Starting from the factory floor get any respect?

J

JJ1979

#1
Hello all, first post, and figured I'd start with this question! I have been working at a major manufacturer for years now. I started as a regular assembly guy. I earned an associates in IT, but lost interest due to low pay for entry level, then got a degree in Operations Management.

I notice most people these days with "professional" manufacturing jobs, be it management, quality engineering, etc etc. Have never worked on the floor, and seem to not respect floor employees ambitions to move ahead to something more. Anyone ever feel the same, been through that, or been able to break through that barrier? My current quality related job is pretty decent for an experience person with a high school education, don't get me wrong, however moving to the next level is nearly impossible.

Thing is most people I see in that "next level" never even had floor experience, just straight from college. My question is: is floor experience a downfall these days?
 
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hogheavenfarm

Quite Involved in Discussions
#3
definitely not, however the barrier that creates this is in HR, when they tack on 'requirements' like a "BS degree in a related field". In my opinion, this just reinforces the issue you bring up, as most people who worked through the system like you will not have this. I have been in the quality profession for many decades, yet I cannot even apply for many jobs because a degree is required, and the automated systems they use will not even accept the application, (many job boards do this as well).
There are other reasons of course, it is far cheaper to hire a degree with no experience than to hire a seasoned professional, and they will be younger (and not as demanding on family time, insurance, etc) as well.
 
J

JJ1979

#4
I could see that. The place I work at hired a fresh graduate who interned for a few months into management. But when I inquire about it to the HR manager, I would have to jump through hoops doing "this and that" position which isn't available now anyway. And I have 10 year, and a BS! My pay right now is 45k which is much lower than what a fresh grad would get off the street, so they know I would take what they would offer. Do you think part of it is just the culture of the company I work for?
 

rob73

looking for answers
#7
Not wishing to disrespect any graduates out there, but i would much prefer to work with someone who has worked their way up the ladder than come straight from Uni, there is no substitute for real world experience.
I think the bias from some employers towards graduates is they think that someone who has worked their way up will be set in their ways and anti-management, a graduate however can be moulded as they want. You need to show you are forward thinking, ambitious and more than capable of doing the job.
Good luck :agree1:
 
P

PaulJSmith

#8
All good responses here. I have no degree. I'm a college drop-out. I do have decades of experience both on manufacturing floors and in Quality. As others have noted, it took some time to build the experience necessary to overcome the "degree requirement," and I had to go to another company to get that opportunity.

It is definitely beneficial to have first-hand understanding of the challenges faced daily by our fellow co-workers, especially if you are in a position tasked with helping them improve and eliminate those challenges. Using those experiences along with examples of your successes, you can break through that "BS" barrier.
 
J

JJ1979

#9
Not wishing to disrespect any graduates out there, but i would much prefer to work with someone who has worked their way up the ladder than come straight from Uni, there is no substitute for real world experience.
I think the bias from some employers towards graduates is they think that someone who has worked their way up will be set in their ways and anti-management, a graduate however can be moulded as they want. You need to show you are forward thinking, ambitious and more than capable of doing the job.
Good luck :agree1:
I can agree to that. I prefer to work with someone who worked their way up as well. It is rather odd taking directions from some kid directly hired as a supervisor/manager out of college with no real experience doing a job similar to yours, but yet tells you what to do. Especially when you have a degree like myself as well.

I think you are probably correct on the bias, but again each individual is their own person. I personally don't see the advantage of the molding an inexperience graduate in a decision making role off the bat. I see it every couple years or so. Some management trainee comes in fresh out of Uni, despite the lack of manufacturing experience, gets to be boss to 10+ year veterans. They almost never get respected, they get ridiculed and talked about, and often disobeyed by a majority of their subordinates. This goes on even years later. We have a guy that has been around for 5 years or so who started fresh from college into management, and the opinions never changed, this individual is still called every name under the sun for lack of experience.
 
J

JJ1979

#10
Sometimes, maybe especially in management positions, you need to change to a different company to break through that invisible barrier.
This is pretty much what I am working on right now. It's been pretty hard since I don't have real "quality engineer/manager" experience, though I do have some. And anything lower than that is generally less in pay. I see "quality supervisor" every once in awhile, but for every quality supervisor job ad I see, I see 20+ production supervisor roles. Not that I can't do production supervisor/manager duties, I just don't have the direct experience dealing with quantity, just quality of employees work.

I do have a interview on Monday for a quality supervisor role though at another company.

Where I work it's very rare for a person to move up once they get their degree. They usually apply for a bunch of positions for awhile, get denied, then leave for some place else.
 
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