Ever wondered how exactly to advance your career within procurement and get promotions? It is not a topic often talked about, but one that is often sought after. Here are 5 recommended tactics from supply chain recruiters that help with landing more procurement job promotions:
Go Beyond Your Job Requirements
If you want to be a top performer within your procurement department, you cannot stop at fulfilling the basic job duties, goals, and objectives assigned by your manager. When your boss needs a volunteer to work on a difficult project or help with a task that may be outside of your job description, aim to be the first person to raise your hand and volunteer.
Work hard and deliver more than you are asked. You’ll earn the respect from your peers and superiors, and your name will be at or towards the top of mind when an opportunity for a promotion comes along.
Keep Track of Your Accomplishments
When the time comes for a review with your boss, it helps to come prepared with a list of your accomplishments from the past year. Highlight the value you have delivered to the company, and quantify your achievements whenever possible (important in procurement), including percentage points you improved against KPIs, cost reduction savings, supplier costs, etc.
Be sure to save emails or positive reviews you have received from customers, suppliers, or executives, and don’t be shy about showing them off during your annual review. Schedule time on your calendar each quarter, or better each month/week to go back through what you have accomplished so you aren’t scrambling to put this together right before your review.
Make Your Boss Stand Out
When it comes to internal promotions, your direct supervisor is often the key to opening the door of opportunity. Below are a few tips to building a solid relationship with your boss:
- Schedule time to speak with your manager about what you need to do to reach the next level. What are the key objectives and KPIs that you are expected to meet or exceed? Do you have any performance gaps that need to be addressed and closed?
- Schedule regular meetings with your manager throughout the year, instead of waiting for a formal annual review, so you can review progress against goals and objectives to ensure you’re on track. Taking this initiative shows that you’re committed to the company and serious about growing your career.
- If you do get overwhelmed with a task or situation, alert your supervisor as soon as possible. This makes it easier for you both to collaborate in order to handle the situation so it will not fester or become worse.
- Maintain a positive attitude, even in unfortunate work situations, as this makes a huge difference. You may not always get along with your superiors but making the best of the situation while continuing to deliver strong results will lead to getting recognized.
Continue Your Education and Skill Set
You can help set yourself apart by keeping up with the latest technologies and expanding your education, whether it be earning an advanced degree or professional procurement certifications from CIPS, ISM or ASCM (formerly APICS). Conduct proper research to find the best options that align with your career goals and don’t forget to perform a cost/benefit analysis to ensure that the investment of your time and money are worth the potential impact on your career.
Even if the skills aren’t directly transferable to the work you are currently performing, demonstrating your passion for the procurement and supply chain disciplines while bettering yourself won’t go unnoticed. There are several ways to make this happen:
- Seek out new abilities and knowledge, and don’t limit yourself to online classes. Don’t forget the value of community college, books, videos and blogs
- Polish your computer skills especially with data analytics and business intelligence tools such as Tableau
Engage a Procurement Mentor
A fantastic way to help accelerate your procurement career is by engaging a mentor, either internally at your organization or outside your company. See if your employer offers a mentor program or leverage your network to find candidates who are where you want to be in 5-10 years. Remember to always be professional, prepared and proactive in any mentor/mentee meetings and calls.
In closing, these are proven tactics for opening more doors of opportunity within your current employer and earning a job promotion. However, if you’ve put in all the effort and your employer isn’t recognizing and rewarding your hard work and performance, consider putting a new procurement career plan in place that could involve seeking opportunities internally within another division or department, or externally with a new employer.
About the author
Brian Kennedy is the Marketing Manager at SCM Talent Group – Executive Supply Chain Recruiters. He originally joined the SCM Talent Group team as a Marketing Intern during his college career. Afterwards he was brought on as the Marketing Manager where he uses his talents to create and execute a variety of inbound and outbound marketing strategies to ensure alignment with SCM’s rich client base. Previously, Brian worked for two years as a Marketing Intern at a Production Company, and as the Athletics Creative Content Creator at Appalachian State University, while pursuing his degree. Brian brings a wealth of knowledge covering digital marketing strategies and creative content production