Supply Chain Career Stalled? Get Motivated!

March 29, 2016

This guest post comes to us from Elaine Porteous, a freelance business writer with a focus on career management in Supply Chain and Procurement.

Most people in supply chain go through a period of feeling that their career is in limbo. Great opportunities can be few, the competition is intense and job mobility is limited.  If you feel like your career is stalled or you are in-between roles, use the time to expand and enhance your skills while you are waiting for the upturn in your fortunes.  You can learn about almost anything on-line, and most of it is free.  

Find a MOOC to suit you 

MOOC stands for a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC).  These courses are offered by universities and other quality education providers via the internet and are free. There is a huge range of subjects that have quality content although they do not normally provide certificates or academic credits on completion.

Many of the courses developed by the universities are structured and presented by training organizations like using specific technology that supports interactive e-learning.  When you sign up, you are committing to the class time and assignments (which is good).

You can register for classes offered by many leading global universities including MIT, Harvard and Yale.


The choices are vast. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a leader in this field. Do a half semester course at graduate level on one of the up-and-coming job roles of the future:  Green Supply Chain Management, for instance.

Some courses are on not on a fixed schedule but are self-paced, probably more suited to those of us with challenging day jobs. 

The Khan Academy

The Khan Academy is a well-established not for profit organization that provides free courses on many subjects such as mathematics, art, history and science. If you want to try something that is directly related to improving your Supply Chain skills, look for ”Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Excel”.

Who is Lynda?

You can try LinkedIn’s site for video-based courses on Photoshop or Lightroom which cost a small fee.  These are great skills to have for improving the visuals in your slide presentations and management reports.  How about learning something that will let you have a serious conversation with your I.T manager without feeling inadequate?

TED Talks

TED started life as a set of conferences to spread ideas and today you can find a short TED talk on just about anything, they are about the length of a coffee break.  To-date you can access an archive of 2100 videos on the official website.


If you prefer the versatility of audio to video, this one’s for you. Try Soundcloud.  It’s easy to access via the web or using an app on your smartphone, so recordings are easy to listen to on the go. An interesting Supply Chain podcast is the Calgary Regional Partnership’s Square One podcast. #27 is an interesting one about using air cargo to optimize the supply chain.

It’s Not all About Work

If that all sounds a little heavy, how about a Jazz Appreciation Course? This is one where you can listen and learn about the artists, eras, and musical methods that make jazz a great original art form.  Louis Armstrong. Charlie Parker, John Coltrane. You’ve heard their names, but do you know what makes them great?  This course is provided by the University of Texas.  Doesn’t even sound like work. logo_icon

Elaine Porteous is a freelance business writer in supply chain with a specific interest in career management.  Contact her at and see her website at   

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