Taking a Left Turn in My Career and Would Love Advice

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    Hello all,

    I have been an Executive Assistant for the past 10 years, supporting all levels and all departments, but mostly C-level and Sales/Finance. The past few years I keep getting encouraged by my supervisors to go into an analytics type role (which I did for a time until a company layoff happened. I reduced our outstanding invoices number from 6M to 2M for one single client within 1.5 months with absolutely no experience in analytics.. utilizing Tableau and Alteryx dashboards), but more recently I am being urged into an LSS career path. I’ve never heard about LSS before, but seems like something I would naturally be good at. I have a tendency to go into each company and find loop holes or missing procedures that are either creating overlapping of duties, or just creating large mistakes all together.

    My true question is, with someone with absolutely no experience other than my minute contributions to each company I’ve been at, how can I transition? I will have to get my GB with no prioir work experience.. what type of role would I look/apply for?

    I’ve been doing a lot of research on these forums and elsewhere and seems like I should dip my foot in statistics before even deciding and going through with a GB or BB certification.

    Any advice would be great.


    Mike Carnell

    @aloram Just go do it. The calculations are all done on software so it isn’t like doing stats in the old days. Worst case you do it for a couple years then go do something else. That whole dipping the toe thing makes you look weak. Just commit to it and get it done. There was a time when this was a pretty rigorous deal. If you have been on a lot of websites you have to realize by now there are pretty dumb people who have been certified.

    You are welcome to contact me at [email protected]. I can connect you with a woman who has been down almost exactly the same path as you and she eventually became a Deployment Leader (maybe VP) for SS in a large company.

    If you do this and get stuck keep my email and I will get you through it. That’s a promise in front of a lot of people.

    Good luck.



    It sounds like you have the traits to do this. Some people don’t like to get down into the weeds, dig up, and analyze data. You are right that you need a basic understanding of statistics. But as @Mike-Carnell said, today we use software more often than knowing the formulas and doing the math. I’d suggest that you get in touch with the local section of American Society for Quality. ASQ’s GB certification is respected and does not have to be renewed once you pass the exam. Your local section may have a GB certification training program, as mine does. Whether or not you sit for the exam you’ll learn what you need to know as a solid starting point.


    Chris Seider

    Those dashboards are great tools for managing/controlling a process.



    Thanks Mike – Yes, I have read a few posts on here prior to posting this thread and seems like there are quite a few people out there would shouldn’t have received a cert..Though from the sounds of it at least they were somewhat working in the role already. I was leaning towards just diving in, so guess that’s the route to take.

    I’ll do as Strayer says and at least get the basic understanding down. Next exam date for ASQ isn’t until May, so I’ve got some time.

    I did, however, take a sample GB exam and scored 13/18 without knowing any of the terminology or formulas on the exam, so I’d say I have a natural tack for it.

    thanks everyone for the advice!


    Mike Carnell

    @aloram If this is just Green Belt and you did that well on the test this whole thing is going to be relatively simple for you. Since you are planning on the ASQ test I would use the material from Quality Council of Indiana ( I don’t know if it is the “best” but it matches up well with the ASQ test. Please remember I have family in the cert business so I am trying not to disparage their product and I think iSixSigma has material as well.

    The key to these tests is getting used to the questions and understanding what they are asking for. Do not let them flip you out over the time they a lot you to take the test. They have allowed enough time so the -3 sigma end of the curve can finish the test.

    Good luck. Let us know if there is anything we can help with.

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