Q&A: Interview Question for UPS Package Handler Job?

proud-10Q:  Interview question for UPS package handler job?  Where do you see yourself in 5 years? People tell me it’s a tricky question.
-Junior

A:  Although this may seem like a relatively simple question to ask, Junior, you’re right, it is a loaded question. The interviewer is asking you to begin with the ending in mind.

According to UPS job postings online, the company actively promotes from within. As a matter of fact, it has been said that “more than 70% of UPS management started as hourly employees.” Is management something that interests you? Are you ultimately interested in being a full-time route driver? Do you want to stay on the warehouse side and become a full-time dock worker? Do you want to go into a retail location and deal more with customers  on that end?

What you answer to the “where do you see yourself question” is all of a function of what you want today.

Let’s suppose that you applied for UPS hoping that you’d one day be able to drive a truck delivering packages. Here’s an example of what you could say:

“In 5 years, I see myself employed by UPS, working as a full-time delivery driver. I can envision myself driving my truck daily, throughout my assigned area of the city, enjoying my route and getting to know the customers who live on it, as I deliver their packages. I can see my customers knowing my name, and getting a sense of fulfillment everyday from knowing that I played some small role in making their day.”

While this is a bit fluffy, the example shows forward thinking, it tells what your ultimate desire is for your employment at UPS, over the given time frame, and how you feel about that.

Best wishes.

Q&A: How Do I Know if This is What I Want?

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Q:  I am considering going to therapy to sort this out.

About every 3 months or so I go crazy about switching from my business career to medicine.

My plan in high school was to take nursing, work as nurse for X years, apply for med school and then work my way to becoming a surgeon. But for some reason I decided to do accounting instead.

I am decently good at what I do. I’ve been working for 2 years now and I occasionally struggle and get overwhelmed (I want to clarify what I mean by ‘overwhelmed’. I am not overwhelmed by the work itself but more as to what happens when you do 8 hours of work and find out that the end number doesn’t balance. I literally have to go through it line by line or erase it all and put in another 8 hours to find the error. It is just numbers all day long – no real interaction with anyone and nothing really getting achieved). When I am busy and engaged it is all good but more often I end up getting bored and either have to find something to look busy or I neglect the work I do have but don’t want to do.

Eventually I convince myself that it is too disruptive to take 4 years off to do the school for my nursing degree. I am married with responsibilities, it is a huge risk to leave my career and get loans for school.

I honestly don’t see myself doing this long term but I don’t know if this urge to go into medicine is a sign that I have a calling or if I am just trying to run when times are tough.

How do I figure out what I want? I don’t want to find myself 10 years down the line wishing I had went another path but I also don’t want to force myself in a second career!

-Anonymous Inquirer

 

A:  Dear Anonymous Inquirer,

While I can see that you are having difficulty settling on a choice for your career, let me reassure you that this is neither an uncommon nor an impossible situation.  From your post, I see that you have an interest in medicine, but that you have also have found some contentment in the busyness of your role as an Accountant.  While you may think that being a Surgeon and being an Accountant are from two completely different spectra on the career continuum, there are some similarities that make this whole thing make sense:

  • Both careers require one to communicate with others and to be able to understand spoken and written information
  • Both require a high level of attention to detail, reasoning and analytical skills, good decision making skills, and problem solving skills
  • Both require strict adherence to guidelines
  • Both careers require that one engage in work that keeps them busy, that they have to remain focused on in order to achieve the desired goal
  • Both require work indoors in a moderately fast-paced environment
  • Both careers considered to be are important work

Where they differ, of course, has to do with the type of tasks involved, the level of social interaction, the skills, the knowledge (education), and the specific tasks they are called upon to perform.  Would you rather work alone from day-to-day or do you want to work with and alongside people?  Are you happiest working on humans and their health or would you rather stick to data and numbers?

What I would strongly recommend for you is a career assessment.  There are several good ones online.  The U.S. Department of Labor has a few here – http://www.doleta.gov/jobseekers/assess_yourself.cfm.

You may also visit your Alma Mater’s Career Placement Office for more in-depth assessments.  Once you complete the assessment, a listing of jobs suitable for someone with your responses is given.  From this point, you should find it a whole lot easier to make your choice.

Be aware, however, that should you ultimately choose medicine, you may need to determine if being a nurse is really the path you want to take to be a surgeon.  Likewise, it may be helpful to remember that there are many roles one could have in Accounting that may be as fulfilling (Payroll, Accounts Payables, etc.).

Best wishes.

Q&A: Do I Take Lower Pay to Get the Experience?

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Q: It has basically been said, in so many words that I wouldn’t move up any higher in my current department. I applied for a management position in another area that I currently support. They are considering me but because I have never had a management title they consider me as not having experience and want to start me at the bottom of the pay scale, much lower than current salary. Do I push for this position knowing it will open doors down the road even though it’s much lower in pay and the understanding that my current boss doesn’t plan on helping move up?
-KTuck
A:  This is an excellent question, K, one that I believe many people struggle with, more often than we realize.  It is possible, however, that you don’t have be one of these.
Although your job title, to date, has not yet been “Manager,”  you could very well have operated in the role many times.  I think it may be time to reevaluate the effectiveness of your resume.  Reflect on each of your previous work experiences.  Think about the tasks and responsibilities you encountered with each and weigh these against the job responsibilities and tasks of a manager at your company (the job ad or job description will help).  Research the core competencies and common responsibilities and tasks of a manager, supervisor, or leader, if necessary.  Have you lead any projects or teams?  Have you trained team members or other new staff?  Have you represented the company outside of your “traditional role?” If this is the case for you, perhaps you can submit a restructured resume showing your justification for management classification now, while you are still being considered for the position.

In this new resume, I would recommend that you include any professional development courses (continuing education or otherwise), college courses where you have been taught how to be a leader.  Then review your activities – volunteer activities or other extra curricular activities – where you have been or have emerged as a leader.  These all add to your experience. The rest is up to you to plead your case, given the opportunity.

Best Wishes.

Q&A:  What Jobs Are Suited to Someone Like Me?

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Q:  What jobs are suited to someone who likes partying, socialising, is creative, a good writer and is good with words?
-Gayali

A:  There are several options available to you, Gayali. For example, if Journalism excites you, you might enjoy writing a “Society Pages” column for a print or online newspaper or magazine.  Maybe you could be a Film and Entertainment Industry Blogger. If you are interested in working in a more corporate environment, you might consider the role of Corporate Events Coordinator or Marketing and Events Coordinator.   In the non-profit and academic arenas, you might try the fundraising department.  They often host large galas and other fun events and have to maintain newsletters and such to keep donors and participants current and informed.   Perhaps you could work in the Student Activities office of a college or university putting on events for students and alumni.   In the entertainment industry, there’s you could be a Personal Assistant to a public figure. You could be an assistant at an art gallery.

The possibilities are astounding!

For more alternatives, I recommend doing an internet query using the keywords “job description” and including any or all of the major tasks you want to perform (i.e. attend events, socialize, network, write, etc.).

Best Wishes!

Q&A: I Hate My Job But I Make a Lot. What To Do?

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Q:  Okay I am 17 I work at a country club and I am the only outside guy who cleans carts,clubs and the driving besides my boss (who if me and the inside worker girl are there goes plays golf) I work 5 hours(2-7 so I can not hang out with friends) a day and make 8.00 a hour but make 35 in tips on a good day 15 on a bad but I hate golf and all the stuff I always get treated like I am a punk but everyone who is says I am a gentleman so I have a offer from Hastings one of my favorite places for coffee and books 8.50 a hour but I can work more 12:00-5:00 and get discounts on stuff. But my mom is not letting me she is saying I make too much to quit.

-Austin

A: Congratulations on your success to this point, Austin. There aren’t many people who can say that they make the type of money they want to make on their job, nor are there many people who can say that they have been offered positions at other places of employment while they are still on the job some place else. It sounds like you are doing something right! Keep up the good work.

To determine the right choice for you, it is best to weigh the pros and cons for each alternative. Here are some of the ones I have derived from your post:

Old Job:
* Outside work cleaning carts, clubs, driving
* Isolated from other employees who seem to have the better end of the bargain
* Less than desirable hours (conflict with other plans)
* Work 5 hours per day @ $8.00 per hour + $15-35/day in tips (potentially$55-75/day)
* Treated poorly, but recognized by others for your work ethic
* You hate golf

New Opportunity:
* Inside work dealing with a diverse group of customers (and/or interesting products)
* Several other employees on staff, fun, family atmosphere
* Better hours (earlier in the day, though still 5 hour block)
* Work 5 hours per day @$8.50 per hour ($42.50/day), employee discount, possibility that schedule may change to more or less hours periodically because of the nature of retail; tips, only if barrista (not guaranteed to be as high as $15 per day)
* You love Hastings and would take advantage of the discounts.

Other Things to Consider:
* Are your working a guaranteed number of hours each week at the golf course (i.e. 25 hours per week)?
* The nature of retail indicates that managers schedule according to their needs for the day/week. Will your total hours per week at Hastings be guaranteed?
* Will your schedule at Hastings be flexible or will it always 12P-5P? Are you required to be flexible in this way at the golf course (for holidays, weather, etc.)?
* Are you interested in a long career at Hastings? Could you see yourself moving up in the company (to be a General Manager, for example)?
* Are the transportation costs to both jobs the same or different?

I generally steer people in the direction of doing the things they love. If I were to make that suggestion for you, I would suggest that you go to Hastings, since you have a strong dislike for golf and enjoy Hastings overall. My hesitation, however, is twofold. First, the networking possibilities at golf club are awesome. Hobnobbing with the people you have the ability to meet at the golf course could only serve you in the future. These are the types of people you WANT to see your work ethic. Just like you were offered the position at Hastings, you could possibly be offered an even better, higher paying position by a golfer who sees something special in you. This makes the work at the golf course a good grooming ground for you. A change in your perspective concerning that fact could be helpful.

Secondly, a job in retail is not the most stable position there is and your upward mobility is generally limited to retail management. There is nothing wrong with that if this is the arena to which you aspire; however, turnover is high, both in lower level employees and management because business is often driven by sales. This also affects how often and how long you get to work.

Is there a way you can do both? Perhaps you can pick up a few hours a week at Hastings to test the waters and if you decide that you want to do that exclusively, you can transition to that being your only job. If you decide that the work ISN’T for you, you won’t have lost your other position.

Best wishes.

Q&A: Should I Continue Working at Gamestop or Move to Verizon?

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Q:  I currently work at a military Gamestop where my pay and benefits are much higher than normal stores, (making around 32 a year) and I’m in line to be promoted from being an ASM to a store manager position where I could possibly be making around 45k or more a year… But I have an opportunity to start at Verizon corporate store as a salesperson starting at roughly 13-14 an hour (so the hourly is less) but it’s a guaranteed 40 years with overtime, day one benefits, schooling, and commission. Just by hitting my minimal quotas the commission will have me making me around 38-40 and by passing goals I could be making a lot more.

With the fear of digital at some point driving Gamestop under, would Verizon be a safe move even though it is a really competitive business? Or should I stick with Gamestop, and get a few years as being a manager under my belt? I’m also interesting in relocating at some point and Verizon may be the easier company to move around with. Must be said also that I’m extremely content and happy with my career at Gamestop.

Looking for educated opinions and reasoning behind your statements.

-Dustin

A:  You certainly have a decision on your hands!  From the tone of your post, I can tell that you are seriously divided.  The experts would say that you should consider both positions on an even playing field in order to make such a decision, so I would suggest that we start there.

If both jobs paid the same and offered the same benefits, you would be left to make your selection based upon the other things you might value in the workplace (e.g. recognition, independence, the working conditions, your relationships with customers/co-workers/management, support from your bosses, the sense of achievement you get from working there.  Have you considered these yet?  I read that you are content and happy at Gamestop.  What about the Verizon store?  What type of atmosphere have you witnessed there?  Have you spoken to employees there to determine what their perspectives are?  What’s the turnover like?  Do the bosses back you up there?  Will you develop relationships easily there?  Will you be able to work independently or will you be micromanaged as a sales associate?  Will you like the hours, conditions?  These things are worth investigating. PErhaps here:  http://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Verizon-Reviews-E89.htm

After reading your concern about the future of Gamestop, I took a look at their annual report (http://news.gamestop.com/press-release/business/gamestop-reports-sales-and-earnings-fiscal-2013-and-provides-2014-outlook).  Interestingly enough, Gamestop is reporting an optimistic outlook for 2014 (forecasting that net income will increase to almost 6 times the Q4 earnings).  It should be noted, however, that the company plans to reduce its video game store count by approximately 2%.  Could this affect your store? Your promotion?  How long do you think it would take for you to be promoted to store manager?  Could apply for a store manager position now at another location (since you are relocating) even if you haven’t been promoted at your current store by that time (https://gamestoptx-openhire.silkroad.com/ipostings/index.cfm)? Do the earnings at the other locations justify passing up the job at Verizon, even at the lower position?

Of course, money is an issue – maybe even THE issue. The Verizon opportunity comes with the potential to earn overtime and commission.  Are there bonuses at Gamestop?  Are you guaranteed 40 hours (at the least) at Gamestop?  What about when you make manager?

As a job coach, my assignment is to make sure that you have considered every aspect necessary to make your decision.  I have included links to Gamestop’s outlook, internal job postings, and reviews of Verizon as a company and the sales associate position there from current and past employees.

If you haven’t applied to Verizon yet, you may get started with the process, regardless of what you choose.  An interview will give you an opportunity to sit in front of Verizon staff who can answer these questions for you, although it will start the clock on your decision once a hire offer is made.

Best Wishes!

 

Q&A: I Have a Lot of Experience, But it Doesn’t Fit Into Any Job Description

omgQ:  For the past 2 jobs (totaling 8 years), I’ve had unusual positions. For example at my current job, I started as the CEO’s assistant at a start-up, but when he found out I was smarter then just an assistant, I was given new tasks and as the company grew I’ve done many different things.  However the company is moving and I can’t move with it, so I need to find a new position at a new company but my experience doesn’t fully fit any single job description, it fits parts of all kinds of descriptions.  Do I have to move to a lower position to get a new job? Or should I just try and explain my experience? Should I see a professional that can help explain where my experience would fit?
-Jarrod M

A:  Jarrod, I would recommend starting your search not from posted job descriptions, but from your interests.  Given that you have had such a array of experiences, you should have an expanded set of positions to choose from.  Perhaps Administrative Assistant is not a good fit for you anymore, but what about Program Assistant or Executive Assistant?  Are you ready to branch out into management yet?  What about Office Manager or perhaps something that places you in a Coordinator role?  Is your interest in start-ups?  Non-profits?

Just remember, determining the compatibility of the vacancy and your skills is the hiring manager’s job.  If you have interest in a position you see out there and you believe that your skills and abilities and the knowledge you have acquired over the past 8 years qualifies you for consideration, don’t be afraid to apply.  Your resume and cover letter is where you to get to highlight your higher level experience and make the case for why you should be considered.

Best Wishes.