Careers in packaging can take on many forms – buyers, designers, engineers, etc. Yet, some of the most lucrative and rewarding industry jobs can be found in upper management. With a vibrant economy and business-friendly climate, the demand for qualified talent is surging. Here are four great opportunities to explore.
1. VP of Packaging Sales
The VP of sales main responsibility is driving revenue growth for the organization. These professionals are often tasked with managing the company’s sales force and directing department strategy. Sales VPs act as a liaison between their team members and other functional units within the business.
They create sales plans, forecasts, and budgets and constantly monitor each to ensure optimal performance. VPs of Sales generate strategic and tactical plans to uncover potential business opportunities and utilize them to grow the customer base.
These leaders manage relationships with clients and major account executives to create value-added packaging solutions. By partnering with key decision makers, these executives nurture existing partnerships and ensure clients receive high-levels of service and support.
Sales VPs must also keep up-to-date on packaging industry trends and determine how they impact stakeholders and their businesses. They also evaluate and analyze competitors and provide strategic feedback to company leadership on how to remain competitive.
A strong combination of analytical and strategic thinking skills is essential for this role. Sales VPs use this knowledge to identify business opportunities and solve complex problems related to their implementation.
Attention to detail and the ability to think quickly and adapt to changing business environments is crucial also. Not to mention top-notch presentation skills and the ability to communicate with various audiences and decision makers.
Most professionals in this category have at least 10 years of sales experience and proven track records in negotiation and closing major deals.
2. VP of Marketing
VPs of Marketing oversee the brand’s marketing strategy as well as manage the team and core functions within it. They implement key product elements such as positioning, content development and distribution, public relations, and corporate communications.
They are tasked with end-to-end ownership of both the vision and execution of product and organizational marketing campaigns. Marketing VP’s are in charge of launching new products and services and administering lead generation programs.
These packaging professionals are involved in the creation of a number of different marketing collateral types including websites, blogs, case studies, white papers, data sheets, presentations, and instructional videos. Marketing VPs may also be involved in securing advertising mediums such as radio and television, print, email, and the web.
It goes without saying, but executives in this popular packaging job need to be well versed in marketing and sales methodologies. But these roles also require sound analytics and project management skills as well.
Creativity, flexibility, and enthusiasm – along with an intimate understanding of B2B sales concepts and business models – is helpful also. Marketing VPs must be able to lead a team, work under pressure, and thrive in a fast-paced environment.
3. VP of Packaging Operations
Another rewarding packaging career is Vice President of Operations. These go-getters plan and oversee the day-to-day operations of packaging companies and keep everything on track. Their actions ensure production goals are met and provide input on how to promote future growth.
Operations VPs frequently juggle multiple assignments and have to think on their feet. They coordinate with managers from other departments (e.g., sales, engineering, production, IT, and customer support) to oversee projects and identify bottlenecks.
These leaders also help formulate policies/procedures and are instrumental in setting company goals. Their work improves business processes and strategies. In many cases, they’re also tasked with evaluating the performance of other department managers and their subordinates.
First and foremost, Operations VPs must have excellent communication and negotiation skills. Being able to multitask, problem solve and exhibit strong leadership traits are important as well. The ability to analyze/interpret data and prudently manage financial resources is critical also.
Lastly, a comprehensive understanding of technology may serve them well in streamlining operations and enhancing future growth. For most openings, MBAs are the preferred degree requirement. Along with prior experience in marketing, sales, finance, accounting, or other senior leadership roles.
4. CFO (Chief Financial Officer)
As the name implies, CFOs execute the financial strategy and management of accounting functions for packaging organizations. In addition to financial oversight, these experts are involved in operational strategy and ensuring compliance with legal entities.
CFOs interact with 3rd party vendors involved with company accounting or finance functions. They prepare financial reports and statements for the company board of directors. Chief Financial Officers also monitor cash reserves, investments, and advise on mitigating risk to the company and its employees.
In addition to maintaining regulatory compliance, CFOs also protect company assets. They manage insurance coverages and assist with claims and damage awards.
As with other popular packaging jobs, CFOs must possess strong leadership, decision-making, and communication skills. They also need to be strategic thinkers/planners and have extensive experience in project management.
An MBA or master’s degree in accounting or finance is typically the prerequisite. Larger packaging firms may also require professional designations such as CPA (Certified Public Accountant) or CMA (Certified Management Account) along with 10+ years of financial experience.
For those with management backgrounds in sales, marketing, operations, or finance packaging industry careers are great options. Salaries are competitive, opportunities abundant, and the roles themselves both diverse and challenging. An ideal balance to learn and grow professionally.
Should you decide to explore your options, partnering with an experienced packaging recruiting firm makes sense. These professionals know the industry and can find ideal matches based on your experience, talents, and goals. They can also assist with the application and negotiation processes and answer other questions along the way.
After all, if you’re serious about putting your best foot forward, why not work with a team who can make it happen?
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