Are you on the hunt for a new job? Does the idea of working in a smaller city away from the Twin Cities Metro sound appealing to you?
It sounded appealing to me. As the current regional sales manager of Anderson Trucking Service (ATS) Logistics Duluth, I started at ATS corporate headquarters in 2021 before transferring to the Duluth office in early 2023.
Whether you’re attending college in Duluth or you’re a career sales professional looking to settle in Duluth, you want to find a workplace that can meet your needs — with benefits and a good culture to boot. With plenty of options in front of you, it’s crucial to take the time to research each job opportunity to decide which career path suits you best.
In this article, I’m going to explore the unique and thriving work environment in Duluth, Minnesota. You’ll discover why a smaller city might just be the perfect place for your career aspirations.
History of the Duluth Office
The Duluth branch of ATS Logistics opened in August 2020, right in the midst of the challenging times brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. While ATS Inc. was founded in 1955 by Harold Anderson, ATS Logistics was introduced in 1989. There are several locations across the country, including Lenexa, Kansas and Greenville, South Carolina.
It's no secret that starting a new office during the pandemic's peak was a daunting task, but fast forward three years, and the Duluth office has not only survived but thrived.
In fact, the office is poised to celebrate its best month ever at the time of this writing, which is a testament to both our team’s resilience and growth. The sense of accomplishment and camaraderie within our team is palpable.
We have six national sales representatives (NSRs) in the office, as well as my role as a regional office sales manager.
Connecting to Corporate
You may be worried about working for a smaller, regional office instead of working at a larger, corporate office. Is there a disconnect? Are there still perks for the smaller regional offices? Does the team still get much-needed support?
The Duluth office may be several hours from the corporate ATS office located in St. Cloud, Minnesota — and even further from offices in Lenexa and Greenville — but our team members stay connected. We have strong relationships with corporate and the other offices. Regular team meetings with colleagues in different locations foster a sense of unity and camaraderie.
Employees have open lines of communication with managers, directors and various teams, which helps us feel connected despite the distance from corporate headquarters. The smaller city's culture extends beyond the office, creating an environment that is professionally and personally fulfilling.
When new team members start, they’re invited to visit corporate to take a tour and train with team members to gain a better understanding of their role in the company and how the teams work together.
The Culture at Duluth
What sets our Duluth team apart is the exceptional culture we’ve cultivated. The strong sense of unity and friendship among colleagues is a driving force behind our success.
The team openly communicates with one another, whether it's discussing work, life or another of our favorite topics — food. In fact, potlucks and ice cream socials are regular occurrences, and we often choose fun themes for these gatherings. From picnics to Halloween-themed events, the office culture is both productive and enjoyable.
Laughter, conversation and shared experiences have created a family-like atmosphere in the office. This close-knit environment ensures that everyone looks forward to coming to work every day.
The Duluth office isn't just about shared laughs and food; we also use our close connections to share our professional successes and challenges. Sales can be a challenging field, with periods of feeling stuck or unsure of how to proceed.
By sharing success stories, team members discover new approaches to reaching out to customers and boosting our sales. Equally important, sharing challenges equips us to handle customer-related difficulties more effectively.
The Duluth office's work culture fosters a sense of belonging and encourages employees to reach for their career goals.
Small Town, Big Opportunities
There’s a misconception that people need to move to major cities to advance their careers. That’s not the case.
As you know, I started my career at the corporate ATS office before eventually moving to Duluth. I advanced from an NSR to an NSR 4 in my time at corporate. Soon after I transferred to Duluth I was promoted to regional sales manager. My trajectory in particular exemplifies the limitless potential that can be found in smaller cities.
You can grow in your role and within your company no matter if you’re in a small town or a big city. It just comes down to finding a company that prioritizes your growth and offers opportunities for advancement.
The Duluth office exemplifies this principle, with plans to fill more NSR positions and, eventually, to create opportunities for sales managers. As we expand, we might even establish an in-house operations team, further disproving the notion that small offices stifle growth.
The Appeal of Smaller Cities
Choosing a smaller city like Duluth over a major metropolis has its advantages. The smaller town, homey atmosphere and close-knit community provide a welcome change from the hustle and bustle of large metros.
Not only that, but the Duluth office boasts a scenic view of Lake Superior right in its backyard. Employees can take a leisurely walk by the lake during breaks — offering a refreshing recess from work. The serene environment provides a unique perspective that larger cities simply can't match.
The Ideal Candidates for ATS Logistics Duluth
The ideal candidate for the Duluth office is someone who has drive, a willingness to learn and the patience to make it through the difficult first year as you work to build a book of business.
The right candidates for ATS Logistics Duluth value career growth and view the city as their long-term home. People with prior experience and a desire for a career in a smaller city like Duluth will find ample opportunity to develop their skills and advance their careers.
Join the Team in Duluth
If you're in the job market and have considered working outside a major metro area, the Duluth experience exemplifies the growth, opportunities and unique charm that such locations can offer. There’s no need to limit your career aspirations to major cities; smaller cities like Duluth might just be the perfect place for you to thrive and find a fulfilling job.
Duluth's story is a testament to the endless possibilities and exciting prospects that a smaller office can bring to your career. So, why not give it a shot? If you love sales and you're looking for a place where you can find personal career growth, a collaborative culture that makes coming to work something to look forward to and a view that's hard to beat, we want to hear from you. Your dream job could be waiting in a smaller city near you.
If you’re looking to join the team, check out your career opportunities here.