on - without being networked I don't have a chance at the choice jobs

    Goals:
    1) get a bachelor's degree and research what other certifications would get me into the "maybe" pile instead of the "no dice" pile
    2) expand my operations knowledge and experience outside of healthcare - although operations skills are transferable anywhere, having something else on the resume will help get me past the initial screen
    3) get a network

    The current state:
    1) finished last 2 classes for bachelor's degree in June 2015 thanks to the good folks on these forums teaching me to test and self study for credit; studying for a Six Sigma Green Belt exam I plan to take this summer; will start graduate school in the fall for my MBA; with a BSBA in Operations Management, a green belt certification, an MBA and 15 years of operations experience - I DARE them to find a reason to put my resume in the NG pile!
    2) had to take a step down to get a job outside of healthcare - no longer a manager but learning a ton of real info about supply chain, logistics, importing, shipping and warehousing
    3) still not so great at networking - if anyone reading this is an operations type person and would like to network, PM me

    I'll update as things progress....ciao for now.
    -Dina
    MBA - Management & Strategy, WGU, July 2016
    BSBA - Operations Management, TESU, Sept. 2015
    AAS - Dietetic Technology, Middlesex County College, May 1999

  • #2
    Congratulations and thank you very much for the advice.

    There is a lot of people that will profit from it.

    Comment


    • #3
      Wow, thank you so much such an inspirational post. I second the motion of writing things down. Great reference point and some sort accountability to yourself and your goals. Job well done. Good luck in the future.
      "I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion."~ Henry David

      BA Humanities - TESC
      AAS Construction and Facilities Support - TESC
      AA Interior Design - MCC
      AA LS - MCC
      Certificate Interior Design - MCC
      Certificate Management - MCC

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by passit1 View Post
        3) still not so great at networking - if anyone reading this is an operations type person and would like to network, PM me
        I am operations adjacent as a senior manager in project controls for a mid-cap company.

        If anyone ever looked at my resume if I had to apply for this position, I would probably end up in the auto-reject pile. I share this because I am a firm believer that the best jobs tend to come from networks, not resumes. Working towards my BSBA is a purely defensive move, but the MBA is truly about expanding my skill set.

        If you are not a great and motivated networker, which is absolutely okay, you need to find a few people who will network on your behalf. If you have an unconventional resume with good experience, I highly recommend finding the best recruiters in your metro area for your field. The job of the recruiter is screen candidates, and recruiters want the largest roster of candidates possible. Recruiters are successful by filling a position with the right person the quickest. Often recruiters have direct competition, so they want a rolodex of people so they can always pull together 3 solid candidates quickly.

        This means you'll get someone who generally will want to find a place where you will interview well, and are much more likely to help you get past the resume hump.

        Congratulations on all you have achieved so far! Where did you decide to go for your MBA program?
        Educational Goal: MBA by Spring 2018
        B.S. in Business Administration, COSC, Expected Winter 2015, Started May 30, 2015

        Upcoming:
        Fall Courses (9c): COSC BUS 201: Business Statistics | BYU ENGL 316: Technical Writing | BYU Psych 330: Organizational Psychology
        Progress (89/120c):
        8/16/2015 COSC (3c): IDS 101 Cornerstone: A
        8/08/2015 UExcel (6c): Research Methods in Psychology: A | Social Psychology: A
        7/20/2015 UExcel (6c): Human Resource Management: A | Labor Relations: A
        7/06/2015 CLEP (6c): American Government: 63 | Principles of Microeconomics: 73
        7/02/2015 UExcel (3c): Organization Behavior: A
        6/19/2015 DSST (9c): Business Ethics and Society: 453 | Environment and Humanity: 444 | Substance Abuse: 427
        6/15/2015 CLEP (12c): Information Systems: 77 | Introductory Business Law: 71 | Principles of Marketing: 71 | Principles of Management: 73
        6/12/2015 Transfer Credits post Academic Forgiveness (44c): Community College: 36c | AP: 8c

        Comment


        • #5
          Passit1. Excellent post. If only networking weren't so important. I keep hoping it isn't, but it is. I've been on interview panels where someone's reputation (whether earned or not) made all the difference. It's part of the gossip/speculation network, I suppose. One person says something about another person, and it might get to a panel member who takes it as gospel. You'd have to network so lots of folks know the good stuff about you, and, if negative gossip comes out, it's counter-balanced.
          TESU BSBA - GM, September 2015

          "Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway." -- Earl Nightingale, radio personality and motivational speaker

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by cptdilbert View Post
            If you are not a great and motivated networker, which is absolutely okay, you need to find a few people who will network on your behalf. If you have an unconventional resume with good experience, I highly recommend finding the best recruiters in your metro area for your field. The job of the recruiter is screen candidates, and recruiters want the largest roster of candidates possible. Recruiters are successful by filling a position with the right person the quickest. Often recruiters have direct competition, so they want a rolodex of people so they can always pull together 3 solid candidates quickly.

            This means you'll get someone who generally will want to find a place where you will interview well, and are much more likely to help you get past the resume hump.

            Congratulations on all you have achieved so far! Where did you decide to go for your MBA program?
            Great advice and very appreciated - no - I am not good at networking but I've been trying lately. It's just like LaterBloomers said about one person talking to another...I need this. How do I find recruiters, google it?

            And I've decided on WGU for the MBA. Price is right, comes well recommended and since it's self paced, I don't have to take longer than I want to finish.
            -Dina
            MBA - Management & Strategy, WGU, July 2016
            BSBA - Operations Management, TESU, Sept. 2015
            AAS - Dietetic Technology, Middlesex County College, May 1999

            Comment


            • #7
              Update 7/1/15

              WGU had a few requirements:
              resume showing management experience
              interview
              explanation of how I plan on paying
              proof of bachelor's degree

              Everything is done but the proof of bachelors degree. Which I figured I'd have early enough to start WGU in September considering I finished the work for my last 2 classes a month before the semester ended. The course mentors knew I wanted to have proof of graduation prior to July 1st (TESC cutoff to walk in Sept) and graded my work right away.

              However, TESC evaluated me for graduation on 6/28 and since the grades will not hit their system until 7/10, (something no one told me on my many communications with academic advisement) I have not been approved. They will re-review my file on Sept. 4 and if the grades are posted, they will certify me. But that will be too late to start WGU in Sept. Why would they wait until Sept 4th to do something they could do on 7/10 when grades are posted?

              I plan on calling them as soon as the grades post in online student services and try to make this happen in July. And I live in the next town over from TESC - may have to go make a nuisance of myself.
              -Dina
              MBA - Management & Strategy, WGU, July 2016
              BSBA - Operations Management, TESU, Sept. 2015
              AAS - Dietetic Technology, Middlesex County College, May 1999

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by passit1 View Post
                Great advice and very appreciated - no - I am not good at networking but I've been trying lately. It's just like LaterBloomers said about one person talking to another...I need this. How do I find recruiters, google it?
                Research through Google, or ask your network and peers. Recruiters are free for job seekers, so working with recruiters only costs you your time. If you ever meet a recruiter who asks for compensation, run. Recruiters make money through employers, so they should have no need to charge job seekers. Also, there is technically no issue working with multiple recruiters, but obviously if one of your recruiters calls you for a job that one of your other recruiters has always submitted you for, they are going to feel a little scorned.

                For the graduation problem at TESC, most schools allow you to request a degree certification letter stating that you have completed all requirements and are waiting for the next degree conferral date. TESC probably follows this policy, but would not be willing to do it until all grades are in.
                Last edited by cptdilbert; 07-02-2015, 09:40 AM. Reason: Typo
                Educational Goal: MBA by Spring 2018
                B.S. in Business Administration, COSC, Expected Winter 2015, Started May 30, 2015

                Upcoming:
                Fall Courses (9c): COSC BUS 201: Business Statistics | BYU ENGL 316: Technical Writing | BYU Psych 330: Organizational Psychology
                Progress (89/120c):
                8/16/2015 COSC (3c): IDS 101 Cornerstone: A
                8/08/2015 UExcel (6c): Research Methods in Psychology: A | Social Psychology: A
                7/20/2015 UExcel (6c): Human Resource Management: A | Labor Relations: A
                7/06/2015 CLEP (6c): American Government: 63 | Principles of Microeconomics: 73
                7/02/2015 UExcel (3c): Organization Behavior: A
                6/19/2015 DSST (9c): Business Ethics and Society: 453 | Environment and Humanity: 444 | Substance Abuse: 427
                6/15/2015 CLEP (12c): Information Systems: 77 | Introductory Business Law: 71 | Principles of Marketing: 71 | Principles of Management: 73
                6/12/2015 Transfer Credits post Academic Forgiveness (44c): Community College: 36c | AP: 8c

                Comment


                • #9
                  cptdilbert - thank you, for the info on recruiters and for the college. Makes me feel better knowing I can probably start with WGU when planned.
                  -Dina
                  MBA - Management & Strategy, WGU, July 2016
                  BSBA - Operations Management, TESU, Sept. 2015
                  AAS - Dietetic Technology, Middlesex County College, May 1999

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    BTW alleycat - love the quote and the profile pic.

                    "I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion."~ Henry David
                    -Dina
                    MBA - Management & Strategy, WGU, July 2016
                    BSBA - Operations Management, TESU, Sept. 2015
                    AAS - Dietetic Technology, Middlesex County College, May 1999

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Still waiting for TESC to post final grades. *twiddles thumbs* Yup, still waiting. *yawn*

                      In the meanwhile WGU's system prompted a "hey are you still interested" email even though my enrollment counselor knows I need to wait for TESC to post grades.

                      The personal portal on WGU's website shows the steps needed and checks them off as the items are in their system including financial aid. It's easy to use and understand so far.
                      -Dina
                      MBA - Management & Strategy, WGU, July 2016
                      BSBA - Operations Management, TESU, Sept. 2015
                      AAS - Dietetic Technology, Middlesex County College, May 1999

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Never has there been such a beautiful sight as the S.H. Required and S.H. Applied fields on the TESC academic evaluation matching! What is really funny is my GPA showing 4.0 - I only took 2 classes and tested out of the rest. Would this really be on record as my GPA?
                        Attached Files
                        -Dina
                        MBA - Management & Strategy, WGU, July 2016
                        BSBA - Operations Management, TESU, Sept. 2015
                        AAS - Dietetic Technology, Middlesex County College, May 1999

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by passit1 View Post
                          Would this really be on record as my GPA?
                          Yes, but it doesn't really mean anything.Most places where a GPA matters will evaluate the full transcripts of all colleges attended.
                          Educational Goal: MBA by Spring 2018
                          B.S. in Business Administration, COSC, Expected Winter 2015, Started May 30, 2015

                          Upcoming:
                          Fall Courses (9c): COSC BUS 201: Business Statistics | BYU ENGL 316: Technical Writing | BYU Psych 330: Organizational Psychology
                          Progress (89/120c):
                          8/16/2015 COSC (3c): IDS 101 Cornerstone: A
                          8/08/2015 UExcel (6c): Research Methods in Psychology: A | Social Psychology: A
                          7/20/2015 UExcel (6c): Human Resource Management: A | Labor Relations: A
                          7/06/2015 CLEP (6c): American Government: 63 | Principles of Microeconomics: 73
                          7/02/2015 UExcel (3c): Organization Behavior: A
                          6/19/2015 DSST (9c): Business Ethics and Society: 453 | Environment and Humanity: 444 | Substance Abuse: 427
                          6/15/2015 CLEP (12c): Information Systems: 77 | Introductory Business Law: 71 | Principles of Marketing: 71 | Principles of Management: 73
                          6/12/2015 Transfer Credits post Academic Forgiveness (44c): Community College: 36c | AP: 8c

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by cptdilbert View Post
                            Yes, but it doesn't really mean anything.Most places where a GPA matters will evaluate the full transcripts of all colleges attended.
                            That's only fair. But it tickled my mother pink! Now she's gonna run around and tell people I'm graduating with a 4.0. And when they meet me, I'm gonna hafta 'splain it because I don't like to misrepresent myself. Love my crazy sweet momma though - she's proud of me even though I didn't figure out this whole college thing until I was in my mid-forties.
                            -Dina
                            MBA - Management & Strategy, WGU, July 2016
                            BSBA - Operations Management, TESU, Sept. 2015
                            AAS - Dietetic Technology, Middlesex County College, May 1999

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm thinking about not starting WGU until October instead of trying for Sept. The first class of the MBA needs to be completed within 6 weeks and my Sept is almost completely booked. Doing almost 8 months straight of nothing but work and TESC left no family time. At night, especially the last couple of months, my daughter would dejected stand next to me while I typed a paper. And I promised an awesome summer between finishing TESC and before starting graduate school. And I always keep my word. So the awesome is extending into Sept a bit. We've whitewater rafted and are doing the shore this weekend. There's 3 more camping trips, Niagara Falls and the Ren Faire lined up.

                              The plan, always a plan, is to hit WGU hard and be done in a year. My hubby and daughter probably couldn't take it much past that - I'm blessed with a family that likes to have me around. But a year is doable as long as I pepper in some really good quality time here and there in between strong pushes forward. Taking a step back to a non management position as a way to enter a new industry has really helped work/life balance. After working 15 years for a company that believed it owned me mind, body and soul is really nice to be in a situation to have weekends and holidays off.
                              -Dina
                              MBA - Management & Strategy, WGU, July 2016
                              BSBA - Operations Management, TESU, Sept. 2015
                              AAS - Dietetic Technology, Middlesex County College, May 1999

                              Comment

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