Moving up in a warehouse can be difficult since entry level jobs are usually in a lot of demand.
This makes the employer not very invested in employees’ career growth as they are seen as replaceable.
Having said that, it is not impossible. Positions such as warehouse manager in many warehouses comes from within the warehouse workforce.
You can use the following tips to improve your odds of getting a promotion.
1. Network at Your Warehouse
Look for opportunities for advancement in your warehouse. Ask your supervisor about the available paths to grow your warehousing career.
Also ask them what path they took to be where they are. A lot of supervisors started as trainers long before they got their current position. Most of them will be willing to help in this regard so don’t be afraid to make it known that you are interested in climbing the ladder.
2. Get Certifications
APICS certifications like CPIM will help you get leadership roles in the supply chain industry.
Your experience combined with these certifications make you a good candidate for higher positions at company headquarters.
This is because they show higher-ups that you are committed to the job and you have an interest in helping the company grow.
3. Apply to a Different Warehouse
If you’ve worked in warehousing for sometime, look into applying for a higher position but at a different warehouse.
You can find out about available positions through networking in industry events or online using websites like LinkedIn and Indeed.
Spruce up your resume to showcase your skills. For example, present yourself as an expert at your current role. Your experience will add weight when a company considers whether to give you a job.
Intermediate roles you can apply for include operations management, quality assurance, auditor, supervisor and scheduler.
4. Work at a Larger Warehouse
Small company warehouses don’t have much room for advancement since they have relatively fewer positions.
There’s more competition for talent between larger companies. There’s also more managerial positions in larger warehouses, which increases your chances of getting promoted.
Another advantage is that you are more likely to get better pay in large companies over small ones.
5. Consider Getting Into Supply Chain Consulting
As a supply chain consultant, you will not actually be working directly under a warehouse company. However, it is a good option to consider since consultants earn a lot more than their industry counterparts.
Top consulting companies with interests in the supply chain industry include Maine Pointe, KPMG, EY and Accenture.
Additionally, you can use your consulting experience to get a higher position in the the supply chain or warehousing industry, should you decide to get back.
To get a job in a supply chain consulting company, you will need a bachelors degree in supply chain management or something similar as well as hands on experience. This is where your experience as a warehouse worker will come in handy.
6. Go Back to School
A good post-secondary education can open doors for getting promotions at a warehouse. It will also increase opportunities when looking for jobs in the supply chain industry. A program like Bachelor of Commerce in Supply Chain Management is a good start.
Consider looking for such courses at local colleges. Some of them are delivered online and you can also do them part-time while you’re still working.