There are times in each of our lives when we decide to take a risk—starting a new job, building a new relationship, moving to a new city. What those risks are and when we’re willing to accept them into our lives is different for each of us. As I consider my choices, I realize how different my life would be if I hadn’t become a pricing analyst in the logistics industry or if I hadn’t accepted the role of global marketing coordinator in Asia earlier this year.
Upon graduating from college, I never imagined I’d work in the global logistics industry. I majored in English, a degree that has little bearing on the numbers, freight, and marketing that make up my responsibilities today. However, despite the drastic shift my career has taken with C.H. Robinson, I accepted the challenge of a new industry, new responsibilities, and new knowledge. Only by applying my natural passion and interest to learning new things, was I able to discover my full capabilities.
The more I learn about my new industry, the more I realize how inextricably bound my life is to logistics. Even previous roles in other industries—like my part-time position at a French chocolatier/boutique in college—relied on transportation to be successful. What I used to see as simple deliveries of chocolates, I now recognize required everything from bills of lading (BOLs) and purchase orders (P.O.s) to several hours of coordination across multiple parties.
I didn’t fully understand supply chains until working in the transportation industry. But once I began learning, it seemed I would never stop. The complexity and challenges of transportation never stop changing—a fact that will keep me interested and learning for years to come. For example, if strike looms at a port on the United States’ East Coast, shippers often book space or switch bookings on vessels to a port on the West Coast or into Canada in order to avoid the potential disruption. These shifts can result in overwhelming capacity issues—even before the strike starts. If they do come to pass, strikes often cause a devastating domino effect that disrupts supply chains, domestic transportation systems, and industrial structures around the globe. And this is just one of the challenges that supply chains must battle regularly.
In my new role as the C.H. Robinson marketing coordinator for Asia, I have been able to learn about the industry at an even deeper level. As I gather and coordinate the top marketing priorities for different regions and offices, I can better see and understand the global economic trends that affect this industry—and in a sense, all other industries.
Without this industry there would be no movement of any products. I love my role and the fact that I am part of an organization and industry that keeps the world moving. Thanks to the people who have encouraged me to take the risk and join a new industry, I have and continue to grow as an individual when it comes to all this industry has to offer. How were you introduced to this industry? Was it a huge risk? What have you learned since then? We’d love to hear your comments and stories below.