You want a career that matters, right? You want to make a difference in the world, to be part of something big. You want training and education. You’re a team player and tech-savvy.
Guess what could be the perfect match? Logistics.
It might not sound sexy, but logistics is critical to our everyday activities. Logisticians manage the distribution of goods on a local, national and global scale, linking you, the consumer, with items such as food and water, clothing and healthcare.
Here are eight reasons why you should consider working in logistics:
1. Control your own destiny
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says employment in logistics is expected to grow 26 percent from 2010 to 2020—that’s faster than average for any profession. And as the industry continues to grow, so does the opportunity to either advance or move laterally.
Under the logistics umbrella, you have customer service, transportation, operations, purchasing, warehousing, materials handling, strategy, inventory control and forecasting. There’s a lot of opportunity—seize it!
2. Do something different every day
You’ll work with companies of all sizes, from Fortune 100 companies to startups, in many industries, including food and beverage, consumer goods, industrial goods, pharmaceuticals and healthcare, retail and government.
One day you’ll work on moving a giant piece of machinery across the country; the next, you’ll work on shipping first aid supplies to a city’s residents in the wake of a natural disaster. Time flies when you’re invested.
3. Use your bilingual or multilingual skills
Whether you hail from a foreign country, took a foreign language class in college, or want to learn a new language, working in logistics poses a great opportunity for you to return to your roots or strengthen your skills. It’s not uncommon to find yourself communicating with foreign-language-speaking drivers or customs agents or needing to know trade regulations.
Logisticians should understand how business operates in different countries and cultures and how to communicate with all sorts of people.
4. Gain experience in international business
Want the chance to explore overseas positions? The logistics industry continues to expand in this increasingly global economy, as do the opportunities to work or relocate abroad; most logistics companies have relationships with both domestic and international companies. You can further strengthen those foreign language skills, making yourself an even greater asset to the company.
5. Find opportunities for any education level
Logistics is no longer a specialty at your university’s business school; you can now earn an undergraduate or graduate degree in logistics or supply chain. If your degree is in history or communications or dance, or if you didn’t go to college at all, you should still apply.
If you possess the soft skills—those personal qualities that affect your workplace relationships—companies will want to hire you. They’ll show you the ropes through a variety of career development programs and sales and operations training that will guarantee your success.
6. Develop rewarding relationships
Logistics can be demanding, yet it offers a rewarding work environment that highlights both teamwork and community. And because more and more logistics providers are offering job training and career development, you’ll likely have a mentor, which 75 percent of GenY say is crucial to their success.
7. Nurse your entrepreneurial habits
Entrepreneurship is about innovation, and this couldn’t be any truer as companies work to revamp the old-time logistics industry with innovations in technology, transportation and sustainability.
To be an innovator requires patience, charisma, resources, time and courage. Most importantly, knowing how to listen to the customer will immediately put you on the path to success.
8. Enjoy the stability
The logistics industry has a huge impact on the domestic and global economy, and it greatly affects our quality of life. The United States logistics and transportation industry cost nearly $1.3 trillion in 2011. It’s sustainable, rewarding, exciting and growing fast.
New technological advances such as mobile apps, clean diesel technology and reshoring make for an innovative future in logistics. And employers are hiring. Logistics is here to stay.
Amy Frye is the internal marketing coordinator at Coyote Logistics, one of the fastest-growing third-party logistics companies in North America and a three-time Chicago Tribune Top Workplace. She was born in 1987 and graduated from Indiana University in 2009—with a degree in journalism, not logistics—and she loves what she does.