A Few Questions, Thoughts and the occasional Opinion

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Hey everyone, thanks for listening in today, I’m Marty with Warehouse and Operations as a Career.  We’ve covered a lot of ground over the last 27 weeks, everything from my thoughts on how to write our resumes to getting the attention of the light industrial recruiter and how to take control of our phone interview & the actual face to face meeting.  Man, I’ve really enjoyed our talks about quite a few of the Warehouse positions we may be interested in, really good jobs to break into warehousing at the general labor level and planning out our advancements, formulating our goals towards our career choices!  We’ve had some great interviews, and I’ve enjoyed covering the subjects and topics each week, boy our guest really enjoy what they do don’t they!

Your questions have been great, keep’em coming, it’s so interesting to research your topics and suggestions.  We had some scheduling opportunities for today’s guest, seems flights are being delayed everywhere, I’ll try and catch up to them next week.  That being said let’s get to a few questions that I’ve been asked or heard about over the last few weeks! First up

We hear something like this pretty often:

“What’s up with getting these warehouse jobs?  They advertise a position for like 13.50/hr and when I apply I’m just offered a job for like 10/hr. I can’t figure out temp agencies, I’ve been working in an auto parts store for almost 2 years and I was making 12/hr, I did everything in the store and I’m a hard worker.  I could learn to drive a forklift really quick, I’m a fast learner…..

O.K., I think it’s important that we understand how a temporary agency works.  As we learned from John in Episode 16 “Temporary Staffing Agencies” there’s really like three kinds of services. You have the Day Labor gigs, the temporary or short term assignments and then the temp to perm jobs.  In our world and what we’ll probably be dealing with to break into warehousing is the short-term assignments and more often than not the temp to perm jobs.

It’s expensive to train a warehouseman, especially to positions where we’ll be using equipment.  It seems these days more and more Facilities, both in Production & the Distribution Centers we’re seeing companies hiring Sourcing or Recruiting Agencies to find their talent or employees. These agencies are tasked with finding that experienced employee with a stable work history in the position.  They want someone that can hit the floor, be shown the companies process and procedures and be productive that first week.  We have to remember that $12.50/hr job we had we don’t have any more and that salary doesn’t necessarily move on with us to another field or position.

When we apply for a forklift position listed at $13.50/hr they’ll be looking for the most experience person they can find.  Their Customer has tasked them with finding someone that knows how to perform in the position and be productive in it as soon as they hit the floor.  Being offered the General Labor position more at the $10/hr rate is not necessarily a bad thing.  It gets us in the door somewhere and gives us the chance to impress our bosses with our work ethics.  Then it’s our responsibility to learn that job & start asking for others within the company, taking on more responsibility, learning the positions around us, getting those promotions.  You’ll be surprised how quickly we’ll advance within the pay grades!

A quick story, I know a gentleman that just 5 months ago lost his job in the retail environment.  He took a general labor position in a warehouse and a $2.50/hr pay cut from his previous job.  In just 5 short months he’s moved through 3 warehouse positions, learned to operate several different kinds of electric pallet jacks, received his 29cfr1910.178 training for free & has surpassed his old salary by $2.00/hr.  He’s working hard, learning everything he’s being exposed too and will probably be an order selector within the year with an earning potential of almost double his beginning salary.  Rarely is there going to be a short cut to the skilled positions within the warehouse, experience is all we can rely on to get us there, thankfully that training or education if you will is free and it doesn’t take all that long to graduate to the next position.  Remember our Management Team isn’t necessarily going to come to us about advancement, we’re doing a great job for them and they may be perfectly content with us staying where we are, I mean they don’t have to worry about our job getting done.  It’s up to us to make sure we let them know that we love what we’re doing but we want more, we want to keep on learning & advancing within the company!

Let me grab another question real quick – Here’s another recurring type question:

“You’re always talking about not getting on equipment if we don’t know how to operate it and 29CFR, how do we learn if we don’t use it?

A very good question!  Operating Powered Industrial Equipment isn’t all that hard but it can be dangerous.  We just need to be shown how it works, how to operate it safely and be observed for a while, given pointers and taught the do’s and don’ts really.  A bit about 29CFR1910.178, our Safety guy Joe’s explained it a bit in a few different episode’s and you can find the entire regulation at www.OSHA.gov, briefly I can share the high points right off their website: the easiest way to look it up may be to just put 29CFR1910.178 in your browser, I just pulled it up.

(web content)

It goes on and its many pages, there’s a lot of sections and it gives a lot of specific’s. A couple of things that’s important for today’s question and you’ll hear me say over and over, some of those opinions of mine, that Before we ever get on a piece of Electric or combustion powered equipment used in the warehouse we need to attend a 29CFR1910.178 training course by a certified trainer AND be on-sited and observed by a person certified to do so.  We’ll need to be recertified every 3 years & we should carry our card with us at all times when operating the equipment.  It’s important that we’re always careful and operate the equipment properly and in a Safe manner.  Should we ever be observed operating the equipment recklessly or improperly or have any type of accident we’ll need to be removed from the equipment and be retrained before we are allowed back on it & of course depending on what happened we could be reassigned.  As with any job, we need to do it properly & safely right?

Our employer will gladly train us on equipment usage, there operation is not that difficult but they need to be respected and we need to follow the rules & the law, protecting our Company and ourselves! A very good question and as you know I’m pretty passionate about Safety and equipment usage.

Another good question or statement is:

“I’ve been doing the same thing for like 3 months & nobody’s came to me about doing another job”

I personally feel like if something like that is happening we have to own a bit of that responsibility.  That sound negative, I don’t mean it that way but really, if were doing a great job, show up every day, on time and we’re participating and involved with the team, learning the positions working around us AND we’ve let our management team know we want more it’s just not going to go down like that.

Remember we hold some of the responsibilities to ensure we meet our personal goals, the goals we’ve set for ourselves & we can obtain and reach each of them.  If we’re doing everything right and have let our management team know what we want and nothing’s happening it’s perfectly alright to ask for that meeting with them, let’s find out what we need to do, what’s holding us back so it can be fixed and we can get started on our careers.

Let me see here, I think we have time for one more…..ok, here’s one :

Your always talking about advancement, do you mean other jobs or Supervisors and Managers?

Very good question, here at WAOC we love operations, Warehousing, Transportation, the Production and Distribution worlds.  There’s such great opportunity within them, I mean how many industries can you enter without a lot of formal education & really get paid while you’re trained & end up with a 6 figure salary and a member of Executive management.  I literally know people that’s done just that, had great careers & great lives.

I honestly think every position within warehousing and transportation can be that great career.  If you love what you’re doing & the pay will support your lifestyle every position we talk about is a career.  The great thing about operations is that the more one is willing to learn, the more responsibility we’re willing to take on, the more money we’ll make and the more investment our company will make towards us.

We’ll be talking a lot more about the positions of Leads, Supervisors, Managers, Directors and Vice Presidents in upcoming episodes.  Management is a great profession, it may not be for everyone, it’s a lot of responsibility and personal investment but hey, that’s the great thing about operations right, we can retire from a position we love.

Back to the question though.  Yep to both statements I think.  I do consider advancement as changing, wither its changing from Sanitation to Lumping or from Forklift Driver to Returns or any variation of all of above.  Sometimes we get hung up on money or an hourly wage, and certainly our pay is important but let’s not go down that money is everything rabbit hole.  Remember we’re not just working for a paycheck, we’re talking about our Goals & Careers here.  I’ve seen many people get tired of their position and in the eyes of their fellow employees take a step that’s perceived as going backwards just because it may pay a dollar less an hour.  That’s not necessarily moving backwards, we’re learning something different, and with it may come a whole another career and management pathway that we’ll enjoy much more than what we were doing right?

As we’ve all realized we have to work the rest of our lives & it’s important to us that we enjoy what we’re doing and that were challenged by our jobs, that along will keep us interested in them and we’ll keep reaching for more responsibility and knowledge!  In my opinion that’s another great opportunity with Operations, we will find something we enjoy and that we can be the best at, right?

I just thought of a conversation that I was a part of today, I’d like to throw it in here today, I feel it’s something we all should really think about.

You know we all sometimes get hung up on our hourly rate and paychecks each week.  Today I was involved in a conversation about how, in the staffing world, young men and women sometimes appear to be willing to change jobs and companies for .50 cents an hour.  I feel it’s important we’re sure we understand why we’re willing to go somewhere else for something like $1040.00 a year.  Even in today’s Corp driven world longevity is experience & there’s a lot to be said about loyalty to our company and our peers.  If we just don’t like what we’re doing, there’s several other positions and tasks right there beside us or under the same roof we may be qualified to do right?  When we change jobs, companies or industries for 50 cents an hour we need to think of all the other expenses and/or lost opportunities.  We may be driving farther, it doesn’t take many additional miles to burn up only $1040.00.  We’ll be starting over again at the bottom of the totem pole, Always!  We could end up spending more time in traffic or have to drive in a much more congested area, I despise traffic.  And if we have 6 months or a couple of years in with a facility we should already be on our management teams radar, they very well may already be forming plans for us.  Of course, just the opposite could be the case, work could be closer, we may have less traffic etc BUT any relationship we have with our peers or bosses will be lost, and all lost for .50 cents an hour.  All I’m suggesting is when making those kinds of decisions lets be sure and consider everything and not just an hourly wage.  WAOC is about Careers, and we’ve learned monies come with experience, education and us being the best at our given position, always planning on that next step.  It’s my opinion, in many cases, that in the course of a year, once everything’s considered, we’ll never see that $1040 increase on our W2.  We have a plan, several goals and our objective is that Career being identified in just a couple of years, right?

We’ll I’ve really enjoyed todays – Oh hang on, here’s one more quick question, we received

We’re asked “Your sound has changed did you get a new Mic?”

Actually, we’ve changed our setup about three times now and were on our 4th mic… Remember now, don’t judge us too hard on our audio skills, we have absolutely NO audio or podcast training what so ever.  We’re honestly just a few old Op’s men that’s walked the walk and simply just sharing our experiences, thoughts and opinions with the young men and women looking to get into an industry that can take care of them and their families, a Career they can love and retire from.  None of us or the people we interview for that matter are paid for doing these shows, we just enjoy researching, sharing and talking about operations.  So the answer is Yes, and we kind of like this mic, I hope we’re getting easier to listen too & we really hope you enjoy our content as much as we’re enjoying doing it!

I enjoyed todays Question & Answer time, I hope you had a good time and are able to take something away from today’s episode as well! And as always please shoot us over any subjects or topics you’d like us to get too.  You can email us! host@warehouseandoperationsasacareer.com and please ask your friends or fellow workers to subscribe to our show on iTunes, Google Play, we’re on most Podcast App’s and TuneIn radio as well!  Your participation is what keeps us on our toes! Let’s each work a Safety thought or comment into our day tomorrow and share it with someone.  In our chosen professions, Safety has to be priority 1!!

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