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#1 Plastic Ducky

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 07:25 PM

Hello all,

 

I am currently trying to push my career to the next level. In doing so, I have made myself available to the idea of relocating anywhere in the United States and our neighbor to the north Canada. I figured I would cast a wide net so as to increase my chances. I have had several interviews, even a few "last round" interviews. Many nibbles, no bites, many times to bobber was moving around and dipping, but I have yet to real one in. I keep running into something that I am continually surprised by (maybe I shouldn't be) but again I am perspective is tainted by my agenda. I'm talking about discrimination in the job market. No, not the kind you would first think of, more along the lines of product discrimination.

 

Every time I apply to a Dairy Manufacturing Company, I have every single criteria they have requested as prior experience, certification, or education. Then the placement specialist (headhunter) relays to me that "they really only consider people with prior dairy experience".

 

Then... The Jelly and Jam company I applied to wanted a candidate with "previous Jelly experience", all of the poultry facilities I have applied to want someone with "poultry specific experience". I promise, from the job posting requirements I have every other attribute. The Seafood places in Oregon wanted, that's right you guessed it. My god, I was always under the impression these skills were highly transferable.

 

Sometimes I feel like If I told the dairy facility that I did in fact have experience with milk they would say "what kind of milk?".

 

<me> Uhhhh....... cow milk?

<them> "Nope, sorry, you gotta have experience with the rare New Zealand Arapawa Goat milk exclusively!

<them> "and you gotta have it using the same machinery and procedures we use here at our rare New Zealand Arapawa Goat        Milk processing facility!"

<them> "AND your name has to be "Fred", because that was the name of the guy who used to do this job!"

 

 

Well dam, I had it all the way up to "Fred"
 

 



#2 Scampi

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 08:08 PM

ohhhhhh plastic ducky.......I do hear you.

 

What I do know about here in the land O the North (lol, I love it here) is the running statement is "if you can handle meat, you can handle anything else" I started in meat (so I guess that makes me lucky) and the door turned into a revolving one of people from other commodities who just couldn't handle the extra pressure (constant federal employee pressure visa vie a Veterinarian in Change) 

 

Now I have moved on to other commodities, but I have applied in the past to other food manufacturers and didn't even get a phone call, ALOT.  

 

It is very frustrating when you KNOW you are really good at your job.

 

I don't like the headhunters............they don't really understand what they are looking for

 

My previous post found me through my INDEED and LINKN profiles, are you keeping those up to date?     Can you perhaps educate yourself about the nuances of a product prior to the interview, or include your research on your CV?

 

 

And FYI, I really love your comment in your profile about the food pryamid!!!!!!!


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#3 SQFconsultant

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 10:11 PM

Go straight to the companies, these talking heads (headhunters) follow a program that come from people that don't get how things really work.

 

Here's a funny for you -- As an SQF Auditor I was registered for the bakery category and as an SQF Consultant I have consulted with a number of bakeries...

 

We just had a potential client call and ask if I have experience in consulting with white bread, actually I will admit that white bread and I have never worked together, but I said I had a lot of bakery experience... to which they said --- no thank you.

 

Yup.  Next.


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#4 Quality Ben

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 10:43 PM

Yuck....Goats milk.

 

But seriously...that sucks. Definitely transferable skills....and who would want to be stuck in the same niche in FS or QA for ever?

In my experience it is normally based around High Risk vs Low Risk....if a manufacturer is High Risk then they want people with that level of experience and if they are low risk then they will take you if low or high experienced.

Which makes sense to me.....doesn't make a lot of sense to want someone only experienced in the one food or process.....the broader the experience the broader the skills!



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#5 Arsenal1508

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 01:55 AM

What sort of position are you looking for? 

 

QA Manager?  Do you have supervisory/management experience?  Usually a minimum of 3 years along with B.S. and a host of certifications is industry standard for recruiters nowadays.

 

Have you job hopped previously?  Hiring Managers usually are against people that have this practice.  

 

Another thing to think about is showing a lot of Passion and humbleness for the job that you are applying.  You can bring up your education and certification all you want, but if they see that you are too arrogant, it will rub people the wrong way.

 

Be energetic, but also sincere.  Show them that passion, but don't be cocky.  There is a fine line.  

 

Be careful of Dairy though...I believe it is the toughest industry to master.  If you can come out of that with your head held high, you will succeed anywhere.  



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#6 itreatpets

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 03:29 PM

Oh dear, I can't remember how many companies I applied to and was told no because I didn't have "experience" haha! only been working in/with QA for 12+ years...Mind you I am no master...yet!

 

I started in the seafood industry moved to the restaurant industry then moved into pet food...Wow, how did that happen!

 

I did have some issues with securing my current position in Pet food as the company is owned by a Meat industry snob heir. I had a hard time convincing him the skills are transferable. In fact, I wasn't hired the first time I applied even after 3 face to face interviews. The company picked a person coming from a position with CFIA, but turned out this person did not have the knowledge they expected. I was so ticked off about not getting the position I went out and educated myself in Meat and Pet food. I convinced a friend to let me job shadow her in a meat plant, I also took additional training in SQF and HACCP. 

 

Surprisingly 5 Months later I got a callback, the CFIA person did not work out. When I went back in for another interview, I educated (guns loaded) the owner in what I knew and made connections how the skills/knowledge can be transferred. He was so impressed and taken back by the approach, he smiled and said the job was mine if I wanted it. I also used my new knowledge to negotiate a better salary too!

 

I really think the best approach is to do research on the Company and their approach to Food Safety. Be prepared to explain how your knowledge can be applied to their products/industry. I would bring up specific points, ie environmental swabbing programs, sanitation programs etc are similar across all food production. Research the processing steps, familiarize yourself with the lingo (fake it until you make it) but reassure your new employer you will take the time to learn in depth how everything works.

 

Good Luck!

 

PS. Up here in The cold snowy North(I'm with you Scampi, I love it here), I see lots of QA positions available in Ontario. If necessary, tell them you're willing to change your name! :P 



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#7 Plastic Ducky

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 03:54 PM

Hey ITreatpets,

 

I am totally ok with acquiring some intimate knowledge about these others sectors by any means possible. I would even volunteer on the weekends without pay just to get my foot into some of these industries. I would love to move to Canada even. I just had a phone interview with a company in Portland Oregon. I really appreciate everyone sharing some of their stories with me. It takes away the negative feelings about my current experience job hunting.

 

SQFconsultant, you really hit the nail on the head. That is what I am experiencing and I appreciate your input. You are right, after a couple deep breaths you might as well just laugh at the absurdity of some of it and keep on trucking. I will take you advise about the headhunters as well.

 

Thank you all for the fortifying responses! This is not the first nor I am sure the last time that IFSQN has saved my sanity!



#8 Scampi

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 04:01 PM

I just wanted to add to what itreatpets mentioned..............so many QA jobs here it would make your head spin.............i get a headhunter call about once/month and emails weekly with agencies looking to fill a position

 

summertime is gorgeous. southern Ontario is surrounded by the lakes east west and north..........wintertime is nice too (but i'm ready for it to be over) we have great entertainment venues, its super safe, good schools......i could go on and on

 

Best of luck in Portland..............but we'd be happy to have you!!!!!!


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#9 Farm Mom

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 04:57 PM

Just curious what the range of salary is for our unique position?

 



#10 MsMars

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 05:14 PM

Just curious what the range of salary is for our unique position?

 

Depends on the position title, reporting structure, industry, size of the company, etc....



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#11 Farm Mom

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 05:24 PM

QA Manager with 20 years experience in various agriculture commodities and packing.

Experience in SQF, Primus GFS, Global Gap and Salmon Safe, HACCP and FSMA PC.

Just curious...

:shades:



#12 itreatpets

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 05:44 PM

Just curious what the range of salary is for our unique position?

I think this number can vary a lot...

 

Depends on the position title, reporting structure, industry, size of the company, etc....

Agreed

 

 

 Here on the East Coast of Canada by word of mouth, I have heard numbers starting around $15/hr right up to $25/hr or $35000/yr up to $55000/yr



#13 Farm Mom

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 06:23 PM

Also included in my position; because I cant possibly be busy enough :shutup: is:  Front office receptionist, safety manager and rental property management...



#14 Scampi

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 07:07 PM

:roflmao:  :roflmao:  :roflmao:  Farm Mom

 

range in ontario is 25000 to 75000 depending on title and experience and of course size of company  (this is for QA tech type to QA manager type)  if you aim for Director with large company it's a 6 figure salary


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#15 Farm Mom

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 07:46 PM

Thank you all for the information, I am considering relocating, and my skills are unique. :closedeyes:



#16 Ryan M.

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 10:23 PM

So I'm not clear....what is your specific product experience?  In being in the dairy industry for more than 15 years it is very hard to break into as a QA supervisor or manager.  Why? Because there is a vast number of quality candidates with dairy experience already AND it is a specialized industry in the US.  Navigating regulatory in dairy is quite cumbersome, and troubleshooting problems is very unique.

 

I can say this because I have experience outside the dairy industry as well.  Outside the dairy industry, it is far, far easier to master Quality Assurance, regulatory, troubleshooting problems, etc.  That said, I don't have seafood or meat industry experience so I'm sure they both have their own challenges.

 

If you are really willing to elevate your career then I do suggest you find a way into dairy.  It makes you a MUCH MORE attractive candidate to other product sectors in the industry.  Even if you have to take a lower position as QA supervisor to get the experience, do it.  The pay isn't that terribly different in QA Supervisor in dairy versus QA Manager in non-dairy.

 

If you have any questions or want insights feel free to hit me up.  FYI...I'm in the process of moving across the country so I may be slow to respond.

 

 

Hello all,

 

I am currently trying to push my career to the next level. In doing so, I have made myself available to the idea of relocating anywhere in the United States and our neighbor to the north Canada. I figured I would cast a wide net so as to increase my chances. I have had several interviews, even a few "last round" interviews. Many nibbles, no bites, many times to bobber was moving around and dipping, but I have yet to real one in. I keep running into something that I am continually surprised by (maybe I shouldn't be) but again I am perspective is tainted by my agenda. I'm talking about discrimination in the job market. No, not the kind you would first think of, more along the lines of product discrimination.

 

Every time I apply to a Dairy Manufacturing Company, I have every single criteria they have requested as prior experience, certification, or education. Then the placement specialist (headhunter) relays to me that "they really only consider people with prior dairy experience".

 

Then... The Jelly and Jam company I applied to wanted a candidate with "previous Jelly experience", all of the poultry facilities I have applied to want someone with "poultry specific experience". I promise, from the job posting requirements I have every other attribute. The Seafood places in Oregon wanted, that's right you guessed it. My god, I was always under the impression these skills were highly transferable.

 

Sometimes I feel like If I told the dairy facility that I did in fact have experience with milk they would say "what kind of milk?".

 

<me> Uhhhh....... cow milk?

<them> "Nope, sorry, you gotta have experience with the rare New Zealand Arapawa Goat milk exclusively!

<them> "and you gotta have it using the same machinery and procedures we use here at our rare New Zealand Arapawa Goat        Milk processing facility!"

<them> "AND your name has to be "Fred", because that was the name of the guy who used to do this job!"

 

 

Well dam, I had it all the way up to "Fred"
 






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