Inside Operations Manager Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

Biggest Surprises

"The Environment And Work Necessary Is Constantly Changing...
I work for a boutique digital branding agency, and I was most surprised by how quickly the industry moves. In order to stay on top of it, we have to be constantly looking at the next big thing. The digital landscape and how it effects business is ever-changing." (Chief Operating Officer; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Washington, female
School: Studied Business Administration -Accounting at University Of Washington in Washington; completed Bachelor degree in 2012

"The Economy Greatly Influences Mortgage Interest Rates...
Most people would be surprised how much the economy influences mortgage interest rates. A weekly job report can make interest rates rise or fall in a matter of minutes. The fluctuation of interest rates can greatly effect your income." (Operations Manager, Mortgage Banking; 2014)

Career: 13 years of experience, currently based in Maryland, female
School: Studied Mass Communications at Towson State University in Maryland; completed Bachelor degree in 1997

"Math Is Very Important...
I was very surprised at how much math I am required to use on a daily basis in my job. As a manager for a carpet manufacturer, I am required to deal with floor plans and layouts every day." (Operations Manager; 2014)

Career: 8 years of experience, currently based in New York, female
School: Studied Literature at SUNY Purchase in New York; completed Associate degree in 2002

"I was surprised how quickly I could advance in my field. On a related note, I was surprised at how an increase in responsibility doesn't necessarily equate with an increase in compensation." (Operations Manager; 2013)

Career: 9 years of experience, currently based in Virginia, male
School: Studied Global Affairs at George Mason Universoty in Virginia; completed Bachelor degree in 2009

"I was surprised to see that you had to use a lot of regression models and develop algorithms for a position that mainly involves manual labor. Operations Research Management is a crucial program to study in the field of Economics if you wanted to go into logistics. Even though I manage the warehouse and operations of the company, I spent a good amount of my time entering data and creating spreadsheet reports about the daily tasks and projected tasks to complete." (Operations Manager; 2012)

Career: 5 years of experience, currently based in California, male
School: Studied Economics at University Of California San Diego in California; completed Bachelor degree in 2006

Best & Worst Things About This Career

Operations Manager: "Every day has new and ever changing challenges. Customer and employees interaction is a vital part of the business day and daily quality and quantity performance is tracked. The pace of the work is very fast and ever changing. Sometimes customer expectations or demands are not being met and normally recovery comes down to my department making the "heroic recovery" while this is rewarding, it can be very frustrating. Sometimes employee turnover can be a problem, especially when there is turnover in the night warehouse - poor quality selection leads to delivery problems and at worst customer dissatisfaction and at times loss of a customer. It takes hours and days to gain the confidence of a customer, it sometimes only takes one small error that will lose the same customer." (2011)

Runoff Operations Claim Manager: "The best part of my job is conducting legal and industry research to make sure that I am up on all current issues as they relate to the claims that I manage. Outside attorneys are often consulted for opinions and to help handle the litigations we may be involved in. The worst part of my job, which ironically can be the most rewarding part of the job also, is dealing with difficult people issues. Employees have different strengths and weaknesses and must be dealt with in a sensitive and caring manner if you want to get the best out to them. This can be difficult, especially when an employee refuses to see the good in another employee." (2010)

Director Of Operations: "The best part of my job is keeping an adequate number of top-notch delivery teams at each account. Recruiting and training are fundamental to keeping on top of things. The worst part of the job is making a profit at each account when the high "exceptions" rate in this business makes it nearly impossible to avoid spending money on returns. One example is the need to make a delivery no matter what the problem. In some cases the team has to hoist furniture through a second floor window, which is both expensive and time-consuming. Our company will pay the delivery guys extra but the client in most cases will not reimburse us." (2009)

Career Background

Operations Manager

  Job Tasks
  Work Environment
  How to Prepare for the Job
  Job Outlook

Career Video

Career Tips

"Save Your Money...
Save your money. You can go from making great money to almost nothing in just a matter of weeks. Save your money when business is good because it wont last forever." (Operations Manager, Mortgage Banking; 2014)

"Artistic Ability Is An Asset...
Having artistic ability is a huge advantage in this industry. A background in graphic design would be extremely helpful." (Operations Manager; 2014)

"Understand The Business Applications Of Personal Internet Platforms...
When using social media, blogging platforms, etc, think about how they effect business rather than just how it effects you as an individual. It is surprising how many applicants come in with no real idea of the business implications of the internet and the platforms they use every day." (Chief Operating Officer; 2013)

"Knowledge Of Business Operation Software Is Key...
Education is a key element. Understanding the impact of information technology and spend a great deal of time knowing how systems such as databases, pivot tables and different types of mapping, ware house and logistics based software are essential. Understanding supply chain logistics from start to finish will be a great help to anyone entering this field. People management is also a great challenge. Any kind of preliminary job with progressive and increased responsibility managing others is a good stepping stone to operations management." (Operations Manager; 2011)

"Get Industry Credentials...
1. Study and take courses and designations that will enable you to do a better job -- the CPCU and ARe designations for the insurance industry, for example. 2. Take time to listen to what your employees are saying; if you do this you will come away with invaluable information and ideas. 3. Be persistent and don't give up; the job can be extremely rewarding when you persist." (Runoff Operations Claim Manager; 2010)

"Experience In Management...
This position requires someone who has extensive experience in management, someone who understands the transportation and retail industry. But whoever takes it on will also need to know how to recruit and train new drivers. This position requires travel and overnight stays. Some of our clients make deliveries seven days a week, which requires our personnel to be available seven days a week if needed." (Director Of Operations; 2009)