‘Don’t ask for a pay rise’ says Glen Moloney, General Manager for Procurement at Virgin Airlines Australia. Recently presenting at The Faculty’s Pathways to Procurement training course in Brisbane, Glen encouraged procurement professionals wanting to grow their income to ‘increase your value to the organisation by mastering the job they are in, then work on the promotion’. Sharing some of the key lessons he has learnt throughout his career, Glen gave his insights on how to effectively build a career in procurement.
Foundation skills are powerful. With intense competition for top procurement talent, Glen emphasises the importance of developing the right foundation skills. When looking for new talent, he focuses on acquiring people with strong commercial acumen and people skills, followed by technical procurement skills. ‘Soft skills are critical’ says Glen, ‘especially since the success of procurement is highly dependent upon building strong relationships with stakeholders.’
Collect useful tools. ‘Learn from those around you’, states Glen, they will provide insight into different tools and ways of working which may be helpful to your current or future role. If there are opportunities to work on large and complex projects, be proactive and seize the opportunity. The skills and knowledge you acquire could become a valuable asset and help identify areas for process improvement or growth opportunities.
Play the problem not the person. At times you may encounter challenging situations such as a managing a difficult stakeholder or enduring a protracted and hostile negotiation. Be sure to focus your energy on finding the right solution to the problem rather than directing your frustration at the person. This will generate a better outcome and ensure you preserve valuable networks for the future.
Don’t be a victim. Ultimately you are in charge of your own career. ‘Whether it’s the challenge of a new role, money, status or work/life balance, be clear on what you are seeking from your career at that point’ advises Glen. If that isn’t on offer within your current organisation (and make sure you ask), don’t be a victim – be prepared to move on.