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Asked by Hickory on April 14, 2016

I went to school and got a bachelors in Professional Aviation Flight Technology. I thought all I wanted to do was be a pilot. Once out of school, I realized that flying full time is not for me. I realized that I really enjoyed the logistics side of aviation. I'm hoping to try and get a job involved with Supply Chain. I'm told I'm a risky hire. How do I get a business to take a chance on me?

Answered by Mike, Hiring Expert at Avery Dennison Corporation, on April 22, 2016

Hi there!

That's a great question.  And, it's right up my alley!

I was in a similar situation not long ago.  I went to school and studied Music Business.  But, after 2 years working for recording studios and production companies, I realized that it was really meant to be more of a hobby for me rather than a full-time job.  Like many Music majors, I ended up in retail, but really enjoyed it!  Eventually, I worked my way into a training role, and realized that I found another interest in HR and Talent Acquisition.  Unfortunately, my two years of retail training experience wasn't enough for companies to take a risk on me.  I ended up going back to school and getting a masters degree.  The Master's degree not only bought me time to pursue a more active job hunt, but I gave me the piece up paper to make me more marketable.  I did have to take a contractor role for about six months after I graduated, but once I demonstrated my work ethic and knowledge, I was hired on full-time and the rest is history.  

The point being - I recommend not looking at the situation as convincing or selling a business as taking a chance on you, but focusing your time and efforts on making yourself more marketable in the labor market.  I know going back to school isn't necessarily fun, but it is something I might recommend to really show that you are committed to supply chain and worthy of taking on the right role.  Another thing would be to take other roles that might "get your foot in the door" and offer a path for advancement into supply chain.  It might be worthwhile to take roles in Customer Service or Marketing that has some limited exposure to Supply Chain or Logistics.  If you perform your roles well, and do some strong internal networking, you may find someone knocking on your cubicle seeing if you'd be interested in an entry-level supply chain or logistics position.  

Another option might be to do some heavy external networking with companies that combine aviation technology and supply chain.  You might want to explore entry-level roles within companies like Boeing, Lockheed Martin, etc., that are large enough to utilize your experience, as well as have sizable supply chain functions that you might be able to explore while working there.  

I hope this helps.  Good luck with your job search!

Mike 

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Answered by Adele, Hiring Expert at ADP, on April 28, 2016

Technology is technology.  Having an understanding of the aviation industry, and I am assuming  your strong math and analytical skills, should be a good place to start.  You may have to take some classes in Supply Chain Management to get the basics and show a sincere interest in the field.  If you can get an internship, even unpaid, that will help you get your foot in the door.  Also, look at your resume...does it scream "pilot"?  If so, you need to highlight your experience with the business side of the aviation field.  Include an objective at the top that reflects your desire to pursue a career in supply chain to take the focus away from your education and past experience.
Ask why you are considered to be a "risky" hire?  Is it because you really want to fly?  Is it because you don't necessarily want to stay in one place and travel the world? Focus your search on companies that have large supply chain/logistics teams and see if you can start at the bottom and work your way up.  Networking is also a great way to find those unique opportunities and get a recommendation from someone who may be able to help you get that entry level opportunity.
Good luck!

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Answered by Monica, Hiring Expert at Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, on August 8, 2016

Hello,

Do you know why they are telling you that you are a risky hire? Have you taken any courses to help you with the position you are trying to obtain? The company might not take you seriously because yes, you do have the flying background, but you may need experience in supply chain in school/work.  

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