Do you ever get in a rut and the days just seem to go by? Some people don’t even realize they are in the rut, they just go about their business not thinking about tomorrow. What about the guys who get to the end of that work life and find they have nothing left to work for. At that end of life things change in a different direction, you start holding on, afraid to let go not wanting to give up that position that you have created for a lifetime. This happens to many of us, we trudge through life not sure where we’re going. If you’re lucky you notice it in time to make changes, if not then you hope for the best.
This happened to me in my driving career I had reached a high level of satisfaction with the company. I had a number of years of seniority, good vacation time and benefits. I never drove trucks older than two years old and was dedicated to my own trailer. I was on dedicated runs that gave me secure miles and income. Everything a professional driver could want, except for one thing. I had stopped growing. Up to that point I had been working hard to make a name for myself as the best professional driver I could be. I kept the truck polished, delivered on time, and was not afraid to step up and take that extra load to help the team. Once I hit that mark of having all the attributes I was trying to gain the boredom process began to set in. At that point you have two choices, you can continue to follow your current program and keep a stable lifestyle and income or you can turn the whole thing upside down and try to find a way to make yourself grow again.
Now when I suggest you turn your life upside down that is meant tongue and cheek. I don’t expect you to quit your job, put your family in the street and hang out at coffee shops. I do want you to look at what fueled that fire when you started in your career and try to capture that spirit again. Many times this can be done by creating a bucket list of things you hoped to achieve through your career and personal life. Maybe the best place to start is in your own operation, what can be improved, what can be changed, what can be discarded? Have you been on that dedicated run too long and need to move into other areas? Are you thinking about getting into the safety department or some other administrative department? Maybe now is the time to start asking some questions and improving where needed. The only person that can fuel that passion is you. Like any fire that fuel for the fire starts at the bottom of the fire and that’s where it has to start with you. Sometimes making a change requires drastic measures, just like starting a fire sometimes requires lighter fluid!
About the Author
Bruce Outridge is a business and leadership consultant with over 30 years experience in the transportation industry. For more information on programs for owner operators and professional driver please visit www.outridge.ca