Hard work, training, learning, and perseverance are what land people jobs that align with their area of trade expertise. However, as with any job, most start out at the bottom of the totem pole. They find themselves, even after the prelude of extensive training, having to build a career from the ground up. Being proactive about these progressions is key and we recommend a few tricks to accelerate the process and get ahead in your trade.
Cultivate your strengths and knowledge
Self-awareness is critical in any industry, but particularly the trade industry. You’ve spent the time to acquire your field’s skill-set, now is not the time to get lazy. Push yourself. Research your industry. Stay on the cutting edge of what your industry does. Get to know the tools and companies like Northland Fastening Systems or Snap-On, for example, that supply them before you need them on a job. To stay competitive is to stay in front of others in the same trade. Practice even if that means working off the clock.
Talk to masters of the trade
Respecting your elders isn’t just something to apply to your non-professional life. Seek out those that have been in the industry the longest. Not only can you seek counsel on how they stuck with it and progressed to their professional status, but you can also ask what tricks of the trade best suited their needs. They may know something you don’t. Years of experience can sometimes be more valuable than years of simply learning the mechanical procedures of a task. Connecting with someone who has been doing it for a long time is also a great way to network and build reliable, productive relationships.
Goals are something that can carry someone from the infancy of their education to the point of being a journeyman or master. For example, if you are currently apprenticing to be a welder, make it a goal to log a specific number of hours in a week so you finish your apprenticeship by a chosen goal date. When you are taking the educational components, make it a goal to pass each test with above a specific percentage. Achieving minor goals on the path to your overall trade apex is a way to stay not only motivated, but also on top of the playing field.
Being a trade worker requires a lot of hours and a lot of effort to even get to the bottom of the barrel for work. The benefit of this is that those that are motivated only have one way to go but up.
How did you get ahead in your trade? Tell us below.