Your 2024 Procurement Career Tune-Up

As we leap into the shiny unknown of next year, let’s revamp your professional journey and and explore a procurement career tune-up.

By Hugo Britt | December 12, 2023


As we dust off the remnants of 2023 and leap into the shiny unknown of 2024, it’s time to give your procurement career a tune-up. Picture it as an oil change for your professional journey – essential, slightly messy, but oh-so-rewarding.

So, grab your toolkit, and let’s revamp that procurement engine of yours!

Craft your career GPS

Make a plan!

First things first: where are you heading? Take a moment to ponder your career trajectory. Are you setting sail for the C-suite, or perhaps charting a course into a specialized procurement domain? Create a flexible roadmap with goals, milestones, and pit stops for self-reflection. A career without a plan is like trying to navigate blindfolded – exciting, but likely to end up in a heap of confusion.

Show me the money

Benchmark your salary!

Time to channel your inner detective by investigating the average salary benchmarks for your role and experience level. A great place to start is the annual ISM Salary Survey. If you discover a gap, don’t be shy about asking for that well-deserved raise; after all, we’re in the middle of a talent shortage so retention is likely to be a number-one priority for your employee.

Remember, negotiating your salary isn’t about asking for a favor; it’s about being recognized and rewarded for the value you bring.

Is it time to give your procurement career a tune-up? Focusing on a few key things can set the tone for your professional journey and launch success for you next year.

Knowledge is power

Sign up for learning and development courses.

You’ve no-doubt heard this before, but it’s worth repeating – you should never stop learning in your procurement career. In fact, learning agility (a willingness and ability to learn new things) is fast becoming the number-one capability sought by employers. Sign up for courses that tickle your professional fancy.

Whether it’s mastering the art of negotiation or navigating the labyrinth of supply chain analytics, keeping your skills sharp is your ticket to staying relevant. Why not start with an episode or two of The Sourcing Hero podcast?

Project commander

Put your hand up!

Don’t wait for someone to come along and offer you a project leadership opportunity. Raise that hand and volunteer to lead a project. Steering the ship through uncharted waters not only adds bling to your CV but also showcases your leadership prowess.

Captain of the ship

Lead a team!

If you’ve been cruising on autopilot, it might be time to take command by offering to lead a team. How? Ask your boss if the team is planning to hire any junior employees in early 2024, and volunteer to manage one or two.

Career satisfaction comes in many forms, and for some of us, it’s all about inspiring and empowering a crew. Unleash your leadership potential, and who knows, you might just discover you’re a natural-born captain.

Jedi-level wisdom

Seek mentoring opportunities.

Every procurement Padawan needs a Yoda. Find a seasoned mentor who can guide you through the procurement galaxy. A mentor provides more than just wisdom; they can be your sounding board, career sherpa, and occasional reality check when needed. On the flip-side, you could offer to become a mentor to new team members, which can be a great option if no leadership or people management opportunities are available.

News buffs unite

Subscribe to relevant news sources.

Stay in the procurement loop by subscribing to news sources tailored to your niche. Being the first to know about industry trends, global supply chain hiccups, or ground-breaking technologies will make you the go-to person in your organization. Knowledge is power, and in procurement, it will also help make you indispensable.

The multiverse experience

Work in another function.

Procurement isn’t a standalone island; it’s part of a bustling archipelago. 2024 could be your chance to spend some time in another department to broaden your perspective. Whether it’s marketing, finance, or IT, understanding different functions will enhance your ability to navigate the organizational seas.

Agile procurement

Learn agile ways of working.

Being agile is not just a buzzword; it’s a survival skill. Embrace Agile methodologies to learn how to streamline processes, enhance collaboration (especially with IT teams), and adapt to new situations. Procurement, as a rule, is a little behind in the Agile movement, so it’s a great career opportunity to become an Agile trailblazer.

Embrace the future

Come to grips with generative AI.

The future is now, and it’s coded in algorithms. Generative AI is not just for tech geeks; it’s every procurement professionals’ ticket to streamlined processes, predictive analytics, and better decision-making. Don’t be afraid to dip your toes into the generative AI pool. The water is fine, and the insights are game-changing.

Become a tech trailblazer

Champion new technology.

Be the Sourcing Hero your procurement team needs! Whether it’s blockchain, IoT, or robotic process automation, raising your hand to champion a new technology will help elevate your status to a valuable team tech pioneer.

Be a hero

Save money by joining a GPO.

Looking for a way to make your mark on the organization’s bottom line in 2024? One of the most impactful ways to do so is to convince your boss you should join a group purchasing organization (GPO) harness the power of unmatched contract terms, including deeply discounted pricing, time savings, and more efficient procurement processes.

So, there you have it – your 2024 tune-up guide. Here’s to a year of professional triumphs and procurement adventures!

Looking for additional resources to aid in your procurement career tune-up? Check our recent career advice series:

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