I have heard (and tend to agree), that about 50% of all drivers would come off the road if they could get a job that pays the same as what they are getting now. That means a very significant amount of co-workers are not really committed to the industry. It is the primary reason anywhere from 5-15% of all independent operators you see on the road today will not be there in twelve months. Approximately 50% of those who will quit this year will be back within 24 months due to financial necessity. It appears many drivers do so primarily for the money.
Prior to 2003, I too was looking to find something other than trucking. I toyed with research, software companies as well as other respectable interests. But it wasn’t until I got personally involved in a client’s conflict with their carrier that I committed to serving the industry. It was then that I began writing my first book. Well over a decade later I love my job and believe its one of the best choices I ever made. It’s not that I’m making more money than I could in other industries, its that I see the benefits of my commitment and derive a deep sense of success from helping people. Happiness in a career comes from a sense of purpose, not finances.
Drivers who count enjoy their work. Enjoying anything in life will require commitment, most everyone knows that very few jobs will be “perfect”. I’ve always heard that if you enjoy 80% of what you do then you will truly enjoy it. The other 20% is endured with a good attitude, waiting for it to pass back to the 80%.
Enjoying your career is much more than just WHAT you do. It’s primarily HOW you do it. Even doing the simplest of tasks can be made special if its done with integrity. Everyone wants to be known as a person of integrity, it breeds respect. Respect is a commodity of much greater value than dull old cash. When a person is respected and valued they rarely leave. Building a career on integrity takes time and usually considerable sacrifice, but once integrity sets in its a foundation that can carry a great deal of career pride.
When integrity is the foundation of any career it will attract people of like mind. Acquiring and renewing good quality friendships is one of life’s greatest blessings. Everyone suffers from disappointments and setbacks, having trustworthy comrades to support us is often times the difference between surviving and veering off the path and into the rhubarb. Friendships are no different than any other life asset, they need investment and regular maintenance. Don’t leave them unattended too long. In today’s technology there is not excuse to dropping out of touch.
True success will always involve some form of charity. Living only for oneself takes the color out of the most beautiful of flowers. Having the ability to help someone, no matter how small can fulfill a person more than the highest wage. Commit yourself to not only give to others who need but encourage those around you to give as well. Become a roll model of generosity and care. It’s truly what separates the great from the average. Just as cream rises to the top, a generous and caring driver will be made room for.
Having a good driving career is actually way more dependent on character and integrity issues than anything physical to the job. Integrity, friendships and charity are essential to all of life’s success no matter what career choice is made. If these character qualities are high on your list of investment choices each day, even the menial tasks of keeping a truck between the ditches will grow into a fantastic life.
Working in an atmosphere of respect and integrity makes any job awesome. Being a leader, someone of influence for the good of your environment makes you a driver who truly counts.