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Career Story: Warehouse Supervisor

Warehouse Supervisor

Job Title: Supervisor

Type of Company: I work for one of the nation's largest wholesale food distribution companies.

Education: graduated, Smith Vocational High School

Previous Experience: I was a sergeant in the US Marine Corps.

Job Tasks: I am responsible for overseeing a warehouse staff of more than 120 people, making every effort to ensure that their workplace is safe and clean. When injuries occur I am often the one filing paperwork and performing investigations as to how, why, what, when, and where the accident took place. It is my job to ensure that each customer gets the product he ordered in a timely and reliable fashion.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is the diversity of my employees. My employees come from all walks of life and almost every conceivable background: Hispanic, white, black, Muslim, Christian, even pagan. I enjoy learning about their unique cultures. Many times I will sit with my employees at lunch and we will share food from our different ethnic backgrounds. Getting to know my employees better has helped me be a better supervisor.

The worst part is the long work hours. I work between seventy and eighty hours a week. Many days I come home from work so tired that I sleep right up until it is time for me to go back to work.

Job Tips:
1. Take courses in people management, not just business management.

2. Take time to learn the different ethnicity of the employees you will manage.

3. Learn to be patient. Don't expect everyone to be on board with new changes. Help promote those changes with a positive attitude.

Additional Thoughts: Be prepared for long hours without any appreciation. I did not pursue my career through hours of learning in a college. Instead I used on-the-job training and started at the ground level. If you choose this career, you will have the advantage of not having to do the backbreaking work you'll have to supervise. Then again, sometimes a good boss is someone who has done the job and actually knows what the physical requirements are. Don't be afraid, if you get this type of position to get dirty learning the ins and outs of the job.

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