Preparing for a SS Career…

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums General Preparing for a SS Career…

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    I would like to work as a six sigma black belt professional and am trying to prepare for that role. In that regard, I would like to get some insight from you, as a SS professional or as a hiring manager, as to what kind of experience you think is relevant in order to function as a effective six sigma professional.
    To give a little background of my career so far: I have been in the healthcare industry for about eight years now and have work experience related to data analysis, process improvement (involving facilitation of improvement projects) and business intelligence. In my current job, I find out best practices and try to initiate projects / initiatives by creating a business need, get departmental and leadership buy in. I have completed six sigma green belt training, and although I am not working on formal six sigma projects, I am trying to use the tools whenever I can (but it’s difficult to do so in an environment that doesn’t use them).
    I am not sure if I should continue to do this or work as a project manager for a couple of years (use the formal project mgt tools) before applying for a six sigma black belt position. I am not sure if I should get the black belt training before applying for the job or when I am on the job. (I feel I should wait until I am in an environment that uses six sigma so that I can apply the tools all the time and not forget them)
    What is the norm – do six sigma black belts who have project mgt experience and have completed the training have better chance of getting six sigma jobs or do people with my experience (and passion) have a chance too? :)
    Any insight on the above questions would be appreciated. Thanks in advance for your time and assistance!



    Unfortunately, with no training and experience as a Black Belt, I would say you have no chance of being hired as one. That’s just the harsh reality of it. Best wishes on working toward your ultimate goal.



    It is excellent that you recogonize and use the tools of the six sigma process. However, Becoming a black belt and even Master black belt is not that simple. My recommendation-Find someplace to get the formal training, continue to work and use the tools and maybe even be a Champion of beginning Six Sigma in your current organization. But you really have limited opportunity to get a six sigma job without formal training in that area. To become a true Black Belt you must first complete the training, and then be able to complete at least 3-4 projects with significant gain to the organization, plus be able to direct or champion Green Belts. This will assure your success.
    Unfortuanetly many colleges are turning out so called Black Belts, Yep they have had the training, but couldn’t complete a real life project if they had too. Having a MBB to lead and teach is key to development.
    Just my two cents worth, I’m sure many will reject
    Cheers and Have a Good Weekend



    Very sound advice.
    beyond being a tool monkey, bb’s/mbb’s are supposed to be seasoned change agents, whether in a formal leadership position or not.



    Along these lines, questions DA should ask himself, 
    Do you run from, embrace or shy away from adversarial or conflict?  Are you comfortable leading or devising ways to influence or change managements/peers minds?
    There is a lot more to being a BB/MBB or a LEAN person than just learning the tools, doing projects, etc.  If that is all you enjoy are using the tools & doing projects, my suggestion is stay a Project Manager where the projects are decided & handed down by some committee or something.
    If you do truly want to be a MBB/BB or LEAN person, find a company that does more than just projects, but is trying to infuse it into their way or culture.  You will have more success and be a bit happier.
    My two cents.


    Healthcare BB

    Under “normal” circumstances, I would agree with the previous posts. However you have a market niche in that you have worked GB projects in the healthcare industry. The healthcare industry is an extremely growing market for Six Sigma and still in its infancy stage. If in addition, you have a BS and an MT or are an accredited blood banker etc. Jee, go for it!
    While I normally would not advice to pursue a BB online program, in your case, I think that it will help get your resume ready.

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