#126: Golden Skills, Changing Industries and Networking

Radu Palamariu recently spoke with the master students at Zaragoza Logistics Center on the topic of changing careers of functions, hard and soft skills to have as a supply chain professional, and establishing connections and having the right mentor in the company.

Listen to the full discussion here:



Connect with the Guest:

Radu Palamariu: LinkedIn
Mar Sánchez Vinacua: LinkedIn

Some of the highlights from the podcast:

  • Insights on transitioning from one country or industry to another
  • Network, Network, Network
  • Rule of 3 follow ups
  • Skills supply chain professionals should have
  • Recruitment and hiring process in Europe versus Asia 
  • How to get great mentors

Show notes:

  • [2:11] Can you give us a little bit of insight on how is the entry level transition for the students if they decide to move to another country or change the industry?
  • [8:26] Don’t throw away the baby with the bathwater. Your experience is relevant and valuable even if it’s in a different industry. Focus on the right channel, the right person, network, and don’t expect you’re going to get that job from one interaction.
  • [8:57] Can you give us an advice on how we can manage connections and how to find the right people to get the job?
  • [9:41] Do the companies request the work permit or visa in general or does it depend on the company?
  • [11:47] How can we find the tools to monitor negotiation about the salary band?
  • [12:54] The only way to have concrete information is actually by doing the research on the market specific from the people that actually work and live there, and talk to some headhunters, they would probably be the best to tell you what’s going on because they would work on such jobs.
  • [15:53] What do you consider the right skills to have as a supply chain professional? 
  • [18:40] By and large, don’t discount soft skills. I would say that soft skills are underrated. Most of the time, it is the soft skills more than hard skills. Remember that the last two years were online and you don’t really build soft skills that easily.
  • [20:27] Why operations and supply chain leaders will make great CEOs?
  • [20:32] I think perhaps what is missing today, and what we need more of is supply chain people who own that and who truly believe that, and who act as business partners. It’s also a mental game, you all need to believe it, stand by it, and then act accordingly.
  • [21:19] When we present ourselves to any job vacancy, most of the time, what we’re asked to do is to send our CVs. How do you share those soft skills? 
  • [23:34] Send a CV but then send something extra to show that you’re really keen: contact someone in that company and do follow ups. All of these things are the soft element to your application.
  • [24:13] What would you recommend us to take as the guiding principles on securing the team members we need to recruit that are as they should be, under these conditions of what we are today?
  • [25:51] Always try to get some sort of informal type of interview. Always make sure you interview and you get reference checks from people that they report to. 
  • [38:18] What kind of benefits are offered to the companies in senior and executive roles? 
  • [30:31] You need to have a purpose. First and foremost, yes, you need to have the right salary and then it is the culture. The team who you work with matters a lot and of course, career progression.
  • [31:55] Do we have any average recruitment process length by continent, for example, could be in general, in Europe, or do you have any experience so that maybe we can inspire that about the recruitment process length?
  • [32:57] Do you have any recommendations for students to follow the recommended process, because in a few cases they can be exhausted and they still have their academic responsibilities?
  • [33:15] For most of us, job searches are draining, it is hard, and it’s an emotionally difficult journey as you have to deal with rejections. It is best if you have somebody that you do it with and it tends to work better if you’re helping each other.
  • [35:00 Do you have any recommendations about how to build and nurture relationships for the career path you want?
  • [37:26] Remember that a relationship is only a relationship if it’s give and take, if you’re also giving something to that person. Building relationships is a long term game.
  • [39:32] How do you select the right mentor in the company you join and how do you establish connections?
  • [41:28] Do not only network internally, always make sure that you network externally as well. On the mentors, ask for mentorship from people that you respect and don’t restrict yourself to one, you can have several mentors, and that’s perfectly fine.
  • [41:47] How should we approach headhunter companies or people?  If we want to pick one, what should we look at?
  • [42:53] Focus on what is key. Include headhunters as part of your networking tool and portfolio, the specialized ones. The ones that’ve been in the industry for three to five years are the best.

Related Episodes:

#123: Michael Corbo, Chief Supply Chain Officer of Colgate-Palmolive

#124: FMCG vs Pharma, Omnichannel and Central Planning

#125: Heineken SCM, IoT and 3D Printing




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