Is a Career in Logistics Right for Me?
Many different sectors and industries - from retail and healthcare to construction and education - rely on logistics. The transport of goods, services and people from one location to another is a vitally important role, and one that society couldn’t function without.
Many careers are hyper-competitive and hopelessly saturated with candidates. Logistics, however, is a land of opportunity. There are a wealth of positions to be filled, career progression is often rapid, and salaries tend to be high.
However, there are some things to consider before pursuing a career in logistics.
Am I analytical?
A large part of logistics involves analysing data to decide on an appropriate course of action.
You need to be able to visualise a supply chain, identifying problems before they arise. Depending on the company you work for, you may also need to be able to coordinate across time zones and currencies.
Am I a natural communicator?
If you want to work in logistics, you’ll need to be a top communicator. Talking to people - both in person and electronically - forms a large part of many logistical roles.
Remember that communication runs both ways - it’s not enough to be a confident presenter. You also need to be a good listener, and be able to pick out and process important and relevant details.
Am I a problem-solver?
Logistics can throw up incredible challenges. How would you move a 1.7 million pound steam turbine engine? Logistics company TxDOT built a mammoth custom rig to transport it - which was 39ft wide, 18ft high, and as long as a football field.
In logistics, you need to be able to come up with viable solutions, no matter how big the problem.
Can I manage people?
Although entry-level positions don’t require this skill, you’ll need to be comfortable with managing others if you want to progress in the field. To be a good manager, you’ll need confidence, communication and leadership skills.
Am I flexible?
There are many career paths within logistics. You’ll need a degree of flexibility if you want to reach the top of the field, as each role has different requirements and responsibilities. You’ll also need to be flexible with your location and working hours, as many logistical roles aren’t 9-5, and are spread out across the globe.
Am I willing to learn?
Many people obtain a degree in logistics before pursuing a career in the field. This isn’t always necessary, and it’s often possible to work your way up the career ladder from a basic entry-level position. However, whether you’ve got a degree or not, you’ll need to keep learning on-the-job if you want to succeed.
Even if your role only brings you into contact with a small section of the supply chain, it’s important to have an understanding of the process as a whole.
Is a career in logistics right for you? If you agreed with all of the points above, the answer could be yes. Do some research, decide which role interests you the most, and consider asking a logistics company for some work experience.
This article was written by Matt Everard of Barrington Freight, a logistics company based in the UK.