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Moving Up in a Warehouse/Distribution Center Environment

There’s something we want to remind you of if you work in a warehouse/distribution environment.

This business segment, which also includes supply chain/e-commerce enterprises, has shown how absolutely critical it is to the United States’ economy these past few months. This means that no matter what you do as you work for a business within this sector, your work definitely helps the economy hum.

You should be proud of that!

So given that this sector is essential to the health of the U.S. economy, why not consider making a career out of it? After all, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that this business segment will need to fill about 1.5 million jobs through 2022. Coupled with the fact that the BLS also reports that demand for supply chain/e-commerce talent outpaces supply by six to one, you can easily see that jobs in this sector will be relatively easy to come by for at least the near future, if not beyond.

Moving up the career ladder in this sector

Don’t worry: even if you don’t want to move into management, you can still make a terrific, successful career out of working in this industry.

And if you do (want to move into a managerial role)? The sky’s practically the limit!

While a college degree may be needed for management, you may find that your employer will help pay for at least part of it.

To move up relatively quickly without a degree, you could earn various certifications: most only require just a few years of experience before you can enroll.

Some higher-level positions to consider

  • Line Supervisor/Production Supervisor
  • Forklift Operator
  • Foreman
  • Team Manager
  • Customer Service Agent
  • Delivery Driver
  • Driver Scheduler
  • Logistics Coordinator
  • Shift Leader
  • Inventory Control Manager (These often require college degrees, but if you show a great work ethic in your current position, your company may be willing to help you either by making you an assistant or assisting you with educational costs.)
  • Warehouse Manager/Supervisor (These often don’t require degrees, but some education – such as certificates – may be needed. You will need several years of experience in the warehouse before being tasked with managing it.)
  • And more

General “climbing the career ladder” tips.

  • You may ask for a promotion, but do you deserve it? Have you gone above and beyond in your job duties, always on the lookout for problems to solve or goals to reach? How have you made your manager’s job easier? If you know you have, can you articulate clearly how you did so?
  • Take some (calculated) risks. If you’re thinking of trying something new (such as asking for a raise or promotion) but are nervous, ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” No matter what that may be, the chances of it happening are slim. And if “part” of it happens, think about it beforehand and plan on what you’ll do if that comes to pass. Never worry: you’ll figure it out.
  • Be patient. If you ask for a promotion and you’re turned down, ask why and then listen to your manager’s answer. Remember, you can “fix” what you need to and ask again when you’re truly ready.
  • Yet hustle while you wait. Do you need more education? Research how you can get it. Do you need more skills? Ditto. Do you need to move to a new employer to get ahead? Then start researching new companies and apply for jobs.
  • Look for mentors and role models. Don’t be shy about asking them how they got to where they are, and ask if you can continue to come to them for advice…
  • If they say, “I really should introduce you to “so and so,” say “Thank you! I know you’re extremely busy. Would it be ok if you gave me their contact info and I reached out to them, mentioning your name?” And then contact the person they suggest.
  • Always be prepared: Update your resume every three or so months, adding concrete accomplishments: “I increased forklift loading/offloading time by X percent over the last 12 months,”

Remember, opportunity tends to find us when we look for it.

And, speaking of looking, have you checked out our job opportunities lately? If so, apply to those which appeal to you.

You also should register with us. Our clients constantly send us new assignments and openings, and if you’ve registered with us, we can contact you ASAP when something up your alley pops up.