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Supply Chain Industry Updates

Survey Finds Widespread Career Fear, Suggests It Is Overblown

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Thanks to the disruption of 2020, supply chain professionals are held in higher esteem than ever. But that doesn’t mean most people in this profession are overflowing with confidence about their job security or prospects.

DSJ Global surveyed supply chain professionals around the world and found sizeable pluralities or slim majorities were noticeably cautious about the future, if not downright pessimistic. Asked how they felt about the economy, 53% responded they anticipated it would worsen in the next 12 months.

Two in five said they feel negative or very negative about the current job market, and three in five said they were not confident they could find a new job in three months if let go. Only about one-third said they expected to stay with their current employer over the next six months.

However, the findings might not be a completely accurate reflection of job security in supply chain disciplines. They could be colored by the attitudes of normal people living through an abnormal year.

“If you watch the news every day, it’s not going to inspire much positivity,” Axis Rutledge, head of West Coast procurement and supply chain recruitment at DSJ Global, commented in the report. “Faced with a difficult job market, candidates should take a more strategic approach to job applications — they should research how individual companies are performing, as well as the industries they operate in.”

DSJ Global’s findings were not all doom and gloom, at least depending on how you interpreted the results. Nearly half, for instance, said they were satisfied with their current jobs (only slightly more than a quarter said they were unsatisfied), and half said they expected to keep their jobs over the next six months. Also, congratulations are due to the 65 percent who reported receiving a bonus in the past year.

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Optimism tended to be slightly higher among respondents in the Asia/Pacific region. This could be because even as some companies pull out of China, they are more likely to set up shop in another Asian country than reshore their operations to the United States or Europe.

“Most firms are exploring Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia, providing new employment opportunities to these regions,” noted Patrick Ogwu, a regional senior consultant in technical operations at DSJ Global. “More than ever, the need for procurement and supply chain talent has increased and with Asia-Pacific’s central role, it’s no surprise that respondents [there] are more positive about the job market.”

The report’s authors had some interesting perspectives on the findings. Commenting on the people who worried they could not quickly find a new job if they were “made redundant,” DSJ Global suggested their pessimism was due to an “error of judgment. That is, this hypothetical question assumes that the worst scenario as occurred — the individual overestimated their job security and perhaps, therefore, their market value.”

However, DSJ Global offered reason to not worry too much about your role’s value to your current or prospective employers. “The pandemic has definitely raised the profile of the supply chain industry,” said Christine Corson, director of end-to-end supply chain recruitment. “Everyone has felt and heard about the impact of disrupted supply chains. Now that it’s become more personal, people are more interested in supply chain overall and companies are more compelled to invest in the function.”

Hopefully, that investment will result in a greater sense of confidence among professionals. To download the “Global Job Confidence Index 2020,” go here.

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