My current boss pointed this out to me recently that I have an odd drive about me when given a task. She commented that I can focus on something, take care of what needs to be done, and produce high quality results. She was envious of this ethic. She wanted to know how I am not distracted by other things.
It was flattering and caused me to think about where this drive came from. The most reasonable conclusion is it is an innate part of my personality and that it was further honed through working with my dad as I was growing up. My father is a machinist and had me start coming into the shop with him on Saturdays when I was 12 years old. I helped out by sweeping and cleaning up the shop. Every once in a while he would put me on a buffer wheel. It was great bonding time with my dad, and also insight into his work ethic and drive.
As I got older, he elevated the difficulty level of the tasks he would assign me. He taught me how to use automatic mills and lathes. He showed me how to set-up machines and make alterations to programs, when product dimensions would start to not meet specified modifications. I was given a lot of the major mass-production projects for the company. These were often monotonous jobs that had thousands (if not tens of thousands of parts) to be completed and would sometimes take weeks to meet the order. It was doing a lot of the same thing over and over again. I created small games to see how quickly I complete the orders. I would track my number of completed parts per hour and see if there were ways I could make myself more efficient. I was constantly looking for ways to do things quicker, while keeping the necessary level of accuracy through constantly checking part dimensions. I had deadlines and quotas to meet. I worked my ass off to make sure that I always met them, and that I completed the tasks long before the deadline. I did it because I wanted my dad to be proud of the work that I was doing. He was.
It was through my time working with my dad at the machine shop and watching him that I developed my drive. Every day I worked with him, I saw his work ethic. I saw his drive. Even on days when things were going wrong, he was always trying to make the best of the situation and find small wins. He was always working to complete something. Everyday he accomplished something at his job. He taught me this through his words and actions.
My work ethic and drive was developed through years of working in a machine shop with my dad. Thinking back on this time together with him, I realized how much it has taught me about treating people, supervising others, and being a professional. I can’t thank him enough for this opportunity when I was growing up, as it was such an integral part in making me the professional and person I am today.