Are You Feeling Stuck in Your Manufacturing Job? Here’s What You Can Do

Are You Feeling Stuck in Your Manufacturing Job

Disengagement is a major issue in the manufacturing industry. In a 2017 survey on the state of the manufacturing industry, UK and US manufacturing employees showed a dismal 25% engagement rate. And a lot of this has to do with a lack of prospects.

Many employees may feel stuck in their current position, but they shouldn't. Manufacturing is a field that offers tons of opportunities for advancement. You first need to have the proper mindset and take the steps necessary to make yourself a more attractive candidate for higher roles. Here's what you can do if you want to advance your career in manufacturing.

Stop Thinking About It As A Job

The first thing you have to do is stop viewing your job as just a job. You have a career and careers should be planned.

You also have to take a long hard look at yourself and see if you are truly ready to do what it takes. Do you proactively try to solve problems where you are? Are you willing to get the training needed to advance yourself? How good are you as a teammate? Are you ready to build your professional network by reaching out and attending events? These are all things you’ll need to evaluate and improve in areas where you’re lacking.

The biggest difference between a job and a career is that a career is supposed to uplift you and allow you to realize yourself while a job puts food on the table. So, you will need to look at your interests and aptitudes and see where you could get higher qualifications.

Know that these don't have to be formal either. If you manage to learn certain things on your own and use that expertise on the floor, people will notice, and this could help you stand out from the rest. Your higher-ups will also appreciate that you're trying to improve yourself.

Learn In-Demand Skills

We also suggest that you inform yourself on the latest trends in the industry and where you could fit in. There are a lot of talks about supply chain management and lean manufacturing at the moment. If you have a general formation, then you could always specialize yourself in these areas. Not only will you be able to fill an important skills gap but get paid handsomely while you do it.

We understand that getting higher credentials while you’re working may sound difficult, but there are ways that you make things easier on yourself. One would be to follow classes online.

You could get an online masters in lean manufacturing from Kettering University and get your qualifications from the comfort of our home or wherever you are with an internet connection. This will eliminate some of the barriers that make working and studying so difficult, like commuting and the costs that come from attending classes on campus.

Think Bigger

You shouldn’t be mentally stuck in your position. You have privy knowledge of many of your company’s processes, and you may have insights that could be very valuable.

We suggest that you start taking note of everything you think could be improved and do your research. Look at proven solutions to tackle the problem. Then give your ideas to someone higher up you feel comfortable with and who you trust. This part is very important as you want your ideas to be heard and you don't want them to try to take credit.

Do that enough, and you will start getting attention from people higher up the ladder and might get on their shortlist of people up for promotion. You should also study the role or roles you are targeting, who are in the position at the moment, what is required, and if you expect to be openings in the future.

Don't Be Afraid To Move

Whether it's changing positions, jobs, or even countries, you have to be flexible. You have the power as a manufacturing employee. There is great demand for qualified employees with experience at the moment with so many leaving the workforce for retirement. So, it's always a good idea to look at areas where there’s the most demand and see if you could make a move.

The most important is making sure that you have a good relationship with your employer and leave on cordial terms. Also, let them know of your plans well in advance. This will increase the chance that they'll put a good word in for you.

Communicate Often and Effectively

Try to build a relationship and even a friendship with the supervisors you work with. Don’t force it as it could backfire but try to identify which ones you have chemistry with. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about your job, problems the company may be facing, or skills you were thinking of acquiring. In a world where employees are more disengaged than ever, this could be very beneficial for your career.

Help People Around You

What goes around comes around and there are few places where it’s truer than in manufacturing. Being a good teammate will go a long way and people will root for you if you're ever up for promotion.

One of the most admirable thing you can do is help people by performing duties that are way beyond your scope of work. This is a sure-fire way to get the attention of your supervisors and they will reward you for it.

But you shouldn’t sit back and wait for someone to call on you to put out fires. If you see something wrong or that another employee is overwhelmed with work, offer a helping hand. Don’t be too forceful, however, as they might take it the wrong way and you might come off as someone who is trying too hard.

These are all things that you could do starting today to improve your chances of advancement in manufacturing. If you take the steps necessary and are perseverant, doors will eventually open for you.

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