As an artist when creating a painting it is important to step back once in while and take in the picture as a whole. This is especially true when working with very detailed media such as pen and ink as you can get into the zone as we say and forget to look at how that little area is affecting the rest of the picture.
The same issue happens when you use a GPS and don’t trip plan properly, you get caught up in the details. You watch your trip one turn at a time and forget to look at the whole trip letting you know about that low bridge 300 miles ahead that can stop a truck in its tracks. That’s why many experienced drivers will tell you that map reading is still the best way to trip plan because it allows you to look at the trip as a whole and also view alternative routes offering safer options.
Your career is very similar to the example above in the world of transportation. You have to look at your career as a whole and not just one year or a certain time frame. That’s where many new students coming into the industry go wrong, they look at their career from where they are now and not where they are going. They focus on the training aspect and view their future career within a short window of time. This can cause a disconnect because they could be missing vital opportunities with carriers and future positions.
Just like I do when painting I encourage you to step back from your training and take look at where you want to go in your career. One way to do this is to figure out what you are good at and how it can fit into your career in the future.
Let me show you how this fits into your bigger picture with a short example. I was doing a recruiting event years ago and met a lady that had been laid off from her position as a manager in the United States and was traveling back to Canada. She enjoyed the drive and thought truck driving may be a viable option. She went through the training with a certified school and was quickly hired on with a carrier in the area. After only six months working as a driver for that carrier she was promoted to being a recruiter which is where I met her. She kept that position for a couple of years before leaving to start her own transportation business in her home town. She combined her love of driving, her management skills, and her love of animals to create her own business transporting dogs around the Province.
My tip to many new people to the industry is to just get into the position of driving and take the training seriously. The transportation industry is so complex that you can’t figure it out sitting at a desk in a classroom. You have to get in, get your hands dirty, and do your best at the position you have. Once that is done opportunities will open up to those that are keeping their eyes open and know where they want to go with their careers. If you don’t know where you want to go then it is important to get experience and those details will pop up later on as you gain experience. Figure out what you are good at or enjoy doing and that will go a long way to helping you decide what opportunities you should take down the road. Just like my painting process take stock of your life by stepping back and it will help you create an amazing career in the future.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is an author of the books Driven to Drive and Running By The Mile, consultant, podcast host, and speaker. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training vocation ensuring quality entry level drivers enter the transportation industry. To learn more about the TTSAO or to find a certified school in your area visit www.ttsao.com