When my husband and I started dating so many moons ago, he was a welder. One night when we were talking about our respective careers, he said to me, “I like welding. I don’t think I could be a supervisor like my boss. That would be too boring!” And, given the place he was at with his life, he was absolutely right.
Fast forward a half dozen or so years, and I started noticing a change in my husband. His monologues about work were becoming peppered with stories of managerial mishaps, followed by “If I was the supervisor…” and details of what he would do differently.
This continued for some months. After the umpteenth time of hearing “If I was the supervisor…” I turned to him and asked, “So why don’t you?”
He blinked and looked at me quizzically, “Why don’t I what?”
“Become the supervisor.”
“But,” he started, “I’m a welder. I don’t know much about anything else.”
I laughed. “Sure you do. What do you think you’ve been telling me all this time? You make a lot of sense. If you can put these scenarios into practice, I think you’d be a great supervisor.”
Over time, the notion of being a supervisor didn’t seem so far-fetched. He had a number of years in a variety of manufacturing settings, and many instances of his work involved him being the lead person on a project. In addition, he was interested in going back to school to learn more about management philosophies and the like, basically gaining the information that would support what he innately knew.
Finally, my husband took the jump and applied for an in-house supervisory position at his place of work. No, he didn’t get the job, but he did get the opportunity to talk with the hiring manager after the fact to discuss what he could have done better in the interview and how he could become a greater asset to the company. The hiring manager was impressed with his professionalism and his company-first attitude; he completely supported my husband’s goal of becoming a supervisor.
A few months later, another opportunity as a supervisor opened up. No, he didn’t get that one, either, but it didn’t dissuade him. He kept trying, and eventually, he found the right opening in a part of the company that was an excellent fit for his background.
And he thrived.
Now, that doesn’t mean it’s been completely smooth sailing. But I do know that, even with the bumps in the road, his career change from a welder to a supervisor was absolutely the right move for him. In the early days after my husband’s job change, he would come home from work, his eyes dancing with excitement about the events of the day. Now that he has been doing this gig for a while, his enthusiasm is a bit more tempered, but he still loves what he does.
If you are at a crossroads in your career or your life, I pose the same question to you: Why don’t you? Really, why don’t you?
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