Choosing the Right Job Based on Your Skills
The transportation industry is one of the largest industries in North America. The amount of people employed ranges in the millions and the type of work available fits every skill set. With such a large workforce and with so many different positions available how do you know what type of work is the best for you. Do you choose a job by money, location, type of work, job title, or a host of other criteria? Do you take a position based on hierarchy? All of these questions come to mind for someone new to the industry and unfortunately there is no one answer. If you ask most people already the industry they will tell you, “It depends”. What does that mean?
When I started in the industry I was seventeen years old and didn’t even know what a truck was. My family had never had anything to do with the trucking industry, I didn’t have friends in the industry, I didn’t even know there was an industry. I just needed a job and started working for a company in the moving industry. That was at seventeen and I am now fifty-five years old and my career has more twists and turns than I can count and not one of them was on my goal list or suggested career path. I didn’t talk to a career counselor, I didn’t see where I would end up in the future, I just needed a job.
My career path looks like this; helper carrying furniture onto trucks, furniture driver with a “D” licence, furniture driver with an “A” licence, owner operator, city driver, long haul driver, specialized delivery driver, dispatcher, fleet supervisor, industry columnist, industry cartoonist, industry author, social media expert, transportation consultant, podcast host, television host, and entrepreneur. Every one of those positions have involved the transportation industry and still do to this day. If you look at the path after columnist the other jobs didn’t even exist so there is no way I could have said I was going to be a podcast host. For me the best thing I ever did was just get started in the industry and take opportunities as they appealed to me going through my career and I would suggest the same for most if they have some ambition.
If you are unlike me and prefer not to leave your career to chance there are some things you can do to choose the right position for you. You have to look at three things; the type of work you like to do, the type of work you are good at doing, and the type of training you have acquired.
The type of work you like to do?
The first place to start when looking for a position in the industry is to figure out the type of work you would like to do? Do you like to drive and see the Country? Then a long haul driving job may be good for you? Do you like to talk to people or have a great personality then a recruiting job may be best suited to you? Are you organized and enjoy fast-paced environments then a position as a dispatcher may be your calling? Like to fix things and tinker with machinery then a mechanic job may be best for you? Look at what interests you and start from there when choosing a position.
The type of work you’re good at doing?
The next area to look into is what type of work are you good at doing? Many of us have a natural talent for a certain type of work. Some people are good at administration and others hate it. Some are good at fixing things and others don’t like getting grease on their hands. Think about what you are good at doing and look for jobs that fit those skills.
The type of training you have acquired?
Have you had existing training in a particular area? If so that can be extremely valuable in helping direct you in a certain career. If you have had safety training in the past that may help guide you towards a position in the safety department. Lots of training is available in the industry so past training isn’t a necessity but can be very helpful if you have already achieved a certain skill set.
So if you are looking for a job or investigating a new career then the transportation holds many opportunities. The Truck Training School Association of Ontario (TTSAO) is holding a career fair on May 26th in the Mississauga area. You can learn more about the TTSAO Hiring Event by clicking the link below. Get out there and find the career for you!
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, and host of The Lead Pedal Podcast. 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