A Professionals Story – Slip Sheet Operator – Looking for Work

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Here we are at Episode 57 of Warehouse and Operations as a Career, I’m Marty and I of course want to thank you for listening in again this week.  I hope we’ve all had a productive and prosperous one so far and it wraps up the way we’d like it too and in our favor!  We’ve talked a few times about looking for work, how to build our Resumes and how to handle the phone interview and that all so important face to face meeting, many times the determining factor to us getting the position we applied for.  We had a question presented to us last quarter about seeking employment and I wanted to talk about it today, maybe reach out to each of you for some thoughts and advice?  A gentlemen is an experienced slip operator, he’s done it for 6 years and it sounds like, or I’ve assumed his old employer had a layoff or maybe closed the business.  Anyway he’s now looking for a job, a slip sheet operator position and hasn’t been able to find one locally.  He stated there’s a lot of warehouses that is using the equipment but no openings.  This is a tough situation, we’ve worked our way to the position we really enjoy and we’re good at it, top rated if you will but find that that job is gone, and now we’re out looking for a new job.  It’s hard to accept but that’s the facts, our old position is no more & now we have to go back out into the world and find us another one. In his particular situation there’s no one, presently, hiring for that position.  He said he’s filled out 7 applications, had 3 interviews and no one is calling him back. He’s been looking for work about 6 weeks now.

I asked for a copy of his resume and interviewed with him.  I left the interview knowing he knew his stuff, he described the attachments operation thoroughly and shared several experiences with me on how he had handled the different situations that can come up while performing that task to a T.  I knew he was great at his job, had a great outlook on attendance and working within the rules and policies of about any facility.  What I found was he is interviewing for only the slip sheet operator position.  You know, it’s so easy for us to stereotype ourselves so strongly that our hiring agent may feel that that’s all we can do or want to do.  It’s hard to accept that we’ll have to perform other tasks but that old job is gone, we will certainly put in the time with our new employer to prove ourselves and show them we’re the best slip operator in their employ and that may be exactly what we have to do.

Our Resume needs to reflect what we have done, what all we’re good at, it should list all the equipment we can operate and not just the one thing we want to do.  After speaking with him about how many warehouses were using the equipment he liked and doing a little research on each one he identified the 3 that would be the best fit for him.  We looked at the hours of operation or the shifts they ran and the different pay rates, location and opportunities for advancement and he narrowed it down to these three.

I think step one is we need to look at our Resumes, we’ve had the same job for 6 years so we’re going to have to think back, include all our experiences, and list everything we’ve done, and make sure all our talents are on there.  If we’re not sure about the formats used today we can check online, many sites can give us templates for the modern ones being used today.  As we’ve learned in earlier episodes and from speaking with JG our go to recruiter it’s important to list our address and phone numbers we can be reached at during the day.  It seems an email address is all so important as well these days as that may be the first forum used to reach out to us by many agencies and HR departments.  If we’re utilizing an online application be sure to fill in every line, it’s probably there because it was important to someone!  And if we’re asked to upload our Resume we need to do it.  We’ll know someone that can help us with this if we don’t know how or don’t have a scanner at home.  One resource I’ve heard about are Library’s, I’m told they’d be happy to help with things like this.

Next, lets make sure we’re prepared and can nail those phone interviews when they start coming in.  I hate to use the word script but I guess that’s what we’re going to be doing or we’ll need.  I feel this is the 5 minutes we have to sell ourselves to the person calling us.  We have to quickly show them our personality, speak to our experiences and convince them we know the importance of attendance, following directions and our desire to work for their company.  If we have a strong recruiter they’ll probably ask all the right questions and learn all that but if our recruiter isn’t asking it’s going to be up to us to give them the information they’ll need to want to bring us in for the face to face interview!  It sounds hard or difficult but really it’s just about being prepared.  We can just jot down a few notes, things we want to say and simply review them before our call.  It’ll be fresh on our minds and we’ll get our points across!

With the time we’ve invested researching our target company, and working our resume to really include all our talents and nailing our phone interviews I’m certain we are going to have those face to face opportunities!

Now this is where we want to shine, there’s no reason to be anxious, we have confidence in ourselves, we’ve just written out all our strengths, worked around any weaknesses and probably already shared them with the phone interviewer. This face to face should simply be for them to meet us, see our energy and feel our commitment to the position!  We’ll need to fill out the orientation packet next because we’re going to ace the interview!

As we start the process we just spoke too I think its important that we accept that our old position is just that, an old position, it’s the first one listed on our resume.  But, we’ve researched our targets so our objective is to get hired on with them and start showing our management the kind of worker we are, let them know our talents and what our goal is BUT I believe we should get hired on first.  We’ll get back to what we enjoy, in this case a slip sheet operator but we’ll have to get our foot in the door first.  So remember lets sell our experience first and then our wants.  I can’t help but believe, in this case, that if our hiring agent gets the impression we only want to be a slip sheet operator they may pass on us as there’s not an open position right now.  Our experiences in the warehouse will get us a job and then we’ll work towards our Career right?

I mentioned our Orientation a little bit ago and I want to again talk about its importance for a minute.  We’ve learned it’s so important to really pay attention and understand everything presented to us and ask questions if we don’t understand something.  We’ll be signing papers documenting out dependents, our tax obligations and maybe Insurance choices.  Those things are important, can be confusing, but there important to us and our families.  We’ll want to take advantage of any benefits the company may be offering & of course their employee policies and procedures so we get started off on the right foot.  Talking to different recruiters, hiring agents and HR Managers I’ve learned just how important the Employee Orientation is and that it’s a portion of the hiring process we as applicants sometimes don’t take serious enough.

This whole process is going to be rough for us but we have to stay positive, keep our good attitude out front of us and present ourselves in a positive manner.  Its change and change can be hard, in this case it was out of our control but it’s up to us to turn it around.  Shoot, I believe everything happens for a reason and our new endeavors will probably make our work lives better anyway!

I hope this helps others in similar situations, and I’d like to add that after a little over 2 months in his new job this gentleman was asked, based on his experience if he’d like to be the backup operator for the slip sheet! If you have a story you’d like to share please shoot us an email to host@warehouseandoperationsasacareer.com and we can talk about it.  We’d love to interview you so you can share with our group too!  I’d like to thank everyone for listening in again this week, especially our new listeners that check in with us last week, and a quick shout out to our friends in Brazil, Germany and the United Kingdom, and a little closer to home our friends in Wisconsin and New York.  Please subscribe to us on iTunes, Google Play Music or any of the Podcatchers out there and never miss an episode!  Oh and don’t forget about our give away in two weeks, send us a topic or subject you’d like discussed and put Shirt in the subject line to be entered into our drawing for a free WAOC Tee-shirt.  We’ll announce a winner next Thursday!  Until next week Please keep Safety in the forefront of our minds, use our equipment properly and see that others do the same!

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