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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Guest Post: A Leaner Me

Today's post is from a reader and follower of A Lean Journey Blog Kristina Ross, who has recently been on a kaizen kick. She has been learning all about Lean and trying to apply it in her work and life. She asked to share her story with you and as I like to promote learning and sharing I graciously agreed.

To me, lean philosophy was primarily academic endeavor – something I’d heard repeated a few times in my college classes, but never worth integrating into my own reality. B-school professors liked sneaking it into their lectures whenever Toyota was mentioned, but that was the extent of what I’d come to know about lean thinking. Essentially, I knew enough to check the box come finals week.

Now, a year or so post-graduation, that couldn’t be further from the case. Unknowingly, I came adopt a lean-centric mindset that thankfully landed me at the equally lean-oriented company I now work for. That’s a pretty massive jump, from general ignorance to full-on embrace, but it’s one I couldn’t have made if it weren’t for some bumps along the road.

In short, toward the end of my senior year, I felt like I was in a massive rut. I didn’t want to burden my parents by moving back in with them, but time was running thin and I didn’t have anywhere else to head after graduation. I’d applied for what seemed like thousands of jobs, some of which granted me interviews, but none of which granted me an offer sheet. I was running every which way, trying to find someone – anyone – who would employ me.

Sometime after I completed what seemed like my thousand and first resume drop, I realized something: I was working hard to get a job, but I wasn’t working efficiently. Simply put, I was going through a ton of unnecessary motions. By spreading my curriculum vitae far and wide, I thought I would catch the eye of some probing HR department, but that was the wrong way to look at things. I needed to condense my search and start focusing on the job openings that truly bonded with my skill set and interests. By eliminating my wasteful search efforts and narrowing the scope to only the companies I knew I could gel with, things took an incredible turn for the better.

Not but two weeks after, I scored a job as a blogger. Two weeks after that, I was all geared up in my new office, happy and ready to work. It was a quick, fortunate turnaround, and one that I totally attribute to lean-like waste elimination. I couldn’t be happier with the way things turned out, and I can only imagine where this sort of mindset can propel me as I continue to lay down my career path. Institutionally, lean thinking is invaluable – but it’s important to never underestimate the personal good it can do for you, as well.

About the Author:
Kristina Ross is a blogger with SaveOnEnergy.com. Outside of her lean revelation, she enjoys gardening, genealogy, psychology, and spending time with her loving husband and wonderful son. She also owns a lovable oaf of a dog named Buster.

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