What does it mean to be young and part of the moving industry? Why should top management consider young professionals for leadership positions? Are young movers part of the decision-making process of the industry and its continuity? FIDI 39 Club Vice President Juan Guillermo Díaz reports
We invited Gabriela Humeniuk from Lift Van Argentina, Namita Sharma from Delight International Movers, and Jonathan Lim from Asian Tigers – Singapore to share their views on being young professionals in the moving and relocation business – and the challenges and perks of a leadership position.
What is the role of a young mover in today’s industry? And a young mover in a leadership position?
According to Humeniuk being a young mover means being constantly challenged in a very positive way. ‘You get to learn a lot every single day, to explore your own limits, to use your creativity in everything you do and to embrace new ways of learning and teaching others,’ she says. She adds that it is essential to be open to new experiences to enjoy the many opportunities that the industry has to offer.
Sharma says a mover who is not far into their industry career journey presents an opportunity to make a significant impact.
‘As young leaders, we have the responsibility to guide and shape the industry’s future direction,’ she says. ‘Embracing this role opens numerous opportunities for us to contribute at all levels, ensuring sustainable growth and making informed decisions.’
For Lim, a ‘young mover’ is more a state of mind than an age – it can, for example, simply refer to someone who is new to the moving industry. Bringing these people into leadership positions, shows that the organisation trusts the individual, has an openness to change, and to new ideas. ‘This fuels a drive to improve and innovate to make an organisation better.’
What advice would you give a young professional starting in the moving industry?
‘I think to have passion, a willingness to learn and embrace challenges,’ says Lim. ‘Always be a sponge that never stops absorbing.’
Sharma encourages all young movers to embrace new learning opportunities and dive in. ‘Only then will you truly appreciate the beauty of the moving world and recognise the pivotal role movers play in helping customers relocate their homes,’ she says.
Humeniuk adds: ‘It’s such an amazing industry and there’s so much to do and so many people to learn from. I would have never imagined that I would have fallen in love so deeply with what I do, or that I would get the chance to put so much of who I am into what I do. This industry opens doors – don’t forget it.’
What’s the hardest challenge in terms of the relationship between older and younger movers? Sharma believes the biggest challenge in communicating between generations lies in differing approaches to situations. ‘Older generations often adhere to traditional work methods and philosophies, while young movers display agility and resilience, particularly around changing technologies, work models, and global trends,’ she says.
Humeniuk adds that having people in your group who are not eager to adapt to new ways of doing things can be a challenge. ‘This will, of course, depend on your team,’ she says. ‘In my case, I have had
the opportunity to work with older generations and most people are very open to learning to do things differently and for those who aren’t, or who don’t feel comfortable with doing so, there’s always a way for us to learn from them.’
Lim adds that managing change is always a challenge if someone shows resistance. ‘It is important to understand their thought process and rationale, to earn their trust in the change and implement it effectively, while still retaining their support,’ he says.
FIDI 39 Club President Jackie Stouffer says in her column in this issue: ‘If a company does not take the required steps towards retention, talent will find a more attractive offer without a second thought – it’s easier than ever thanks to virtual capabilities and the growing trend of digital nomads.’
Do you think our moving industry is ready for emerging work models, such as those described by Jackie Stouffer as ‘digital nomads’?
Humeniuk thinks that it depends on how each company works and its specific goals and objectives. ‘In our case, group work and group activities are as important as anything else so when someone is not at the office or is not part of our group activities, we do feel like a part of us is missing,’ she says. ‘However, it does not mean that it cannot be done.’
Lim believes different job functions require different levels of face-to-face interaction. ‘Move management may require a level of response where it is important to maintain the same time zone, which makes this model not feasible,’ he says. ‘However, as a result of the pandemic, surveyors have already led the way in adopting virtual working.’
Sharma adds that the ‘digital nomad’ model may be more suited for backend roles that don’t involve face-to-face work with clients. However, ‘the front-end tasks of packing and moving cannot be effectively transitioned to this work model’, he says. ‘Departments such as pricing and customer service can work remotely. However, area coordinators and supervisors in companies such as mine aim to provide that extra care and personalisation for each customer.’
What would you change about our industry?
Sharma thinks that one crucial aspect she would like the industry to embrace is finding the right balance between the perspectives, goals, and passions of both younger and older generations of movers. ‘Establishing proper benchmarks and nurturing this balance is essential for driving industry growth effectively,’ she says.
Humeniuk laughs: ‘Wow. That’s a tough question. Some time ago I would have changed the fact it was hard for young movers to get more involved in conventions or gatherings; but the FIDI 39 Club has already addressed the issue with the scholarship and mentorship programmes and in so many other areas.’
Do you think that being young in our industry is an impediment to being in a top management role?
‘Not at all’, says Lim. ‘When you have demonstrated your capabilities, being young is no obstacle – as long as you have the support of both colleagues and company.’
Sharma says we are seeing a progressive shift in the industry as more young individuals join and assume management positions. ‘While reaching these roles can still be challenging, many companies are increasingly receptive to new philosophies,’ she says. ‘This positive trend signifies an evolving landscape that welcomes the integration of younger talent into the industry. At our company, everyone is appreciated for the talent and key skills they bring to the table.
Young movers are passionate in their work and can also be visionaries who can make a significant mark in the industry.’
Humeniuk concludes: ‘This industry opens so many doors to new experiences and there are so many different things to do and to learn from. You can never get bored – it’s an industry where the phrase “The sky is the limit” is so real for so many of us. Being young is a plus and not an impediment. The industry needs more young movers to become leaders. We are the future of FIDI.
‘Today, being a young professional is about flexibility, responsibility, and balance. The world continues to change and companies should invest in their talent. Being open to change isn’t just about disruption – it is about adaptability and survival, too.
‘Every human being is the soul of a company. Generations will pass and legacies must endure, so the final question is: “Are we ready for the next generation to take over?”’
The FIDI 39 Club thanks Gabriela Humeniuk, Namita Sharma and Jonathan Lim for participating in this important conversation. The club will continue to help young movers thrive and ensure we have a voice in this wonderful FIDI community.
If you are looking to get more involved, contact the FIDI 39 Club at firstname.lastname@example.org