9 Unexpected Careers in the Fulfillment Industry

With the expansion of Amazon has come a corresponding hiring spree, with the conglomerate adding thousands of new jobs in fulfillment. When many prospective employees consider a career in fulfillment, the expectation is simple: long hours in a warehouse, few chances for advancement, and mundane manual labor.

While this component of the fulfillment industry does exist, this viewpoint is limited. This list is a compilation of some of the many career opportunities in the fulfillment industry that job-seekers may be surprised to learn are available.

And if you find a company that dabbles in fulfillment that seems to be a good fit, don’t hesitate to contact them and demonstrate how you can add value!

1. Web Development     

There are many fulfillment companies that cover various components of the supply chain, but there is a great deal of overlap between them. As a result of intense competition, web development opportunities abound.

Creating a stable, attractive, and client-friendly website is essential in this industry, and talented web developers are in high demand. The best part about this high demand is that you will largely have freedom to work with a firm who will enable you to adhere to your creative vision.  

2. Graphic Design

Imaging and branding go hand in hand, and with the glut of competition, fulfillment companies are constantly in need of creative people who can help message their services creatively and engagingly.

Graphic designers who work in fulfillment will also have more autonomy as opposed to other industries – many graphic designers will be the sole departmental employee in even a moderately large fulfillment company. As a result, you will have the opportunity to have a very strong hand in articulating brand direction.

3. Machine Learning

The Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence craze has already taken the automotive industry by storm, but there are far many opportunities beyond that.

Automation is here to stay, and creating systems that optimize processes or automate them intelligently are going to be vital in the future of fulfillment and logistics.

The logistics industry has its roots in optimization and data reconciliation, and algorithm development informs many inventory management systems and optimized routing systems. Cutting-edge fulfillment companies who aspire to grow and compete with industry titans will be eager to recruit talented candidates in these fields.

4. Account Management

B2B customer service is significantly different than the B2C experience that many job seekers shudder at in revulsion. Whereas B2C customer support jobs are often designed to burn out employees, B2B customer service can best be understood as account management, and this is especially true in the fulfillment industry.

As an account manager, you will have a book of clients that will identify you as the face of the company to them. You will help them understand your company’s platform, build a relationship based on trust, and advocate for them to various other departments.

Account managers are key to retention, and job seekers with this skill set are in high demand at every fulfillment company.

5.  Media Relations

Fulfillment companies typically serve eCommerce clients nowadays. One of the best ways to reach these prospective clients is to have your brand referenced in a blog, magazine, or podcast that they engage with.

As a media relations employee in the fulfillment industry, you will be tasked with a variety of challenges including identifying these publications, soliciting quotations from team members who can offer valuable insight, and building relationships with reporters, bloggers, and podcasters so that when the opportunity for inclusion arises, you’ll be there!

Any successful fulfillment company will need someone in media relations to build and maintain this bridge.

6. Marketing

Marketing opportunities abound in the fulfillment industry. From email campaign creation to on-page and off-page SEO building and everywhere else in between, marketers are responsible for driving the message and outreach of the company and are instrumental in cultivating brand identity.

You will have the opportunity to utilize SEO and SEM techniques, understand how successful ad campaigns work, develop email outreach strategies, create content for your blog and for other publications, and coordinate messaging with clients to ensure high retention rates.

Any fulfillment company without a solid marketing team will likely not be in business for very long, so this is a skill in extremely high demand.

7. Trust and Safety

The trust and safety industry is growing quickly, since platforms -- which includes fulfillment companies and inventory management solutions as well as the eCommerce firms they support -- are increasingly besieged by fraudsters and baseless detractors whose sole aim is to tarnish the brand of a company.

As a trust and safety analyst, you will have a background in loss prevention, community management, investigation, and preferably dashboard structuring.

8. Operations

Many graduates holding degrees from Industrial Engineering and Operations Research end up working in consulting firms or in the financial services industry.

However, if you want to apply your learnings, you will find that the processes present in the fulfillment industry will provide you ample opportunity to demonstrate your ability to optimize processes and procedures.

If you are the type of person who prefers to be actively involved in the process -- actually there in the warehouse or fulfillment center with your co-workers,  as opposed to spending the majority of your time secluded from the fruits of your labor -- this type of career opportunity might interest you.

9. Human Resources

If you have an interest in growing your career as a human resources professional, you might find the fulfillment industry to be a good match for you. The simple truth is that fulfillment presents a set of challenges unique to the industry, but highly desirable and translatable elsewhere.

Many fulfillment companies hire a mix of salaried employees, hourly employees, and independent contractors. The labor laws surrounding these distinct groups are largely blurred, and it will be your job to communicate to executives the difference between how these groups must be handled.

You will also have the chance to impact employee and executive relations and be a major part of culture development. With turnover rates in the fulfillment industry historically high, you will have a decent chance of making a case to a fulfillment center why they should consider hiring you as their HR specialist.

There are many other opportunities in the fulfillment industry for industrial engineers, accountants, human resources, etc. However, this list also hopefully reminds you that many industries are far more intricate and have significantly more opportunities than might ordinarily seem apparent.

Fulfillment is one of those industries, and you can find wonderful opportunities with industry-leading companies today.

Written By
Augie Kennady
Augie Kennady graduated from Columbia University and went to work immediately in the eCommerce sector. He currently works for ShipMonk. His industry-related interests include online education, eCommerce fulfillment, social marketing campaigns, and trust and safety advocacy.

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