You’ve got your CDL and you’re ready to roll out the gate. Before you put the key in the ignition on your first job, here are some tips to help you out as you start your career.
1. More mental than physical.
It can be lonely out there on the road. You have to put yourself in the right mindset. For some, being away from family and friends for a long period of time can weigh on the driver.
2. Don’t expect the best out of the gate.
The first job you take probably won’t be the one you’re at for the longterm. Your first job is where you gain the experience and skills needed to land you the perfect gig. You’re used to driving a personal vehicle. This is the year you get the hang of being on the road in a big rig. This is also a good time to decide what you want out of your career. Once you know what is important to you including benefits, vacation time, work-life balance, you will know what to look for. So, find a quick job out of the gate and get the experience needed to find your perfect gig.
3. Set a one-year goal – no accidents
During your first year, focus on safety. Finishing your first-year accident-free is a victory. It might also help you land your dream job. When a fleet manager is working on your credentials, seeing a clean driving record can help your chances.
4. Don’t Job Hop
A lot of young people switch jobs often in their first year. This isn’t a good idea in trucking. The amount of time you spend at a company matters. The fewer times you change jobs, the higher the chances at a top-paying carrier.
5. Check your attitude
It takes a special kind of person to be a trucker. Long days on the road away from family – it’s not for everyone. In fact, there is often talk of a driver shortage. So, by bringing a good attitude, you can increase your chances of being a driver that will be taken care of during the slow seasons.
Trucking can be a great career with some special perks: getting to see the country, a new adventure every day, being part of the backbone of America. But, the first year can be tough as you are adjusting to a new normal. Use these tips to stay above the rest and help reach your career goals.