What can you do to accelerate your supply chain career advancement with your current employer? In planning your supply chain career, earning a job promotion is a surefire way to reach your goals sooner as opposed to jumping ship every two to three years to chase greener pastures.

However, a supply chain job promotion doesn’t always come along every year. You’ll have to put in the proper amount of effort and work on increasing your leadership skills in order to increase your odds of getting promoted.

Here are 6 tactics that can help with landing more supply chain job promotions:

1. Go Above and Beyond What is Required

If you want to be a top performer within your supply chain organization, you can’t stop at fulfilling the basic job duties, goals, and objectives assigned by your manager. You have to give it 110% every day. When your boss needs a volunteer to work on a difficult project or help with a task, aim to be the first person to raise your hand and volunteer.

Work hard and deliver more than you are asked. You’ll earn the respect from your peers and superiors, and your name will be at or towards the top of mind when an opportunity for a promotion comes along.

2. Make Your Boss Shine

When it comes to internal promotions, your direct supervisor often times holds the keys to opening the door of opportunity. Below are a few tips to building a solid relationship with your boss:

  • Schedule time to speak with your manager about what you need to do to reach the next level. What are the key objectives and KPIs that you are expected to meet or exceed? Do you have any performance gaps that need to be addressed and closed? Work to go above and beyond.
  • Maintain a positive attitude, even in unfortunate work situations, as this makes a huge difference. You may not always get along with your superiors, but making the best of the situation while continuing to deliver strong results will lead to getting recognized.
  • Schedule a few review meetings with your manager throughout the year, instead of waiting for a formal annual review, so you can review progress against goals and objectives to ensure you’re on track. Taking this initiative shows that you’re committed to the company and serious about growing your career.
  • If you do get overwhelmed with a task or situation, alert your supervisor as soon as possible. This makes it easier for you both to collaborate in order to handle the situation so it will not fester or become worse.

3. Work Towards Continuing Your Education and Skill Set

You can help set yourself apart by keeping up with the latest technologies and expanding your education, whether it be earning an advanced degree or professional certifications such as an APICS CSCP or Six Sigma Black Belt. Conduct proper research to find the best options that align with your career goals and don’t forget to perform a cost/benefit analysis to ensure that the investment of your time and money are worth the potential impact to your career.

Even if the skills aren’t directly transferable to the work you are currently performing, demonstrating your passion for the supply chain discipline while bettering yourself won’t go unnoticed. There are several ways to make this happen:

  • Seek out new abilities and knowledge, and don’t limit yourself to online classes. Don’t forget the value of community college, books, videos and blogs.
  • Polish your computer skills especially with data analytics and business intelligence tools such as Tableau.
  • If you’re considering an MS, MBA, or even PhD, check with your employer to see if they offer tuition reimbursement. This can be an amazing opportunity to obtain an advanced degree at a steep discount.

4. Keep Track of Your Work Accomplishments

When the time comes for a review with your superiors, it helps to come prepared with a list of your accomplishments from the past year. Highlight the value you have delivered to the company, and quantify your achievements whenever possible, including percentage points you improved against KPIs, cost reduction savings, etc.

Be sure to save emails or positive reviews you have received from customers, clients, or executives, and don’t be shy about showing them off during your annual review.  Schedule time on your calendar each quarter, or better each month/week to go back through what you have accomplished so you aren’t scrambling to put this together right before your review.

5. Don’t Do It Alone- Engage a Mentor

A fantastic way to help accelerate your career is through engaging a mentor, either internally at your organization or outside your company. See if your employer offers a mentor program, or leverage your network to find candidates who are where you want to be in 5-10 years. Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone who may be in a different functional area or industry, especially if in the long run you can see yourself transitioning to another aspect of the supply chain discipline.  

Learning from someone established in your current or desired career field can help you understand what it takes to get to the next level, as they can provide advice, support and even connect you with the right people to help you accelerate your career. Remember to always be professional, prepared and proactive in any mentor/mentee meetings and calls.

6. Network Internally 

It takes more than just connecting with your boss to work towards a promotion, especially if you work for a large company with many different divisions. Putting yourself out there and talking with colleagues, attending company outings, and taking peers out for coffee or lunch can help not only improve your personal skills but can help become more marketable to other areas within your company.

In closing, these are proven tactics for opening more doors of opportunity within your current employer and earning a supply chain job promotion. However, if you’ve put in all the effort and your employer isn’t recognizing and rewarding your hard work and performance, consider putting a supply chain career plan in place that could involve putting together a job search strategy for seeking opportunities internally within another department or externally with another employer.

If you’re interested in a guide on how to advance to a supply chain leader, grab it below!