From laid off Call Center Manager to Trade Compliance Specialist

Catherine George-Kaiser was a Workforce Operations Manager for a Bank of America call center when the company decided to lay off her entire division. She had been with the company for six years and had successfully progressed in her career during those years. Like everyone else in her office, Catherine needed to start over.

Catherine G

Catherine George-Kaiser

Why not a staffing agency?

“When I was a teenager, a friend was working through a staffing company and told me I should try it,” said Catherine.“I was in college and didn’t really have any skills. I loved temp work! Ihad the opportunity to work for a bunch of different places and see how they functioned. I decided if I wanted to be a part of a company or not. If I wasn’t happy, there wasn’t a big commitment.”

Because Catherine had already worked successfully through staffing companies in the past, she decided to utilize an employment agency again in her job search. For eleven months, Catherine had steady contract work with Comcast Corporation. They then hired her permanently as a Forecasting Analyst. Unfortunately, Catherine was to experience her second corporate layoff only five months later when Comcast consolidated their business.

Finding direction

After her second layoff, Catherine again turned to a staffing firm for assistance and registered with Emerson Personnel Group. I asked her what differences there were between Emerson and the other staffing agency.

“The difference in the big picture was that Emerson Personnel gave me a lot of one-on-one attention. I had not worked in a year, and I felt beaten and bruised. At other staffing companies, I felt like I was just a piece of paper. At Emerson, I felt like I received individualized care.

When I first interviewed, I remember talking to Denise and Flo. The type of work I did was outside Emerson’s area of specialty and Denise counseled me not to be surprised if they couldn’t find something in my area and salary. I felt like Flo went out of her way to find the right fit for me. Emerson was not trying to shove me in a slot just to make money.

When the trade compliance role came up, I was very nervous. This role was different than the last position I had. I used to be a workforce manager for a call center. Yes, I was doing data analysis, but it was a completely different role. I couldn’t see how my skills would transfer.

In preparation for my interview, Bill Emerson called me and conducted a practice interview to help me get ready. Who gives that kind of assistance? If you told me five years ago that I would be Trade Compliance Specialist, I would not have believed you.”

A new beginning

Catherine started as a Data Analyst with a prominent chemical company on a 90 day temp to perm position with Emerson. During that time, the client company’s Trade Compliance Specialist left, and Catherine stepped into that new role. Shortly thereafter, Catherine experienced a corporate reorganization where the chemical company laid off 300 people. This was Catherine’s third experience with corporate layoffs. Fortunately, this time she was hired on permanently in the Philadelphia office as she was quite good in the Trade Compliance Specialist role.

What would you say to job seekers who think you can’t get a good job through a staffing company?

You would be foolish not to consider all of your options. I have temped before and have been exposed to a lot of good situations. I got a preview of what I was in store for. Temporary jobs give you a lot of exposure to different computer applications and methods of thinking. You get to learn about the company. As much as they are interviewing you, you are interviewing them.

When you take a permanent job and just accept an offer letter, you just don’t know what you are walking into. When I took this job, I knew exactly what I was walking into. I knew the advantages and challenges. And I love it here! Nice people, interesting work, and good benefits.”

Catherine’s success is a product of her diligence, openness to new opportunities, and just a bit of luck.  We celebrate her accomplishments and look forward to hearing about her future successes. While Catherine’s story is unique, it is by no means the only story of success from Emerson Personnel Group. Register today and we just might be able to help you create YOUR success story.

Posted by Bonnie Jeffers

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