Kristin Davidson has been with BNSF Logistics for 17 years. She started in an entry-level role, doing a bit of everything, and moved up the ladder to a managerial role, where she now oversees people across the country. As Davidson’s career grew, the company was growing, too. BNSF Logistics was only about 25 people when she started. Now, it has more than 40 offices.
Davidson has managed to stake out a space for herself as a leader in a rapidly changing and expanding business — and to stay engaged with her work every day. Reading her accomplishments led me to ask: What is her key to building influence within an organization, and keeping up the momentum to do it again and again?
Recently, Davidson shared what has kept her excited about working at BNSF Logistics, what she’s learned from her many roles at the company and what she does every day to keep her work at a promotion-ready quality level. She also shared the advice that’s helped her career grow within one organization, the quality that makes a manager special and more.
How long have you been with BNSF Logistics? What about it made you first want to join?
I’ve been with the company for 17 years. Third-party logistics is an extremely prominent field in the area that I live in, and I’ve always been curious about how things work. Logistics is extremely strategic, but also includes so many problem-solving puzzles that each day is different!
Tell me about the roles that you’ve held at your company, as well as your current one. What about this role most excites you?
I began when the company employed only about 25 people. It was very much a startup. I was a college student and I needed a challenge. My first role was very much a “catch-all” position — I worked on everything from scheduling appointments to data entry to carrier insurance services. When I was a senior, I walked into work and my boss asked me: “Are you ready to be a broker today?” I said “yes, yes, yes!” I worked with multiple customers as a broker and loved it. In 2016, I became a Team Leader and, in 2019, an Operations Manager. My favorite roles were the entry role, because it taught me the base of the business, and my current role, because I get to work with people all over the country.
What’s something you’re especially good at at work?
Working with customers to start new projects from scratch!
What’s the first (and/or last) thing you do at work every day?
First, I make an updated to-do list. Last, I check in with my team and prepare my list for the next day. I tend to come up with new ideas after work and add to my list in the morning.
A lot of people believe that developing your career means changing companies, and not infrequently. What has enabled you to develop/advance your career without job hopping?
Having both short-term and long-term goals is important. So is having a company you believe in — and it’s very rewarding to be a part of its growth!
Ultimately, what has led you to stay at BNSF Logistics?
I’ve always felt very dedicated to my roles and enjoy seeing where they can lead both me and the company. I like the idea of working towards something and watching it grow.
What’s something you think most people (perhaps even current employees) don’t know about your company that you think they should?
We grew from scratch, and there is a lot of pride in that! There was a time when our company was so small we didn’t even have a coffee budget — we took up a collection and sent one person (the one person with a wholesale club card) to buy coffee. Now, we have offices everywhere you can imagine.
What was the best quality of the best boss you’ve ever had?
What’s the most memorable piece of career advice you’ve received?
Do the job before it’s yours.
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