Safety as a career has many challenges with good days, mediocre days and bad days. Then, there are the inevitable organizational changes that have us starting over in a new position, company or both. I think we have all been in positions where the circumstances have us wondering why we ever chose safety as a career or why we should continue in this career choice.
Recently, I had a short-term safety job assignment working with a large, privately-held company in Holland. The week prior, I was working long hours on an assignment in Canada. Then, after less than one day spent at home, I embarked on a series of long flights to Europe. This led to one long day after another, working with the many safety culture challenges in this organization’s various countries of business in Asia, North America and into Europe. The sleep deprivation and significant time zone changes finally overcame my resistances, and I had the worst cold I have had in years.
However, there were bright spots as well. The organization responded well and moved toward a path of developing a safety culture that will significantly reduce the injury frequency of its employees worldwide. Additionally, I had another chance to meet with my relatives in Holland. Over dinner, my cousin Jan gave me some insight from his global career that helped me in the moment and I hope will also help you in your safety career challenges. Jan’s striking comment was: “You get the clients you earn.”
As I thought this over, there were multiple aspects that impacted me and may very well help you in the readership audience as well. For the hard cases, we have to invest the time and effort it takes to have them succeed. There seems to be no laydowns in this profession. We are hired and retained to make a real difference in personal injury performance, and we have to earn our stripes by helping the organization that pays us succeed.
The other significant epiphany from Jan’s simple comment allowed me to recognize weak spots in my background and abilities, keeping me from being as effective as I can be. I must work through these personal challenges and earn my way to better performance and ability. These personal growth areas must be accomplished if I am to continue with a career in safety that can assist my “clients” with improving their safety performance in areas that present insurmountable challenges.
What is in your safety and personal life reality that has earning potential?