Devaluation of Skilled Trades
I recently came across a very interesting article on the MotorAge website which basically says exactly what I have been saying for, at least, the last 5 years.
In recent years our society as a whole as begun to devalue skilled trades. This means young people have been hearing, both at home and at school, how they should be avoiding careers like automotive technician.
Kids simply aren't aware of the opportunities that skilled trade training can offer them. As a result, the average age of a mechanic in the United States has gotten older and older: currently somewhere in the mid-40s.
I am convinced that through doing what I do I have learned more about managing money, people, and general life skills than could ever be learned through school or through the traditional corporate America route. Being a business owner has taught me to respect my team which makes me more aware of the impact my decisions could have on them. They are in the trenches every day with me striving to make a difference. To succeed, I must depend on my system and their hard work executing the steps of the system. This way of thinking has eliminated the need to push others down or step on people to get ahead.
Being a skilled laborer means you need to develop techniques and habits to be successful. One of the biggest lessons my father has taught me about mechanics is that you need to understand how something works before you can attempt to fix it. And this applies to so many other things, not just mechanics. Basic life skills of stopping and thinking about how something works: Hmm, does this home ac repair sound legit? Do I really need all these x y and z upgrades? Does this financing deal look alright?
Not being afraid to get dirty. Skilled labor jobs have taught me it's okay to get dirty. Whatever it takes to get a job done, let's do it. This alone has pushed me outside of my comfort zone compared to my peers when it comes to trying new things.
When you have a skill no one can take that away from you and you can adapt. I am grateful for my college degree, but let's be realistic: the information I learned was dated the moment I left university. Skilled workers can find jobs, even if the industry is dying, there is always somewhere else you can plug into by going off the similarities. You won't become extinct.
Using my body and my brain. I am creative and solve problems with everything I have and I easily apply motor skills and reflexes other people never develop.
You can make a good, honest living. When you're good at what you do people will come to you. Push yourself in your craft. If you're the best or have the privilege to work with or learn from the best you're going to be developing the habits that will make you successful in other areas of your life. My shop literally has a lady who gets all her major maintenance done when she visits from MISSOURI. I had two families driving from AUSTIN for oil changes until I found a place closer to them. I have clients from the WOODLANDS who drive an hour for us to work on their vehicles. They know we are going to treat them right, fairly, and do the best job possible because the pride in and responsibility for the work we do at Professional Auto Care.
Simply put: there is absolutely nothing wrong with making an honest living with your hands! The choice for me to stay in this industry after facing all kinds of outside pressure was my passion calling to me. I encourage everyone to find their passion. Don't pay any mind to what others think. In the words of Dr. Seuss: "The ones who matter don't mind and the ones who mind don't matter!"
My oldest nephew, Preston Luke Serratos.