Your career needs attention all the time. However, there are times when you need to pay a greater attention to your career. The important thing is that you realize your career needs attention and you take the right set of actions to overcome this situation. There are people who don’t even realize this and they end up being one of those who don’t really matter.
So, how would you know whether you are in situation like that or not? Like every problem, your career also gives some timely signals before it reaches a point of stagnation. Wouldn’t it be great if you could pick those signals and take some timely actions?
There are some generic signs that apply to career in any field like lack of motivation for work, monotony at work, no increase in pay and so on. These are important warning signals and you need to constantly look for them.
However, there are some specific stronger signals related to supply chain jobs which indicate that your career needs more attention. So, let’s discuss the 4 specific signs which indicate that you are stuck in your supply chain career and the actions you would ideally take to bring your career back on the right track.
You must have learnt SCM stuff in college and maybe you built some specific SCM skills as well. However, you don’t get to use any of that knowledge or skill in your job. Moreover, your job can be performed by someone even without any knowledge and skills related to SCM. This is a strong signal that you are stuck in your job and you need to start thinking about finding a better role.
You work in a particular role and you work very hard. However, you have no idea of how your work affects the larger picture. If you don’t really understand how your work is important to the larger goals of the supply chain, it’s time for you to rethink what you are doing. It can happen either because you never really gave a thought about it or because your work has nothing to do with supply chain management.
SCM is a very dynamic area, SCM keeps evolving all the time. The way supply chains were managed a decade back is very different from how it is managed today. So, if you haven’t learnt anything new in your job for say past 2-3 years, you simply are being left behind. You need to evaluate whether you are keeping pace with the changing nature of SCM or not. Otherwise you might suddenly find that your current skills are no longer in line with the industry needs and you might find it difficult to survive.
Consider a situation where you were managing demand planning for one particular product 5 years back and you are still doing the same. This means your responsibility has not increased over time. This may or may not directly tie up with your pay or title but it’s much more important than that. Your true growth in any organization is defined by the responsibilities you handle and this is the strongest indication that you are stuck in your career.
Now, everyone comes to a stage in their careers when they are stuck. However, the important thing is how soon do you realize this and turn things around. You must look for these specific signs while working in your day to day job and as soon you find one, you need to plan to turn things around.
Generally speaking, the problem is either with you, your role or your employer. You need to identify where exactly the problem is. Here is how you can do that:
One of the possible reasons that you get stuck in your career is that you don’t have the right set of skills to start with and moreover you haven’t been paying attention to upgrading your skills. This is generally the case when your colleagues are enjoying their work and are outperforming you. The way out in this case is to becoming more proactive and exploring opportunities, both within and outside your organization to build right skills.
Another possible is reason is that your role is simply speaking a dead-end job. Your role doesn’t give you any new challenges or opportunities to learn and grow. This generally happens with low-end roles where the job doesn’t require any specific skills. In this case, you need to talk to your seniors and your manager and you should start exploring new opportunities within the organization. In case you don’t see yourself getting a different role within your current organization, you need to start exploring opportunities outside your organization.
The third and the last reason is that your employer doesn’t value its employees. You might possess the most premium skill in the industry and your current role might be a challenging one as well. However, it’s impossible to have a great career unless you have an employer who values talent. If this is the case, you need to plan carefully. You should be careful while talking to your managers and colleagues about this. You should start by talking to your friends in the industry or a mentor to plan the way ahead.
You might be facing these challenges in your career currently or you might face them in the future. This is inevitable and happens to everyone at some point. What really makes the difference is “ACTION”! Someone has rightly said “Action Changes Things”.
You would also like to read The Ultimate Guide to a Supply Chain Analyst Career Path
Baidhurya is a supply chain analytics trainer and the author of a supply chain bestseller on Udemy. Before starting out as a trainer, Baidhurya worked in the industry as a supply chain consultant where he executed multiple high value network and inventory projects for clients which include top 5 retailers in the world.