What stone have I left unturned in this job search?
April 10, 2016 12:11 PM   Subscribe

Searching for a new job in logistics/supply chain/transportation/management. I am currently employed with a transportation carrier and I manage a small team of 5. I have been searching in the industry for about a year but no major bites yet. I feel that there is a tipping point or path I have yet to find, any ideas?

I should mention at the outset this search is complicated by the fact that we are relocating, this is a long-distance job search. Oh boy.

A little quick background: I am employed in a pretty good position; I find it challenging daily and I have been promoted quickly a couple of times in this company. Two problems: I am not making enough money (I am the sole earner for a family of three and this company is not known for generous salaries) and we are not living where we want to live.

After a couple of false career starts I find myself in the transportation industry and liking it (although I am absolutely open to jobs outside of this industry). I do not have any degree in supply chain, logistics, etc. (Master's in English).

I have been applying for jobs for a year and have traveled to the target area for some informational interviews/interviews for jobs that were not quite what I needed money wise. I feel like I am no closer to the prize than when I started.

What am I missing? I am smart, I present well in person, I have proven myself in my current position, I can manage people (although I would rather not if given the choice. But I don't let that show). What can I do next to supercharge my quest for an ample paycheck?

I cannot go for another degree, I have student loans already that I can barely keep up on.

Maybe some sort of professional certification? Some corporate roles that I would fit in that I have yet to explore?

I know this is a bit jumbled, please let me know if anything comes to mind. Thanks!
posted by bobbyno to Work & Money (6 answers total)
Have you looked at government jobs? I know the US Army/Navy/AF/etc Reserves have supply chain management positions, but you usually have to join the reserves. There's also civvie jobs at the DoD, Homeland Security (FEMA and the like), and Department of Veteran's Affairs/Health Administration. It's just a thought. I only know this type of work exists because I helped an acquaintance out with his resume and these were the types of positions he wanted specifically due to his experience with logistics and supply in the US military.
posted by xyzzy at 12:41 PM on April 10, 2016

I know the feeling. I had a lot of stops and starts after leaving journalism and now manage a team of 5 in an engineering services company. My suggestion to you is to look for an opportunity to move into business development and use your previous role as a springboard to do outside sales, then transition into higher management with the mix of experience both roles provided. If you look at who goes into BD in your industry, you'll probably find a mix of people but not necessarily those with industry experience. Depending on demand/hours, you could probably get a BD role part time in your own company to supplement your own earnings. But I recommend that you start having meetings with company owners at other fleet operators to see what the market is really like. It's a worthwhile way to break through the glass ceiling that exists at these firms as many are basically family businesses.
posted by parmanparman at 4:20 PM on April 10, 2016

You probably already know this, but just about every food company you've ever heard of has fleets of delivery trucks. I worked at PepsiCo in the 80s and had contact with the fleet operations of PepsiCola, FritoLay, Pizza Hut & Taco Bell. There are also consulting companies everywhere. Multiply by the number of nationwide brands.

Where are you moving to?
posted by SemiSalt at 5:15 PM on April 10, 2016

Thanks so far guys, keep them coming.!

SemiSalt: the Albany, NY region.
posted by bobbyno at 6:23 PM on April 10, 2016

I don't have any first-hand knowledge of the Albany economy, but it must be a transportation hub, at least in a small way. It's the crossroad of NYC to Montreal in the N/S direction and Buffalo to New England in the E/W direction. The Hudson River Valley is beautiful, and Albany is really close to great recreation (if you are into forests, hiking, boating, etc).

It's also on the periphery of a bigger systems. IIRC, Coca Cola of NY mostly bottles in Westchester County and on Long Island, and delivers by semi-trailer to warehouses. I think they go as far Albany, though its been 25 years since I worked on this. Local deliveries are (or were) made from the warehouse by independent owner/drivers.

The river is not used for freight in a big way, though probably petroleum goes by self-propelled barge (as it does to Connecticut where I live.)

Back when I left Pepsi, I found consulting companies were pretty open to anyone willing to devote themselves to the heartless task of "business development", i.e. scaring up some new business. Analytical types (like me) mostly hate doing that. I would see what I could find via INFORMS. This is largely an academic or semi-academic crowd that might want help on practical matters. For that matter, look at the SUNY-Albany catalog to see what they offer in applied math, and if there is a faculty member there who could help with networking.
posted by SemiSalt at 12:16 PM on April 11, 2016

Bobbyno -- I sent you a PM. I'm local with supply chain connection. More detail in PM.
posted by countrymod at 7:11 PM on April 11, 2016

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