Operations Management Careers
The career of an operational manager offers a lot of promise and prospects when compared to other business fields. A line of business as an operational manager is one of the most versatile career patches and offers a lot of growth opportunities.
The best thing with an operation manager’s career is the fact that one gets to work with different kinds of roles instead of focusing on one area. If you are a multitasker, operations management career might be a good fit. Different roles bring along different kinds of learning, and that goes a long way in shaping the profession of an operational manager.
Versatility makes operations manager an essential addition to any company.
An operations manager must first have a career path defined before joining an enterprise. As is obvious, there is a difference between a job and an operational career. While a career is the final and the most important objective, a job is the stepping stone to achieving the final objective. A career path must have clear and definitive steps to achieve the objectives. If you find yourself in 3 man firm, and they give you title of operations manager, while you might be making a living you are not progressing in your career. It also very possible that you are not developing your skills as an operations manager, since in OM you often have to lead people and resolve disputes on top of running operations. You just got a job. Now lets take a look how to make OM a career.
So how does an operations manager progress in his/her career?
There can be multiple paths, and some suggestions are given below:
Trainee: An individual aspiring to be an operations manager must first learn the tricks of the trade. Skills development is critical, and there is no better opportunity to do this other than to start as a trainee at an organization. The individual will be exposed to different job types and responsibilities and will be given extensive training on handling these job types. A trainee position will be a great stepping stone to becoming an accomplished operations manager.
After one has picked up the basics, there are multiple roles that one can take up, depending on his/her aptitude and skills.
Operations strategy: Strategist, especially in a highly competitive world, is viewed as a key skill. An enterprise can either do well or suffer depending on the strategies it adopts. An operational manager with an understanding of the various practices and optimization of the operational practices can contribute to the overall success of an organization a great deal.
Internal auditing: Auditing can play a stellar role in improving the quality of the goods and services that an enterprise produces. Auditing would typically mean applying different criteria and evaluating the goods and services of an enterprise against globally acceptable standards. An operations manager who also manages the daily operations of an enterprise can play an important role in improving the quality of goods and services through sound auditing.
Supply chain management: Supply chain management is an important task, as the enterprise needs timely delivery of raw materials and goods to successfully fulfill client commitments. The operations manager needs to identify suppliers with credible records and constantly needs to monitor their input.
The roles described above are just some of the roles that an operations manager can transition into. Usually, the aspiring operations manager needs to serve as a trainee before taking on any other role, unless you already have experience and/or Graduate degree in OM. There are a huge range of positions in operations management, we will be covering a lot of them in our series of ” field view” articles that right now in the works.