5 answers

How to avoid doubting myself in my schooling/learning of a new trade?

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Starting a tech program brings a lot of doubts about, Can I do this? What if I burn myself out too quickly? Is this the right choice for me?
What are some ways to avoid doubting myself in my choices and avoiding my indecisiveness?

#trade-program #trade #schooling #second-thoughts #welding #schooling #school

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5 answers

Jason’s Answer

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Whenever we try something new, it's natural to worry about whether things will turn out the way we want. One simplified way to answer your question on decisiveness is the following trick- take a coin and assign it two choices (e.g. Heads for yes, do it; Tails for no, don't do it). Then flip the coin and let it decide. If you feel a gut reaction disagreeing with the coin, then do the opposite and don't fret about your choice too much. This is assuming you've gathered enough information around the topic (e.g. what's covered in the tech program, how long is it, what are the expected weekly hours to commit, what is considered the required background/foundational knowledge, how much it costs [and if it's expensive, what sort of financing options are there, and are there scholarships/ part time jobs one can do to support the learning]).

Sometimes, we worry about failing. As cliche as this might sound, often it's better to try and fail, than to not try at all. Regardless of success/failure there is a lot that can be learned, and other things you gain from the experiences, whether it's a new skill, new perspectives, new friends.
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Jason’s Answer

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Bailey,

Ask yourself one simple question, "am I passionate about the field I am about to get into"? If the answer is a resounding YES, then you can and will succeed. The last thing I like seeing is people getting into a career or area of study they are not happy about. When you love what you do then school or work won't seem like something you have to do, rather something you want to do. Burnout is common, just pace yourself and remember to take care of yourself. Its okay to take breaks, go out and have fun once in awhile and unwind. Break learning up into small chunks and tackle each challenge a small piece at a time instead of looking at the entire picture which can appear to be overwhelming. I hope this helps and best of luck to you.
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Dallas’s Answer

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A mess is many times a sign of progress.

If you mess up... learn from it and at least mess up in a new way... I have done this over the years and now I specialize in fixing others broken welds, poor welds, bent pieces. Through my mistakes Ive learned how to help others.
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Kim’s Answer

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Give yourself permission. Permission to make mistakes. Permission to be disappointed. Permission to change your mind. BUT, not permission to simply quit. It is important to start young in life learning to push through the hard times. If there is some aspect of a lesson you just aren't getting, google it. I can almost guarantee there is a youtube video covering it. I did that when I was in school. I wasn't grasping what the professor was talking about. He didn't present it in a way that made sense to me. So, I found alternative instructional sources to supplement his lectures.

If at some point you decide it really isn't for you, see if you can take it in a different direction. Many people make good money doing "art" with scrap metal. Welding encompasses many areas, and there are many different types of welds, different types of metals, etc, and different uses for the skill. Before you totally abandon it, ask yourself if you can use it some other way. And, if you have a job doing welding, and want to quit, you have to ask yourself if you are having problems with people or just don't like the job. It could be the only way to know is to take a job elsewhere and see how you feel about it.

The further you progress in your trade, the greater your confidence will become. When newer students ask you for help, it will boost your confidence. If you get ribbed by the guys, let it roll off. I think it is awesome for women to be in non-traditional fields. I had all this self doubt and more when I became a police officer. As I advanced in my career, I had gained the respect of my fellow officers and supervisors. There are ways for you to do this in welding as well. ALWAYS take pride in your work, and do the best you can. Never say something is "good enough." Strive for perfection. (but again, give yourself permission to be a human!)

I hope this makes sense. . . .!
Kim
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Gary’s Answer

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I ran across an article this morning that might help with your decision. It suggested the importance of selecting a career that aligns to your personality. I have known a few welders over the year—they have tended to be a quieter and maybe a little more introverted. Welding is kind of a solitary position, there is not a lot of team building or communication. It is rather solitary profession. If you think you would fit into that mold, then it might be a great choice. It would not be a fit for me, because I tend to be a little more social and appreciate feedback and interaction with my leadership and peers.

Gary recommends the following next steps:

  • Read this article https://hbr.org/2019/12/4-careers-for-people-who-are-easily-distracted?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter_daily&utm_campaign=mtod_notactsubs&deliveryName=DM66337
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