Were you always passionate about making things better and finding creative solutions for problems? Then a career as an operations manager may just fit you like a glove. It’s a great job for anyone interested in climbing the corporate ladder and enjoying the recognition that comes with advancing in hierarchy.
An operations manager is a senior-level employee, in charge of overseeing the production of goods/services the company provides. Their main purpose is to ensure that the organization works as efficiently as possible, and that the products/services exceed client expectations. The duties that come with the job vary from industry to industry, but usually include monitoring existing business processes and creating strategies to boost productivity. You will also likely be in charge of hiring, supervising, and training employees.
Operations managers are crucial to the stability and growth of a business. Thus, as long as they possess the skills and expertise needed, they can easily find employment in just about any industry – from retail to insurance, and from healthcare to construction. They’re also in high demand. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary is $96,430 per year or $46.36 per hours. Top-paying industries include securities and commodity exchanges; other financial investment activities; securities and commodity contracts intermediation and brokerage; scientific research and development services; and insurance and employee benefit funds.
How does a typical day look like?
As we’ve already stated, the duties of an operations manager will greatly vary based on employer and industry. However, they generally include managing day-to-day activities and coming up with new strategies to improve workflow throughout the organization. People looking for employment in this area should be able to see both the big picture as well as the small details that make the organization tick.
Daily tasks of an operations manager include creating and reading reports and statistics, establishing and tracking budgets, and researching new methods of efficiency. In addition, they may be in charge of managing employees, and they regularly have to present in front of upper management and stakeholders of the organization. If they work for a company specialized in producing goods, they may also be required to manage inventory and product distribution. On the other hand, if the organization provides services, they focus more on client satisfaction and human resources.
What are the requirements for the job?
First off, as your main purpose is to supervise and improve workflow and to ensure that the organization is running as smoothly as possible, you will need strong analytical and problem solving skills. You will be required to look at existing processes, analyze them, and come up with necessary solutions to boost efficiency. This might sound boring to the outside eye, but it actually involves plenty of creativity.
Additionally, an operations manager must also possess excellent communication skills. You will spend most of your time working with people – employees, potential hires, stakeholders, clients – so you need to be able to read and write extremely role. This isn’t a typical desk job, so you will be expected to juggle many roles. Thus, the ability to multitask will also come in handy.
Strong initiative and leadership are also a must. Proposing changes requires initiative. You will be expected to justify your recommendations and convince upper management they are vital to the company’s well-being. You will also have to lead and motivate employees, so you should be comfortable with discussing their issues, resolve conflict whenever it arises, and coordinate teams to maximize results.
As you can see, the job requires years of experience with management. You will need a Bachelor’s Degree, preferably in business or some aspect of logistics. Operations managers are also expected to have knowledge of laws and policies affecting industrial operations – for instance Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations. Besides education, employers require years of experience (over five) in industrial, warehousing, or distribution settings; as well as management experience, preferably in operations. You will have to find an entry-level job related to the field and then work your way to the top as you learn the ropes of the industry.
How should your resume look like?
When you’re applying for a job as an operations manager, your resume should showcase your experience in the field and advertise those special traits that make you a good fit for the job. Remember to tailor your resume to the opening based on the industry and the specifications in the ad. Here is a sample resume to get you inspired.
Summary: I am results-oriented business professional ready to take on new challenges and help your company grow. I have extensive experience in managing employees, coordinating departments, and improving efficiency of operations. I am extremely passionate about helping businesses and people excel and I’m an extremely energetic person, always interested in expanding my horizons and exceeding professional expectations.
Company Name, Business Operations Manager, 2012-2015
- Improving the operational systems, processes, and policies to support the organization’s mission.
- Supervising and increasing the effectiveness of Support Services (Finance, HR) through constant improvements
- Identifying and managing risks, issues and dependencies
- Oversee financial management, systems, and controls
- Payroll management, organization of fiscal documents
- Supervise and coach employees on a regular basis
- Provide operational cover for absent Senior Managers
Company Name, Assistant Manager, 2008-2012
- Knowledge and understanding of the industry
- Establishing and implementing goals and objectives
- Developing and implementing business strategies
- Sharing knowledge and expertise with other employees
University of Cincinnati 2005 – 2008
Business Operations Management BA (Hons)
Personal skills: great communication abilities, entrepreneurial spirit, leadership skills, superior analytic and problem solving skills
References: available upon request.
Working as an operations manager is highly rewarding, but it’s also challenging and stressful. If you’re looking for a career that will allow you to help companies grow and inspire employees, this is the line of work for you. Start at the bottom and slowly build your way to the top. When you’re passionate about what you do, the journey will feel like an exciting adventure.