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The best operations management job provides opportunity for career growth, interesting projects to work on, and support from senior management. Operations management is the area of the organization responsible for the actual creation of goods or services. These items are then sold to customers to generate revenue for the organization. The primary responsibility of an operations manager is to minimize costs and waste while maximizing output. These two pressures can be quite extreme, and often require significant skill to balance correctly.
When looking at the different operations management job opportunities, it is important to have a firm understanding of what aspects of the job are important to you. This is a very personal list, based on your own career goals, long and short term plans, and other commitments. For example, someone who is just starting his or her career may be looking for an operations management job with lots of room for advancement and tuition reimbursement programs. Someone who is further along in his or her career may be looking for a position that does not require working weekends or night shifts.
The training required to qualify for an operations management job varies widely by industry. However, most employers are looking for candidates who have completed post-secondary education in business, management, or a related subject. Experience in a range of different industries can be beneficial in this role, as it may help to create unique solutions to common problems. For example, an operations manager from the publishing industry may have expertise in packaging materials for shipment that can be useful in a manufacturing setting.
There are two aspects to any operations management job: daily operations and projects. Most people are able to quickly grasp the basic operational issues and challenges of the position within the first two years of employment. Common challenges include logistics surrounding the shipping and receiving of materials, staffing issues, and conflicting priorities. The methods used to resolve this issues vary, and there are usually multiple opportunities to try different approaches.
Projects are usually the best way for an operations manager to contribute to the organization. He or she can look at a business process that is creating excess waste, or taking more time that it should, and develop a new way to complete the required tasks. A series of small initiatives that reduce waste will continue to save the organization money into the future.
Look for a position that has the support of senior management. It is essential to have the backing of the executive to obtain funding and staff to complete projects that can save the organization money. Without this support, each project will encounter resistance.