The Truth About Career Advancement In Food & Beverage Processing

There is a secret to career advancement in the food and beverage processing industry that many people don’t know. We are about to blow your mind, so stay with us. 

The number one way to advance in any food manufacturing job is to stop thinking about career advancement as a title. Let’s say that again (ideally aloud to yourself). Career advancement is not just a title change. A better title doesn't always mean a faster career progression. 

Not convinced? 

Approximately 39% of employers offer promotions without a pay raise. (Source: OfficeTeam.)

Career Advancement In Food & Beverage Processing

Why would you accept a promotion without a raise, you may be asking? Because sometimes, to advance your career, you need to build up your resume so you can demand a far more significant increase later on. 

Hold on. 

Before you stop reading further out of sheer dismay, let me explain why reframing career advancement is worth your while and how this will translate to more money in the long run. 

Reframing career advancement for entry-level food and beverage production professionals

So your ambition is to move from front-line food and beverage production worker to supervisor? Or perhaps you are a Quality assurance technician to a Quality Assurance manager? 

What if I told you that “sticking” it out and waiting for your manager to promote you to the next step on the ladder is not the only route to success? What if we lay the proverbial “corporate ladder of success” to rest and opted for a non-linear view of career advancement as a progression? 

A journey of enhancing your knowledge, learning new skills and adding additional responsibilities to achieve your professional, financial and personal career goals. Because ultimately, by focusing on your long-term goals, you are more likely to feel fulfilled than getting blind-sighted by “promotions” that often offer zero compensation increases or perks. Sound good? 

Here’s the best way to build your career progression plan. 

1. Leverage your current role to develop certifications and skills for future roles

Many people are held back by their tunnel view focus on scoring a higher job title, only to be left without the fundamental skills and certifications needed to perform the responsibilities that come with that title, ultimately setting them up for failure. 

Entry-level workers in the food and beverage processing industry can be left feeling frustrated by repetitive “unsexy” work, but there are always ways to ensure you are moving your career forward. Ask your manager what certification or courses the company offers to develop new skills. The food and beverage industry is dictated by strict regulations like Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), HACCP, ISO 22000, FSSC 22000, and FDA labeling requirements; by gaining these certifications, you enhance your marketability (Read more about the certifications here). 

Ontario’s CareerNow! programme is also offering free leadership programmes to food and beverage manufacturing workers to prepare people for jobs in food and beverage manufacturing. 

2. Consider lateral moves to advance your career 

Not all moves are vertical, especially in the food and beverage processing industry, where a lateral move can build your resume faster than a traditional step up the ladder. On-the-job learning provides a great experience for learning. Ask your supervisor for any hands-on learning opportunities, such as transferring to different departments to learn new manufacturing processes. 

For instance, skills such as numeracy, literacy, financial acumen, collaboration, and leadership are all transferable skills. You’ll be honing your soft skills of good communication, problem-solving, and reliability as you work with new teams, processes, and environments that will level up your profile. 

Promoting a food operating assistant to a supervisor without any leadership skills would be a recipe for disaster. The more training and experience you have in the food and beverage processing industry, the better the opportunities your future self will have access to. 

Negotiate your worth for career advancement

Your resume is your opportunity to profile yourself and build a solid track record. But once you have made lee-way on your journey, don’t forget to ask for what you need to progress further. 

If you need further skills development, negotiate for it. If you have developed your skills and experience significantly, it's time to review your compensation accordingly. Here’s where negotiation comes in, and if your company is still unwilling to budge, perhaps it's time to move on. 

How To Negotiate Your Worth As A Food Manufacturing Worker

Here’s where QTalent comes in. We can help you find the perfect job role to advance your career with cutting-edge technology that matches your experience and skills to a suitable job position. 

QTalent is the first talent discovery platform in Canada. If you are looking for the perfect job as a food and beverage production worker, we are here to help. Our sophisticated technology provides

  • Company profiles 
  • Geo-mapped search results 
  • Benefits and perks search query criteria 
  • Search companies by the training they offer with Learnership and development search criteria

Find an excellent position that fits your career advancement goals with QTalent

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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