I hope that you have enjoyed the article “Tips For Advancing Your Procurement Career.”

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The article goes over reasons hiring managers may be reluctant to hire certain procurement professionals for higher-level procurement jobs, regardless of their experience.  The article goes over ways that procurement professionals can overcome this reluctance.

I’d like to take a slightly different approach with this post.  I’d like to talk about lack of procurement experience as a barrier to someone getting started on their procurement career.

Even some entry-level procurement positions require prior procurement experience.  So how can you get procurement experience when even entry-level procurement jobs require prior procurement experience?

Well, instead of seeking a sub-optimal, low-level procurement job just for the sake of experience, you can potentially leverage the business experience you do have.  A procurement department interfaces to some degree with almost every other department within an organization:  finance, engineering, sales, production, logistics, etc.  So, if you get to the interview stage, be sure to ask which department(s) the role supports.  If you have experience in one of those departments, emphasize how well you know the operations of that department and how you can use that knowledge to enable the procurement department to provide better support than ever.

If you are applying for a procurement management position and don’t have procurement experience but do have management experience, emphasize your management experience.  Most aspects of procurement are things that can be learned by almost any intelligent person, but not everyone is a born leader.  If you are, then share your track record of leadership and talk about the management principles that you can apply in a procurement role.

Regardless of what prejudices hiring managers have against you, most of them can be overcome through smart planning.  Good luck in getting your procurement career off to a successful start!

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3 is an internationally-recognized business expert, legendary procurement thought leader, award-winning entrepreneur, and provocative blogger. Charles founded the Next Level Purchasing Association in 2000, oversaw its incredible growth, and successfully led the organization to its acquisition by the Certitrek Group in 2016. He continues to blog and provide advisory services for the NLPA on a part-time basis as he incubates his upcoming business innovations. Charles is also the co-author of the wildly popular, groundbreaking book, "The Procurement Game Plan: Winning Strategies & Techniques For Supply Management Professionals."

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