A top-down photo of two feet/shoes with three white arrows pointing forward in different directions

From Vet Nurse/Non-Profit Management/Landscaper/Waitress/Grocery Store Department Manager to Project Manager

“You can be anything you want to be.” You’ve probably heard that a time or two. If you’re in a position now that isn’t your #endgoal, it can be easy to lose sight of what’s next, what’s possible. Don’t lose hope. You may not be doing what you’ve dreamed of, or maybe your dream changed, but our team is proof that no matter where you are – you could be gaining essential skills you’ll be able to apply to your next (and maybe best) role yet.

So, gather ‘round the campfire as we tell a tale or two about how we gained marketable skills, so we can help you.

On: Multitasking, Communication, and Teamwork:

“With a strong love of animals, big and small, it was never a question I would work with them at some point in my career. In my early twenties, I was a vet nurse, which was equally rewarding and challenging.

This one time at Band Camp the Vet’s office…ha! I’m totally kidding.

Working at the Vet’s office taught me to multitask quickly when I had to run multiple appointments at a time and keep everything moving smoothly, while explaining complicated tests or diagnostics information, and at times consoling pets (and their parents).

And of course, teamwork is essential, because you can’t restrain a cat and draw its blood all by yourself. Okay, maybe I wasn’t kidding about the one time at the Vet’s office.”

-Maeg Kutzman, Senior Project Manager/Former Veterinary Nurse/Cat Wrangler

On: Teamwork, Learning Something New, and Loving What You Do:

“When I worked at Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania, I got to spend a week as a Day Camp Counselor helping out. I’m awkward around kids (that I’m not related to), so I was nervous and leaned on another counselor. I had a cold, and I couldn’t raise my voice without it cracking, so the other counselor (who was just 19) sung/screamed the camp songs. I only had to mouth the words, pretending I knew them all. Somehow, after this, the girls all clung to me like I was their BFF. I was anxious to do it, but I learned so much from the experience. With the other counselor’s help, I learned that everyone is at a different place in their lives – age doesn’t matter, who you are and what you do, does. It also helped put into perspective that you may get down in the trenches during your day to day, but if you take a step back and see what your organization’s mission is, it’s so special to know you’re a part of it, too.

And because we love the #1 Girl-Led Business more than anyone, we all supported the cookie program. #1 FAQ: nope, they weren’t free πŸ˜‰.”

-Lydia Smith, Project Manager/Former Business Analyst/Senior Manager/Cookie Enthusiast

On: Working Smarter Not Harder…And Two-Dollar Bills:

“As a Landscaper, I was working on a garden for a gentleman, who paid me in two-dollar bill increments. I thought since they were rare, that he had them all. His attention to detail on how he wanted trenches dug in order to water all his plants was amazing. It was constructed in a way that he poured water in one that drained and filled throughout the whole garden. Work smarter not harder. Moving forward in my career, I’ve always looked to gain efficiency with the tasks at hand.

…And I’ve learned that while two-dollar bills are rare, that gentleman didn’t have all of them. πŸ˜‰”

-Ken Hilbert, Senior Project Manager/Former Landscaper/Currency Collector

On: Managing Expectations and Problem Solving:

“You always think food service is important, but it’s more than just taking orders. As a waitress and bartender, I learned the importance in hearing and managing customers’ expectations – and then balancing that within the restaurant. I had to work with my colleagues to ensure everyone’s needs were met (correctly) and within a reasonable amount of time. Being a waitress allowed me the opportunity to learn how to communicate with others, practice patience, and problem solve when things don’t work out as planned.

And to be honest, things don’t work out how you plan more often than they do - and that’s okay.”

-Ashley Detweiler, Project Manager/Former Waitress/Bartender/Planner

On: Customer Service, Organization, and Conflict Resolution:

“I used to work at a Grocery Store, first in the Produce Department, and then as the Bakery Department Team Lead. It was my first experience learning customer service skills and how to organize products for a clean, efficient sorting system, with customers in mind. I learned how to think quickly on my feet and how to make decisions for the good of the department. And of course, no job is without the occasional conflict. By listening to my team members, I was able to work with them to learn and apply conflict resolution skills that I’ve been able to carry throughout my career.

…Not that we have any of that at Liquid, of course, but our department does more than just open a few Word docs or take notes. πŸ˜‰ We help our colleagues and clients alike and keep the whole ship running.”

-Justin Teles, Director of Operations/Former Grocery Store Produce Dept. Associate/Bakery Department Team Lead/Foodie (okay, maybe not a “former” Foodie)

Wrap Up

Our team comes from a variety of backgrounds, but along the way, we’ve all picked up a skill or two that’s essential to Project Management. While you may not be looking for a PM role, what you’re doing now may still prepare you for what you are considering.

Want to continue the conversation or see how you fit in at Liquid? We’d love to hear from you!