How to Build a Career in the Packaging Industry

Have you ever thought about a career in the packaging industry? If not, you may want to reconsider. Everyone knows that technology, healthcare, manufacturing, etc. are all booming these days. But what most fail to realize is that the biggest names in every sector still utilize the packaging industry to fulfill their brands.

Think about it. Any physical product that’s designed, built, made or harvested must be transported elsewhere to be of value to the market. And jobs in the packaging industry are what make this transition a safe, secure and reliable process.

Why Choose a Career In The Packaging Industry?

Packaging can be an exciting and lucrative career with virtually unlimited growth potential. Research shows that packaging is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. Some estimates point to total sales reaching $975 Billion in 2018 with no slowdowns expected anytime soon.

Booming industries like food and beverage, consumer goods, automotive and construction are seeing phenomenal growth and know that packaging is a major component of their success.

In fact, according to recent data3.4 trillion items were packed in 2016 alone. Not to mention that these numbers have steadily increased year-over-year for nearly the last decade.

Because of this huge demand, packaging industry jobs are available at every skill level (from production to management) for those who are ready to apply.

If that doesn’t get you fired up, here are a few more benefits to consider.

Packaging Is a Stable Industry

Despite the ups and downs of world economies, packaging is an industry that stays in demand.

No matter what happens, people always need food, healthcare, transportation and consumer goods (amongst other things) in order to survive. That means jobs in the packaging industry are all but guaranteed to remain stable.  

And we’re not just talking about the basics either. As consumer class income continues to grow, buyer appetites for goods, services, and conveniences typically follow suit.  

Electronics, sports and entertainment, home furnishings, etc. – the list goes on and on.

With all needing innovative, well-designed packaging to facilitate their growth.

There’s A Strong Need for Creative Talent

Most successful businesses agree that packaging can serve as an ambassador for your brand.

Being fun, creative, or different is what allows the best companies to stand out from the competition. Not to mention that (all things being equal) consumer choice often boils down to which product has the stronger visual or emotional appeal.

However, it’s about more than just colors and images – physical design plays a vital role as well. Unique configurations often appeal to consumers sense of style and taste. Thus, driving the demand for smart, strong, yet aesthetically-pleasing packaging options.

Better-designed packaging benefits manufacturers also. As lighter products mean less raw materials used and reduced fuel costs to deliver goods.

Packaging Jobs Are in Demand

As the economy grows, so does the need for packaging professionals. Take, for example, the recent surge in online shopping. The National Retail Federation predicted an 8-12% growth rate in 2017 (3x the total retail average). Factor in the need to reliably transport all these items and it’s clear that this trend will continue to rise.

The food industry is another incredibly hot market. Organic items, portable snacks and prepared meals are seeing tremendous growth across the board. Industry estimates for flexible packaging are above 50% of total volume for this particular market sector.

Strong consumer demand for longer shelf life, non-toxic materials, and environmentally-friendly designs are the driving factors behind these changes.

Types of Jobs In The Packaging Industry

Packaging may have originated on the assembly line, but has come a long way since then. Nowadays, the need for a multitude of talented individuals (from every discipline) is stronger than ever.

Production – still the heart of the industry. While most production jobs are entry level, they’re often a gateway into many other high-level industry careers.

Typical roles in this area include line workers, operators, and mechanics. Their main responsibilities involve packing, sorting and shipping but they also find new and more efficient ways of doing business while ensuring everything runs smoothly.

Production roles are a natural fit for those who crave structure, like problem-solving and enjoy working with their hands.

Engineering – a critical discipline in the packaging industry. These are the experts who create the actual packing materials themselves using advanced chemical, mechanical and engineering knowledge. The job also involves selecting raw materials with a focus on optimal strength, durability, shelf life and cost efficiency.

A great field for those who excel in math and science and enjoy working with technology.

Sales and Marketing – help spread the word about packaging products. Salespeople market to clients using their business acumen and people skills. Often working with copywriters, brand experts, and engineers to create packaging that makes an impression and generates results.  

Designers are called upon to make items feel beautiful and unique. These marketing specialists study color, design, shape, and texture to create demand and entice consumers.

Consumer Strategists study public behavior to uncover the latest trends in sales and buying habits. Recognizing how subtle changes in design and positioning can affect overall revenues.

Support Services – are needed in every industry with packaging being no exception. Information Technology, Human Resources, Safety, Legal – you name it and it’s there. Large packaging brands have tremendous support budgets, and with the forecasted growth in this sector, they’re only going to get bigger.

Management and Leadership – opportunities for packaging executives are on the rise and those with the right skills and experience can fetch top dollar. With such a high demand existing worldwide, opportunities are available most anywhere you want to go.

Not surprisingly, strategic leaders with the right skills and experience can fetch top dollar.

Directors, VPs, and C-Level talent are needed in multiple areas of packaging including: Operations, Sales and Marketing, Research and Development and many others.  

Best of all, with such a high-demand existing worldwide, executive opportunities in packaging are available most anywhere you want to go.

Conclusion

Bottom line – packaging is an exceptional industry to be in. A business sector filled with great people who enjoy strong job security, have an abundance of opportunities, and work on interesting projects that make a difference in the marketplace.

Many packaging industry jobs offer generous compensation packages, excellent fringe benefits, and quality work-life balances. Perks sometimes found lacking in other large industries.

You may not have previously considered a career in the packaging industry – but with so much to offer – it deserves a spot on your shortlist.  


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How a Strong Corporate Culture Defines your Brand

Defining Corporate Culture

You hear the term thrown around a lot these days, but what is corporate culture anyway? Why does it matter to an organization and what are the key benefits of having one in place? Most importantly, if it truly is important, how do you go about developing one that makes an impact and is sustainable over the long term?

All great questions for sure, but let’s take it from the beginning.

Loosely defined, corporate culture is the shared attributes of an organization and the members that comprise it. These qualities can be beliefs, attitudes, and values that guide the organization throughout their daily activities.

Corporate culture is not a single process or element, but rather the cumulative effect of all parts of how a company does business.

This includes everything from goals and strategies to the structure of the organization itself. Most importantly, corporate culture defines how the business approaches its relationships with all involved stakeholders: customers, investors, employees and the community.

Is Corporate Culture Really That Important?

Yes – it is. Research has shown that a healthy corporate culture can significantly impact the productivity of an organization (and their employees).

In strong corporate cultures, employees are more apt to feel like they’re part of a team and gain a sense of satisfaction in helping others succeed. And as is human nature, people work harder, accomplish more, and give their best when they know it matters.

This notion holds especially true when it comes to millennials in the workplace – who value culture over just about anything else.

A study from Columbia University found that turnover rates for organizations with strong company culture were around 14%. Whereas companies who lacked these cohesive structures saw churn figures as high as 48.4%.

Employees who lack company culture frequently see themselves as individuals – focusing more on their own needs vs those of the organization. Often doing just enough to “get by” and never truly engaging or working to their full potential.

A compelling reason on its own to investigate further.

Building A Strong Corporate Culture

While there are many benefits to having one, there are no set in stone rules for developing company culture. However, there are a few guiding principles that many successful organizations have in common.

Honesty and Transparency – From the bottom level of the organization all the way to the top – everyone should be held to the same standard of open dialogue. Whether it be corporate strategy sessions, giving (or receiving) feedback or even water cooler banter.

An environment of honesty fosters trust and encourages member participation.

Cooperation – It goes without saying, but employees who feel their contributions are valued are much more likely to share their ideas. Not only does this benefit the individual, but improves the team as well.

Because different perspectives are often the driving force of creative problem-solving.  

Growth and Development – From both a personal and professional level. Employees not only want to know that they can advance within the organization but develop new talents and skill sets along the way.

Mentorship programs, educational opportunities, and new challenges bring out the best in employees. Along with suitable financial compensation in line with any increased responsibility.

Embracing Diversity – While there’s a lot of talk about finding the right “fit” in an organization, searching for a prototypical candidate can be a mistake. Remember, you’re not looking for an army of robots, but instead, a diverse group of people who share the same ideas, goals, and values.

And the best ideas come from teams comprised of individuals with different backgrounds, talents, and experiences.

Using Corporate Culture To Improve Recruiting

It’s no secret that great candidates are in the driver’s seat these days. Internet searches allow them to quickly uncover information about any company that they’re interested in. They can read reviews, follow on social media, and compare and contrast organizations without breaking a sweat.

Thus, monitoring and improving your web presence is paramount, but most job and career pages aren’t utilized correctly. They fail to actively market their corporate culture to the people who may be interested in it most.

Considering the internet is usually the first place job seekers encounter your brand, that’s a huge mistake.

Companies who actively market their company culture typically find better candidates and they attract employees whose values closely align with their own (while simultaneously repelling those that don’t).

So, the question is, how do you go about spreading the right kind of message? Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Social Media – Popular platforms like FacebookTwitter and Instagram are a great way to showcase your company culture. Sharing photos, achievements, and talking about your values provide insight into what it’s like to work for your organization.

    Don’t forget about LinkedIn either. Though not traditionally associated with being a social media outlet, it’s often the platform of choice for white-collar professionals looking to build relationships and grow their career.

    The ability to network with both current and past employees, and showcase your organization to future talent, can be a powerful force in the recruiting process.

  2. Employer Review Sites – GlassdoorGreat Place to Work, and Indeed are all frequent stops for candidates researching prospective employers. With reviews being such an important part of the decision-making process, you can’t afford to overlook what’s being said on these platforms.
  3. Employee-Focused Career Pages – Where candidates can see vibrant details about your company culture on full display. Consider including candid photos and testimonials from employees and management. Be transparent in describing the organization’s mission and values and call out the type of people you’re looking for.

    The more accurately you can portray your workplace, the easier it will be to find candidates who are a good match.

While all the strategies and advice mentioned above makes a huge difference, never lose sight of the basics. That is, don’t overlook the value of simply being a good employer.

Because when you treat your employees well, they enjoy their jobs, work hard, and tell their friends and family about their experiences. Which naturally leads to referrals and even more qualified candidates being driven to your organization.    

Conclusion

Now more than ever corporate culture is becoming a cornerstone of building a strong brand and recruiting top talent. Clearly defining organizational goals and values and depicting how they’re embraced daily is pivotal for long-term success.

Top-down management approaches that focus on honesty, cooperation, accountability, and growth keep employees engaged and motivated. When coupled with a diverse workforce of talented individuals, become an unstoppable force of new ideas and enhanced productivity.

Lastly, celebrating your team and their accomplishments with the world generates the biggest return of all – a process that repeats itself over and over again.


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