It’s a favorite question during interviews: Where do you see yourself in five years?
For employees in the food and beverage industry, the goal might be to further your career, perhaps becoming a Food Safety Director or a Regulatory Manager. You may aspire to be a VP of Supply Chain or expand into new markets as a Director of Retail Sales. There are a myriad of opportunities in the food and beverage industry, depending on your career aspirations.
But if 2020 taught us anything, it’s that we cannot know what’s around the corner.
Preparing for the unknown
Economic interruptions can lead to difficult personnel decisions, resulting in temporary or permanent layoffs or disruptions in employment.
However, some jobs within the food and beverage industry will always be needed, such as plant managers to ensure the continued production of food and beverage products to feed the masses. Logistics managers are needed to coordinate the shipment of ingredients and finished products to both manufacturers and retailers. Regulatory managers must keep food manufacturers abreast of food safety protocols and changing regulations, including for distribution or sale to other countries in which food production laws are different. And every company needs someone to make sure the books are accurate, orders are placed on time, and the right people are hired for any open positions.
Which positions are currently in demand? Check our list here.
What you can do to prepare and protect yourself?
Regardless of their title, employees can make themselves the best employee possible, even if their current job isn’t where they see themselves in five years. If things shift again and layoffs or cuts are in the works, how can an employee prove they’re the one worth keeping?
Is another shut-down order around the corner? Here’s how to prepare.
Here is some advice that will help maintain a career in the food and beverage industry and impress managers and HR representatives.
1) Be there. This sounds simple enough, but it matters. Employees who use a disproportionate amount of vacation and sick time, or who tend to show up late or leave early are not ones that managers like to keep around, especially if times get tough. Arrive on time, don’t call out unless you’re sick, let someone know if you’re running late, and don’t make a habit of leaving early unless it’s approved in advance. This shows you’re committed to and value your position and want to keep it.
2) Be positive. Everyone has rough patches at work or things that happen in our personal lives that distract us while we’re at work. But so much of life is how we look at things. Do your best to make the most of every situation. If a problem arises, think about how to make a positive from it. You don’t “have to” write a last-minute proposal for a new product or make changes to a delivery route; you “get to” help solve a problem your supervisor is entrusting you to fix. Better days will come, and this moment will pass – but if you develop a reputation for being gloomy or difficult to work with, it could harm you in the long run.
3) Be part of a team. Regardless of your title, you are part of a whole. You work with people, directly and indirectly, and all of you working together make the company, restaurant, warehouse, etc., run! Do what you can to keep things on track and running smoothly. If someone’s overtaxed, offer to help. If someone called out sick, offer to help or stay late to cover. If an order comes in at the last minute, help organize everything to get it out on time. Show you’re aware that everyone has a job to do and everyone has a responsibility to each other. That can go far toward being very valuable in a manager’s eyes.
4) Work hard. Whatever your job is, it can be tempting to take a moment to do something that’s not work-related while on the clock. Most employers will understand a moment spent sending a text, responding to an email, maybe even a quick Facebook check, but if things are busy, ignore these distractions. You’re on the job and getting paid to work, so prioritize that. Everything else can wait – unless it’s a legitimate emergency, in which case, let your supervisor know what’s going on. Again, you’re part of a team, and other people are counting on you, regardless of what your job title is. Put in your time, pay attention to your responsibilities, and do everything in your power to do your job well.
Is your resume in tip-top shape? Here are a few pieces of advice.
Look to the future
Whatever 2021 brings, Kinsa Group can help. We work across the food and beverage industry to help companies find the right employees. We also offer advice on learning new skills, expanding your networking opportunities, tips for acing an interview, and other topics to help you advance your career in the food and beverage industry. If you’re looking to make a change in the new year, give us a call!