Success in a light industrial career takes the same attributes/requires the same steps as pretty much any career: enjoyment of the work, dedication, a willingness to do “whatever it takes” to get a task done, a desire for continuous learning, and a commitment to always look for ways to improve. Light industrial work can – and does – lead to terrific careers! Here’s how.
First, what employers look for in light industrial job candidates
- Time management/good work ethic
Understand how important it is to arrive at work on time. Warehouse, distribution and manufacturing companies run on extremely tight deadlines. If you’re late, you can “hold up the line,” or at least slow it down, causing missed deadlines.
Companies that hire warehouse, fulfillment and light manufacturing talent want self-directed candidates with a good work ethic. In other words, they don’t take much supervision once they’ve been trained. Therefore, knowing how long a task takes and pacing yourself accordingly will help you stand out in employers’ eyes.
- Being a team player
Whether you work alone on a line fulfilling items, drive a forklift or sort/assemble parts, you understand your efforts affect everyone else’s efforts. No line is faster than its slowest team member, after all.
We’ve found that the folks we place on assignment who prove they’re genuine team members are often the ones hired on to our clients’ payrolls first.
- Good decision making/critical thinking skills
Knowing how to solve problems while quickly weighing the various information coming your way may appear to be “just” a soft skill, but it’s anything but. Making good decisions in times of stress has a positive impact on your employer’s business.
Worried you don’t have those skills yet? Don’t. Critical thinking/decision-making skills can’t come when you’re just starting in light industrial work. You don’t have experience in it yet, and you can’t know what you don’t yet know. But they will come with time, especially if you pay attention to the problems you see pop up and how other, more experienced co-workers solve them.
How light industrial work can lead to a great career
Most light industrial positions are considered entry-level. That doesn’t mean your career will remain such. With experience, many light industrial team members can grow their management skills and move into leadership positions (even without a college degree).
If you’re more technically inclined, another chance for making a career in the industry is via manufacturing light industrial work.
The entry-level jobs in this sector include (but aren’t limited to):
- Clean room operator
- Production operations
- Machine assembly
- Electronic assembly
- Manufacturing product assembly
- Maintenance techs
How to turn YOUR light industrial work into a great career
Continuous learning is key. The good news is you can start while in your current position. After working for a while and proving yourself, ask your manager if you could tackle a slightly higher position (you’ll need training for it, of course).
You can also ask for extra duties or take certification courses (your employer may help you with cost).
After you’ve proven yourself as a dedicated hard worker, tell your manager you’re interested in making your role a career and are willing to do what it takes to move up.
What’s great about this? Good managers love it when their team members are confident and take the initiative towards advancement.
Bottom line? Don’t be shy. Work hard to be the best you can be at your current position, ask for more training and responsibilities and continue to do so throughout your career.
Ready to begin a light industrial career? Or even take it to the next level?
Check out Hire Dynamics’ current opportunities. It doesn’t matter whether you’re just starting or are ready to move up. We have an opportunity for you!