It was November 2015 when I finally realized what I wanted to do in the next stage of my career.
I had spent the last 14 months in Mannheim, Germany taking my MBA. About halfway through I took my first courses in Operations Management, Supply Chain, and Corporate Strategy. This is when I realized I wanted to work in Supply Chain but I had no path, no direction and no idea how to parlay my experience into a challenging and leading career in Supply Chain.
Prior to leaving to Germany to pursue my MBA I had worked for three and a half years in various roles at a Calgary based Compliance Management company. My last role there was as a Senior Business Solutions Analyst where I was tasked with implementing the company’s cloud-based system for newly signed clients. This role gave me constant insight into the procurement processes of a vast array of companies across all industries in Canada and South Africa. My favorite part of this role was looking at not only the small part of the procurement process that the system could solve for the client but also finding additional ways to improve processes and optimize their operations.
I knew, however, that I wanted something more.
I felt underutilized and was looking to explore new challenges. I had simplified and streamlined the implementation process down to 6 steps and even implementing in new industries wasn’t offering as big a challenge as I know I need to feel fulfilled in my job.
I started looking in other directions. After all, I was still “fresh out of school” with less than four years of real work experience (manual labour in sawmills apparently doesn’t count for much).
I wrote the GMAT on a whim and did exceedingly well which drove me towards going for my MBA. I chose Germany for a variety of reasons: they have a reputation for being very process driven, the MBA program at Mannheim was ranked higher internationally than any Canadian program, and the price was right.
Additionally, the opportunity to live abroad for the second time in my life was a major factor. I loved the time in Mannheim, made many great friends and learned a ton and had an idea of what I wanted to do but had no clue how to get there.
I needed direction.
So, upon my return to Calgary in November 2015, I enrolled myself in the Career Transformation program at Higher Landing. Working with them over the next two months I was able to hone in on exactly what drives me, keeps me challenged and how I can use my unique abilities to get to where I want to be. My goal was to be in a position to make big picture decisions based on the details and to be challenged to solve business problems every day.
How do I communicate my value to a prospective employer?
I have always known that I could see problems and solutions in ways that other people couldn’t, but I had no idea how to express this to a potential employer.
How do I get clarity?
Ever since I was a kid I loved taking things apart to see how they worked. But I also know how to put them back together better than they were before. This is the kind of thing I could not have expressed without the help of Higher Landing and it has given me a clear path of what I want to do and where I want to go.
I LANDED HIGHER!
The Higher Landing program taught me how to show the unique talents I bring to the table, to be proud of promoting my brand and to trust that the right career path will present itself when I know what you truly want. This came to fruition for me because even in the remarkably difficult job market that I returned to I was able to secure four interviews inside the first two months of being home. I used each one, whether I wanted the job or not, as a chance to present my brand, and to demonstrate why the company wanted me.
Grateful to be pushed out of my comfort zone…
I’ve always known that I need high levels of motivation and lots of challenge in order to feel satisfied and the Higher Landing program pushed me outside of my comfort zone and forced me to address who I truly am and for that I am very grateful.
If you are currently looking for a career transformation, or don’t know what the next step should be, but know that you can bring a lot more to the table then I cannot recommend Higher Landing strongly enough.
I decided to challenge myself to be extraordinary and I Landed Higher because of it.
By Riley Fairbanks
EDITOR's NOTE: Thank you Riley for sharing your journey in career transition. We hope the best to you in your new career.