Hi, this is Venkadesh Narayanan from IISCM.org. This podcast is on An 8-Step Approach For Career Progress in SCM. The eight steps are Establish Goal, Define Geographies, Identify Domain, Search Companies, Analyse Job Descriptions, Bridge Skill Gap, Connect with Contacts and Followup. Let us go through the 8-steps.

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Step-1: Establish Goal

Setting a SMART goal for yourself is the first step for career progress. SMART goal refers to a goal definition that is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. For example, a SMART goal can be “I would like to progress from the current Supply Chain Manager position to VP of Supply Chain in a Fortune 500 company by 2025. I will achieve this by becoming a Certified Supply Chain Professional and by establishing connections within the Fortune 500 organisations through social media, conferences and associations.”

Step-2: Define Geographies

Once you establish a goal define the geographies you would prefer to work. For example, someone may be willing to work in Chennai or in Bengaluru or in Mumbai only. Just check whether your goal and geographies are compatible with each other. 

Step-3: Identify Domain

Be clear about your domain. I mean the industry. For example, you already have 10 years experience in automotive and you would like to continue in the same domain. In fact, I would not recommend someone to change their domain. To grow in the hierarchy a strong foundation in the domain is essential. 

Step-4: Search Companies

Now choose the companies that fall under your domain and the geography. This will be a handful of companies that have opportunities for your goal, in the given geography and are specialising in your domain. 

Step-5: Analyse Job Descriptions

This is a stage where you need to collect the job descriptions of your goal position (say VP Supply Chain) and do a thorough analysis to find out the gap between your current skill set and what your goal position demands you to have. The outcome of this exercise is the list of skill sets you need to build in yourself. Say, one of the common requirements across these companies is that it demands you to be a Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) of APICS, USA. 

Step-6: Bridge Skill Gap

Now take the necessary steps to become a Certified Supply Chain Professional. Attend classroom training, prepare the CSCP Learning System, appear for the CSCP certification examination and attain CSCP credential.

Step-7: Connect with Contacts

Though having the right skill sets is an important criteria, that alone is not sufficient. You need to let the world know that you have these skills sets to become a VP of Supply Chain. Hence you need to establish connection with the decision makers within the selected organisations. Starting from LinkedIn, attending conferences, asking reference through friends, there are so many ways and the limit is set by one’s creativity. 

Step-8: Followup

As you aspire to the top, you should also realise that the competition is intense, so patience and perseverance are the two important qualities you need to keep in mind. The result will not knock at your door the next day, but you are on the way to reach your goal position. Stay confident along the path!