How to Discuss Your Career Growth with Your Boss

As we begin a new year, it's the perfect time to re-access your goals and set new ones. But avoid the pressure to set lofty new year's resolutions that will never be achieved. 

We look at how food and beverage manufacturing workers like yourself can achieve job satisfaction by setting realistic career goals and how discussing your career goals with your boss is an essential building block to that.


The food processing industry in Canada is ripe with opportunities, whether you are looking for career growth in your current position or looking to expand your skill sets in a different division. It starts with setting career goals.

Anyone can set a goal, but career growth, like all growth, comes from putting an action plan in place! 

According to the FB Manufacturing Survey 2022, aside from compensation, career growth was the second highest career priority for food and beverage manufacturing workers. 

Setting realistic career goals for career growth.

Setting career goals is the first step. These goals should be achievable, realistic and based on your current experience in the food processing industry. Don’t ask for a food safety director role if you don't have a basic food safety certification such as HACCP or GMP. 

That’s like an amateur swimmer trying to take on Michael Phelps in freestyle, and it's bound to be a belly flop. Instead, sit down and look at the type of role you would like to apply for on Indeed or LinkedIn and see the skills, certifications and experience required for the role. 

If you possess these skills or are willing to work towards them, then it’s time to discuss your career goals with your plant line manager, so you can achieve the career growth and job satisfaction you seek.  

The food and beverage manufacturing industry is constantly evolving, with emerging technologies opening career growth opportunities through training programs or taking on new responsibilities. 

Food & beverage manufacturing workers who discuss their career goals with their bosses are more likely to be engaged and progress in their careers. But often, food and beverage manufacturing workers refrain from this discussion as it can be daunting. 

To make it less overwhelming, we put together 8 simple steps to prepare you to effectively discuss your career goals with your boss and achieve the job satisfaction you covet.

8 steps to discuss career growth with your plant supervisor

1. Be prepared. 

Have a go-to list of all your skills, credentials and experience you have gained working at the plant. Include specific examples of your accomplishments and contributions while working there. 

2. Be specific. 

Be specific about what you want to achieve. Instead of saying, “I want a promotion”, instead be specific, and say you are looking at moving up to a senior quality assurance position. This will show your supervisor that you have done your research and clearly know what you want to achieve.

3. Be open to feedback. 

Your line manager or supervisor may have valuable insights and suggestions for achieving career goals.

4. Be willing to take on new responsibilities. 

There may be new skills you need to learn to get the job satisfaction you want. Your willingness to learn and grow may open up new opportunities for career advancement. 

5. Be ready to upskill. 

There may be on-the-job training or development programs you can take on to hone your skills or certifications you can complete to progress your career. Your willingness to invest in yourself and your career development will demonstrate your commitment. Here are the must-have certifications for food and beverage manufacturing workers.

6. Be open to change. 

There may be an opportunity for growth in a different sector of the plant. If there are roles you are looking for outside your area of expertise, demonstrate why you have the skills to take on this new role. Many skills learnt in the food and beverage manufacturing industry are transferable between plant sectors, be ready to substantiate these skills. 

7. Follow Up. 

After the discussion, remember to check in with your supervisor and update them on your progress. This will show your commitment to your career growth.

8. Be Patient. 

Job satisfaction is a continuous pursuit. Career growth in the food and beverage manufacturing industry may take time. Still, with a solid plan, clear communication and a willingness to learn, your career ambitions are well within reach. 

And what if it all goes pear-shaped? 

Well, a seed can only grow where it's watered. It may be time for a change. 

A discussion with your line manager is a chance to assess your role within the food manufacturing plant. If there are no career advancement opportunities or the food manufacturer doesn't align with your goals, it may be time to move on. 

There are plenty of great positions at well-known food and beverage manufacturers in Canada looking for highly-skilled food & beverage manufacturing workers with your exact skills. 

Let us help. 

QTalent is Canada’s top talent discovery platform for highly-skilled technical operations professionals in the Meat, Dairy, Bakery & Beverage industries (and more to come!) to get discovered by leading consumer brands and land their ideal job. 

We provide you with the following: 

  • Robust company profiles 
  • Geo-mapped search results 
  • Culture fit search query criteria 

Romy Zwiers


Romy Zwiers is a journalist and marketing professional with 16 years of experience working across industries with a keen focus on the beverage and food industry, having worked with companies like KFC, Nandos, Cadbury and Coca-Cola.

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