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A career in logistics is probably one of the most satisfying and rewarding careers for those who like to find solutions to large, complex puzzles. And that is really the best way to think about logistics; a large puzzle. There are so many moving pieces all spread out across different sectors of the industry as the term "logistics" covers a wide array of jobs that keep the supply chain moving.
This industry plays a pivotal role in how well our economy as a whole performs and will continue to function. Without products making their way from raw material to manufacturer and all the way down to retail store shelves and customer's homes, we would be hard-pressed to keep the economy from crashing.
Thankfully, as we have learned in the past few years, the logistics industry is actually well-equipped to survive some sizeable ebbs and flows. Even as the pandemic struck, ports became congested and we faced resiliency tests the likes of which the global supply chain has never seen, the industry is looking to bounce back stronger than ever before. It is for this reason among others that the logistics industry is critically needing to fill positions and get new workers into the field.
In this blog, we are sharing some of our most helpful tips to get your career in logistics headed in the right direction.
Set yourself up for success
First, begin by doing your research. Decide what area of the logistics career landscape that you’d be a great fit for. The logistics broker and logistics coordinator are two of the most popular roles. While others may even swing to the other side of the field and feel more excited about a role as supply chain coordinator, supply chain manager, distribution or warehouse manager, or even as a traffic operator.
It’s okay (and important) to ask questions in order to truly understand the daily demands of each role. Once you’ve dialed in on where you have the best opportunity to serve and grow, you can begin to research the initial steps you are going to need to get there.
These questions, among others, are good places to start when outlining a logistics career roadmap of sorts for yourself.
Do the prep work
You don’t necessarily need a specific background in logistics to get hired, so don’t stress too much if you’re already out of college, but still looking to change industries.
However, if you’re the planning type and know what your end goal is, there are steps you can take to ensure placement… like having the right degree as previously mentioned. Traditionally, you’re just fine joining the workforce with some type of Business Studies degree. But you may be looking to really hone in when it comes to your knowledge base. If this is the case, there are degrees available in Logistics Management, Supply Chain Management, Systems Engineering, and more.
A specialized degree usually means a more specialized role. A more specialized role usually equates to better compensation.
Highlight your professionalism
Logistics can be fun, but just like any job, it can also provide its fair share of high-pressure.
But it’s important to hold yourself to a high standard of professionalism throughout each twist and turn of your day. By knowing the workplace culture, you’ll be able to communicate well and build positive rapports and relationships with others in the field.
Since the logistics landscape is one that is built on innovation and problem-solving, it’s also important to assert yourself in a way that is open, creative, and responsive. Businesses want to hire those who are proactive, especially because logistics is constantly evolving and the industry needs workers who can provide creative solutions to equally creative hurdles.
Go into it knowing that it’s a level playing field
While there are many different positions available that cater to a wide range of experience levels, remember that if you’re joining a company as a new broker or logistics coordinator, you set the pace. This side of the industry is built on self-starters who are motivated by success and it’s up to you to define what that success looks like.
Success is attainable and it isn’t necessarily dictated by your education, tenure, or network, although those things are indeed important.
Make growth a priority
In addition to conducting yourself as an expert in the field with high standards when it comes to professionalism, it’s incredibly important to go into a job like this with a mentality of growth. In the beginning, you’ll feel like you’re drinking from a fire hose. There is so much new information to learn, understand, and retain. Your frame of reference is continually shifting in this period of time.
But as you inevitably grow more comfortable with the ins and outs of the job, you want to make sure to keep a finger on the pulse of growth in order to stave off stagnation. You never want to become complacent or stagnant in the logistics field. Dedicate yourself to leadership endeavors as they present themselves and treat learning as continuing education.
There may not be a requirement to constantly be learning or pushing for a better position or better compensation for your skills, but it will do nothing but benefit you in the long run.
When it comes to taking your first steps into this exciting and economically important field, it can be a bit intimidating. There is a lot to do, see, and learn. But fear not, because the trade-off here is that you are getting a career with huge job security and various positions for you to explore.
If you are ready to dive into the growing world of logistics, we’d love to have you aboard and show you the ropes. Redwood Logistics is currently hiring for numerous supply chain positions in various locations. To learn more about the positions we currently have available, visit this link.