Not so many years ago, many logistics floor managers broke into management by simply working hard, showing their mettle, and displaying their leadership skills. These days, that’s not so typically the case. As technology and logistics strategies have evolved, companies are looking for specific skill sets in the field and formal training in management. Though some companies still offer mentoring programs or management training, a person from outside of the company with a degree in management or logistics often wins out over a dedicated employee who already knows the ins and outs of the company. Despite this trend being reversed in other industries, it seems more and more logistics companies are requiring a college education, or at the very least, strongly preferring a college educated candidate.
There are several things employees looking to move up to management in logistics can do to increase their odds. First off, look into whether your company absolutely requires a degree. If they do, you obviously either need to get a degree or start searching for a new company. If you’re going to follow your dreams, determining whether they’re feasible in your current company comes first.
Assuming you’ve found that you can be promoted, make sure that the people you work under know that you are seeking a promotion. You’ll waste an awful lot of time and energy attempting to impress them with your leadership skills and work ethic if they’re unaware of the fact that you’d like to move up in the company. Once they understand your goal, they’ll be keeping an eye on you.
You can subtley let them know you’re interested by displaying your dedication and ambition. Start by asking if they or the company recommend any particular resources for developing managerial skills, or if they have any programs dedicated to helping employees grow their skillsets. Take part in any such programs offered and absolutely take them seriously. Most companies aren’t looking to promote a candidate who has shown a lackluster effort at improving themselves for the role.
Simultaneously, you’ve got to show your employer what you’re made of. Make sure you’re giving 100% every day and work to assimilate to the company culture. Take on extra responsibilities when you get the chance, such as joining a safety team or getting certified to train new hires. In these roles, you’re better able to display your leadership skills, not to mention you’ll be racking up accolades for your eventual resume.
Find community activities that you can take part in or seek out volunteer projects. Companies typically love to see that you’re active in your community and that you’re a considerate person. These things make the company look good, and many management jobs even require some level of volunteerism.
You can also take part in free higher educational courses, like the free courseware in supply chain management offered by MIT. Though you must pay for these courses in order to earn a formal degree, there is plenty of reason to take part in the free versions. It’s likely that your employer will be impressed at your desire to learn about the industry and also your dedication.
Take these tips or leave them as they apply in your particular situation, but know that there are plenty of actions you can take in order to help yourself stand out amongst the other managerial candidates, even without a formal degree.