A number of our Supply Chain Leaders Academy eClasses cover the topic of supply chain careers, including the very first eClass, which briefly explains how far you might expect to go over your career lifetime.
I occasionally review our eClasses and in doing so recently, eClass #1 got me thinking about an acquaintance of mine and how he did rather well in his supply chain career path, progressing from the shop floor to a directorship in a global corporation. Furthermore, he did it with no more than a high school education. I thought I might share an overview of his career path in supply chain, as an example of what’s possible.
Lawrence joined the company—where he was to spend the bulk of his career years—at around the age of 20. His first position was “driver’s mate”. After a couple of years in this role, Lawrence passed his heavy-goods-vehicle driving test and was promoted to the position of driver.
Lawrence spent two or three years on the road, before being asked to move into the office as a load and route planner. He accepted the position and spent five years planning the company’s daily deliveries, first in the South East of England and later in the North East.
Into Middle Management
Recognizing Lawrence’s talent, the regional logistics manager for the North of England offered him a position as Transport Manager at the company’s largest United Kingdom distribution centre. This was a middle-management position, in which Lawrence would take responsibility for a team of 50 distribution drivers and driver’s mates, aided by two distribution supervisors.
Next came a role as regional project manager and then Lawrence was offered his first DC management position, running a small regional centre in central England. From there, he eventually moved back to the large northern centre as DC manager.
Finally: The Heady Heights
Later, Lawrence’s success in distribution-centre management earned him a role as Regional Logistics Manager for Northern England. By the time he was in his mid-forties, Lawrence had become the Logistics Director for the United Kingdom division of this multinational corporation.
Who knows? Perhaps Lawrence will see a further career elevation, with only one more step on the ladder possible within his present company—the step up to the CEO’s chair. That’s a phenomenal supply chain career progression for a lad who left the education system at the age of 16 and wanted to drive trucks for a living.
If you have high-flying career plans, don’t feel you need to forego the excitement of a supply chain career path and become a finance guru. You can find a route to the top in supply chain, especially with some good vocational education.
Here’s Some Good Vocational Education
If you’re already a member of our Supply Chain Leaders Academy, you might review eClasses 1, 23, 24 and 98, all of which deal with supply chain career choices to some extent. If you are not yet a member, don’t worry. When you register for the Supply Chain Leaders Academy, you will have access to every eClass in our curriculum, so you too, can investigate career possibilities by scanning through those classes mentioned above. We look forward to having you aboard.