8 Logistics Job Transferable Skills to Advance Your Career
As businesses worldwide continue to grow, new opportunities for supply chain management and logistics have opened up in different locations, communities, and enterprises. That has ultimately led to an increase in the number of supply chain careers as well.
Are you reluctant to branch out because you worry you might not have the suitable skill set? For example, can you apply the skills from healthcare logistics to travel or retail? Yes, you can!
Transferable skills are universal by nature, which means they can contribute to your success in any career path. Likewise, you can leverage them for career progression as well.
In this article, you’ll learn about transferable skills you can acquire from a logistics job and why these transferable skills are so critical.
Why do transferable skills matter?
The employment landscape is quite different from how it used to be. Employers don’t just look at your work experience or education anymore. Instead, they also want to see several transferable skills on your resume.
Transferable skills are skills that you learn at one job that can help you succeed in another. Because transferable skills are applicable in different industries, they’re usually soft skills, which relate to character traits or how you work with others.
Employers want the workforce to possess soft skills, including collaboration, teamwork, problem-solving, and flexibility. These types of skills help show them that you’re a well-rounded employee who can work effectively in the workplace.
Suppose you work as a waiter at a successful restaurant. All of your coworkers have worked in the foodservice industry for many years, and you all understand the technical aspects of your job really well, such as how the menu works and the restaurant seating chart.
But what happens if no one has conflict-management skills? How do you work together if everyone lacks teamwork and communication skills? Employers value transferable skills because they allow their workers to perform well individually and as a team.
Transferable skills also matter for employees or job seekers because of their universality. You can take the same skills to different jobs or career paths and excel equally.
For example, if you developed good customer service skills as a call center worker, that’s a skill you could then apply to a job in retail. Or, if you hone your leadership and communication skills, you might get a management position in your current workspace.
More importantly, you can get high-paying jobs without college degrees if you know how to present your transferable skills in a resume and use them in a workplace setting. Unfortunately, a LiveCareer survey showed that 57% of respondents could not confidently point out their transferable skills.
It could mainly be due to employees’ lack of familiarity with the transferable skills they’ve acquired in their current jobs. That’s why it’s essential to read a guide like this one to learn about the soft skills you’ve picked up in your career.
How to navigate or advance your career with transferable skills
As mentioned above, more than half of the national workforce doesn’t feel confident about their transferable skills. So then, how can you use them to advance your career? First, you must highlight them on your resume.
Suppose the recruiters have specifically mentioned they’re looking for someone who can “lead a team” or “manage projects.” Keep these keywords in mind when you’re submitting your resume.
When you’re listing your ‘’Related Skills’’ on the resume, ensure that they match the job you’re applying for. For example, you can put leadership and project management as your soft skills on the resume.
Complement these skills by putting down relevant examples in the “Past Experience’’ section of your resume. For example, if you say that you have good leadership skills, you can state that you “managed a team of seven employees who generated $100,000 in sales, 20% higher than the expected sales revenue.”
Here’s an example of a resume where you can see this in action. The applicant has listed “customer service” under the Professional Skills section.
But they’re not simply expecting the recruiter to take their word for it. The Profile section also mentions that they generated an “83% increase in customer satisfaction,” a testament to their good customer service skills.
Once you've mastered presenting your transferable skills on a resume, it's time to use them to find new jobs or advance your existing career. For instance, if we use the same example given above, we can see that the applicant has previously worked as a retail manager and assistant store manager.
They could make a career shift to healthcare customer support since they possess three critical skills needed: customer service, communication, and attention to detail.
Since healthcare customer support requires keen attention to detail (providing the correct medical records and streamlining healthcare data) and effective communication with patients, the applicant could do well in a healthcare setting.
You can do the same with your transferable skills. Start by displaying them well on your resume. Then, use them as your strong points to step into a new career or ask for a promotion in your current job.
Who is a good fit for supply chain management careers?
To do their jobs efficiently, workers in the logistics or supply chain management industry must possess specific skills, such as project management, technical understanding, problem-solving, and business ethics. Besides technical skills, it's also essential to have strong observational skills.
As a logistics manager, you may have to track sales trends, weaknesses in processes, demand levels, and project inefficiencies. Likewise, supply chain workers should also have good communication and data analytics skills.
Does that sound like you? Then a logistics job may be a good career choice for you. Let’s take a look at some of the skills you could learn in such a position.
Top logistics job transferable skills
Transferable skills help you advance in your career or transition to a new career path with existing skills. Here are eight transferable skills you can acquire from a logistics job.
Adaptability refers to the ability to change (or be changed) to fit the required conditions.
In business, adaptability is often associated with a business's ability to anticipate market changes and modify its products, services, or processes accordingly.
For individuals, it means aligning their skills with what is required of them. Adaptability is a skill that can be instrumental in every career because almost all jobs include unprecedented situations, problems, and unique circumstances.
Let's use an example to explain this. Most supply chain workers learn adaptability as a soft skill since they often have to adjust their work based on how many orders they’re trying to process at any given time.
The same skill is also applicable in the hospitality industry. For instance, if you choose to make the career shift to being a concierge, you can use adaptability to efficiently cater to every guest's request.
2. Proficiency in project management
Project management is one of those universal skills that will assist you in almost every career. As a supply chain manager, your responsibilities include managing all steps of the production flow, ensuring optimal team performance, and organizing transport routes.
The project management skills you acquire as a supply chain manager will teach you how to be a good leader, allocate resources, track progress toward goals, and balance priorities. In addition, you can use the same transferable skills to land jobs in other industries, such as construction, energy, government, healthcare, and finance.
3. Data analysis
In the logistics industry, data analysis includes examining transportation data to make better decisions about route planning, fleet management, and warehouse operations. Data analytics can also be used to optimize pricing strategies and improve customer service. The goal of data analysis is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of logistics operations.
Today, almost all industries work with large amounts of data, and every worker has to deal with some data in their capacity. So, let’s say you want a career change based on your data analytics skills.
You can apply the same skills in your job to go into marketing. Similarly, if you want to advance in your supply chain career, you can land a job as a logistics analyst or logistics manager.
4. Conflict management
Workplace conflict management and resolution cost companies around $37 billion every year. Thus, it’s understandable why employers look for people who have conflict management skills since they can help save time and money.
A career in the supply chain industry teaches you conflict management since you have to tackle conflicts that can come up, such as employees disagreeing on how to complete a certain task. You’ll learn how to resolve conflict through approaches like compromising and collaborating.
People with conflict management skills are generally better active listeners and tend to be good at problem-solving. You can advance to a leadership position by honing this transferable skill.
Alternatively, you can highlight it as a strength on your resume and find jobs in other sectors. Any industry where you’re working with others, whether that be customers or teammates, will likely have conflict at some point.
Teamwork is essential in almost every career, regardless of your industry. It allows you to rely on others, collaborate with team members, and complete tasks efficiently.
Teamwork is essential to meeting deadlines, completing projects, and achieving goals in the workplace. It's also crucial for building relationships and developing a sense of camaraderie among employees.
When you’re working somewhere on a supply chain, you’ll have to collaborate with your coworkers on every supply chain step. You can apply the same skill to any other industry.
Suppose you want to find a job in the media or entertainment industry. Teamwork will help you collaborate with marketers, writers, managers, and PR professionals.
Teamwork also holds the same importance for professionals who work from home.
For example, if you work as a remote editor for an online writing agency, you need to collaborate with proofreaders and editors. Likewise, you can use your teamwork skills to land a job in the foodservice industry, as you’ll have to work as part of a larger team.
Logistics industries rely on technology to streamline supply chain operations. Some common technologies used in the supply chain are cloud computing, big data, and artificial intelligence. According to Statista, many of these skills are predicted to grow the fastest in demand.
Supply chain workers can also use transferable skills in different fields. For instance, artificial intelligence is now used mainly in finance, advertising, transportation, and healthcare.
The World Economic Forum's 2020 Job Report shows that technology as a skill is mandatory for new emerging jobs. Even if you don't want to transition to a new career, you can improve your technical skills to get higher-paying supply chain jobs, such as distribution manager or transport manager.
7. Customer service
Customer service is a must-have skill in today's competitive business space since it can make or break a company. Employees with excellent customer service skills can have a massive impact on a company's success. Therefore, employers are now looking for such employees.
The customer service skills you acquire from supply chain careers can also be applied to other jobs. For example, you can work in retail, healthcare, call centers, hospitality, and many other industries.
8. Time management
Time management is important in the workplace to help improve productivity and organization. Supply chain professionals have impeccable time management skills since even a loss of a few minutes or hours can cause a large loss of money for your company.
Logistics managers and other supply chain workers can use this transferable skill to transition to time-sensitive careers, such as loss prevention, industrial production, and promotion managers.
These skills can also be applied to WFH positions where procrastination can be detrimental to your work routine. Suppose you want to work in a freelance position. Time management skills you learned from your career in the supply chain will help keep procrastination at bay when you’re working as your own boss.
Land your next job with existing transferable skills
As you can see, most transferable skills are soft skills since they’re essential in every career, regardless of the industry. These types of skills will help you find job opportunities in new markets or make you a great candidate for promotions in your field.
Are you ready to look for a job in logistics or use your transferable logistics skills to get a new position?
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