How Dedication Can Build a Career

July 19, 2023

"At the time, I really didn't even know what this Caterpillar plant was about. I just knew that I was going to give 110% to this company because they took a chance on me." - Jen C.  

After losing her job at a previous employer, Jen was ready to find her next opportunity. After applying for a variety of roles with companies, she was anxious to accept her offer for a manufacturing role with Caterpillar.  

"I've never had a job that required manual labor, and the first time I stepped onto the shop floor, I remember thinking... "What did I get myself into?" said Jen.  

She started on the assembly line and worked in eight different zones for eight months before quickly earning a promotion to specialty technician – quality inspector. After becoming proficient in all ten quality gates, she moved within the quality department to a zone offense position, responsible for creating and running cost performance index (CPI) projects and root cause corrective action (RCCA) investigations.  

For a short time after, Jen was a first responder, where she would answer calls on the production line for part quality concerns and fit-up issues. After just three years as a specialty technician in quality, she earned a promotion to her first salary position as a quality technician, where she directed the Zone Offense Team, RCCA investigations, CPI projects, conducted CAV Audits, and created and managed Quality Gate checklists. She would also fill in for the shop floor supervisor from time to time.  

"I remember thinking, "I don't ever want to be a supervisor," said Jen. "One day, there was a job opening for Quality Supervisor, and, for some reason, I applied. I didn't get the position, but another Quality Supervisor position came open, and I thought, "I can do it better than anyone else," so I applied. Here I am today, a Quality Supervisor."  

According to Jen, being a quality supervisor has been her favorite role in her journey with Team Caterpillar and one she feels was the right fit all along.  

"I take pride in my work. Everything I do, I give it my all. It's my name at stake. My reputation. Quality just felt like the right direction for me," said Jen. "Ensuring the quality of our machines means the customer does more work with less downtime. I do my best to teach my team to take pride in what they do."  

The most memorable moment of pride, however? Seeing the outcome of a job well done.  

"I remember the first time I saw one of our excavators drive out of the building. I swear there were angels singing in the background, and I was like, Whoa! We did that! We made that happen! I still get that same feeling when I see a Cat® machine out in the field, putting in work," said Jen.  

Are you interested in joining the team? Jen says, "Caterpillar is a great company! You get out what you put in, so work hard. Be patient. Listen when you need to. Anyone can be a Caterpillar employee. Dedication makes it a career."  

Jen in front of machine
Jen on machine