Career development in manufacturing: strategies for advancing your career path

Looking to take the next step in your manufacturing career? Now is the time to be proactive, rather than waiting for opportunities to come your way.

Here our top tips for advancing your career path within manufacturing:

Stay motivated in entry-level roles – remember that this is just the first step in your career

Everyone has to start somewhere, regardless of what industry they’re in. The great thing about manufacturing is that at entry level, it’s open to everyone. This makes it easier to get your foot on the ladder. And once you’re in the industry, it’s up to you to make the most of it.

If you can focus on the career path ahead, you’re more likely to stay motivated in lower level roles. Visualise where you want to be in the next few years, and you’ll be able to map out your career path.

And while you’re waiting, explore possibilities within your current job role. Could you take on new responsibilities or acquire new skills, or build relationships that will help you later on?

Get qualified

Aside from experience, the best way to move beyond an entry level role in manufacturing is with a qualification. If you can get a degree, vocational qualification or train in a particular specialism, you’ll give yourself the best chance of moving forward.

Many mid-level roles require a degree in a particular subject, such as chemistry, manufacturing or management skills.

Even if not strictly required for a role, qualifications will expand your knowledge, skill set and experience. This will stand you in good stead for whatever comes next, and make you an attractive prospect for promotion.

Bring new ideas to the table

A great way to get noticed within manufacturing is to share your ideas for improvement. Is there a process or system which could be better, and how could it be improved? Provide your feedback to management, and it might just be acted upon.

If nothing else, this kind of proactive engagement showcases all kinds of skills – from critical thinking to problem solving. You’re actively coming up with solutions to problems, and going beyond your usual tasks.

Be open to a sideways move

Your career path within manufacturing may not necessarily turn out the way you picture it. The next step, and where you eventually end up, could involve a few loops and swerves along the way.

This is why it’s important to be open to all opportunities. You may be imagining a vertical rise, step by step to a senior-level position. But the way to get there could involve a sideways move into a related role. This will also give you a valuable chance to expand and enhance your skill set, gaining insight and experience in different parts of the sector.

However, loyalty is important. If you want to advance within manufacturing, this sector is where you need to be. If you can stay the course, you’ll be able to demonstrate your commitment and dedication to management. 

Looking for your next opportunity in manufacturing? Find your dream role with Aqumen – search our latest UK manufacturing jobs here.

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