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When did you start to feel like you were good at your job?

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    Now I should clarify, I didn't say I was the bee's knees! One of my favorite phrases, spoken about machining but applicable to almost any skill, is that machining is like an upside down pyramid; the more you learn, the more you realize you still have to learn.

    But I just had a wave of "Dang, I'm not just blindly shouldering my way through for all these years" feelings today.


      For me it's about a year after I get to a new position. At a previous employer I held a few different positions, all in either machine operation or heavy equipment operation (food manufacturing plant). Would take about a year to REALLY get it down, but when I would start noticing myself running laps around everyone else I knew I was getting good at it. Still never took that for granted though. There was always something changing at that place, always something new to learn.

      But even then, I'd have my days where just enough people were screwing with my day-to-day stuff, thinking they knew how to do my job or what "needed to happen." On those days I'd be like "I know more about this than you. Go back to your office & let me do my damn job." Factory work is like that, though.
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        I'm a butcher in a small independent grocery store.

        I felt competent and capable a couple years in. I'm not exceptionally fast, but I cut and fabricate nice looking product and have a real solid grip on the numbers end of business. I take good care of my customers and take pride in helping someone who may not be a competent cook put nice food on their table.

        The owner of the place told me I am "great" at my job this year. He signs my pay check, so his opinion is relevant to me.


          ive always been "good at it" but never felt like i mastered it. Even when ive been trained on a particular piece of equipment and have been servicing it for years, i never felt like a "master". Dont get me wrong, i know the ting inside and out and can usually tell if there is an issue before it fully boots up even.

          the funny thing is, like Glaman said above, i dont think much of it until someone new shows up and they really struggle with something that i thought was pretty basic. i dont like talking down to people but you do have see eye to eye at a certain level... i usually wait till i see them get really frustrated and then ask if they need some help or if they can use a hand. the look on their face when i point out the 2 clips that they were missing the whole time and how easy the repair is after that. but im not cocky about it; it used to be me some years back.


            I do mechanical design (job title is mechanical design engineer, and pretty much everything I do is drawings, but it still feels more like design than engineering; and I like it that way tbh). It usually takes me anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to feel comfortable/proficient depending on the training provided, systems in place, etc. Usually it's closer to the year mark. My current company I'm around 1.5 yrs in and I still feel like I'm coming to grips with what needs to be done. There's a lot of variation, a lot of disorganization, and not much standardization or guidance (and 50% of the templates they do have are wrong in some way or another).

            Originally posted by glaman5266 View Post
            I'd have my days where just enough people were screwing with my day-to-day stuff, thinking they knew how to do my job or what "needed to happen." On those days I'd be like "I know more about this than you. Go back to your office & let me do my damn job." Factory work is like that, though.
            My first job out of university (and most of my coops for that matter) one of my biggest strengths was actually talking and listening to guys on the floor about the work they do and how it's done. Basically just showing them the respect that they know what they're doing better than I do (apparently something lacking in a number of engineers). Mostly I would suggest or make the changes that they requested. Occasionally I would tell them how to do their job, over their objections. That only worked out about 50% of the time but I only did it very rarely (usually after discussing/observing what improvements they needed and just finding a different way of achieving what they actually wanted because their way would screw up the product/processes somewhere else). Sometimes if we needed to do something new and I wasn't sure about how best to go about it I'd just go ask the floor guys. They're the ones who are going to have to make it so why not set it up how they want it?


            • glaman5266


              Editing a comment
              You are one in a million, guy. It's the guys out on the floor, not management, that are making the product. Most of management at my previous employer either had very little floor experience or were younger/knew somebody & got in with no experience. All they did was tell us how to do their jobs, even those who had more experience than the supervisor was old. The ones who did have experience were part of the buddy club & no longer cared when they got to supervision. Good on you, sir, for respecting those on the floor and actually working with them.

            • Grendel


              Editing a comment
              My Dad who was a Design Engineer (designed food processing production lines/equipment) felt that ALL engineers should have to work for a minimum of 2 years on the floor in maintenance before they can be called engineers. I can remember him hauling engineers out to the floor to have them change out parts that they provide no access to do the work and have the maintenance workers just stand there and watch them struggle. He treated me even worse though when I worked at his plant because he told the hiring supervisor not to hire me but the supervisor did anyway. He did not want people thinking I got hired because he was the Plants Managing Engineer.

            Honestly for me, it was about a year and a few months.

            When people who did my tracks way longer than me started asking me what to do, or how I got to a spot so fast.

            Sometimes a fresh set of eyes can help cut out unnecessary wasted time.

            I've also done stuff so fast that I think I forgot to do it. Which is annoying because then I get worried and have to check again.

            Love my job. Gonna suck when my show opens back up though because it'll just be tons of relearning stuff, but it should be an adventure.


              The moment someone I work with seeks me out to handle or help on how to handle the job. The moment people value the work I do I know I am doing something right and I am providing value.
              "When you are asked if you can do a job, tell 'em, 'Certainly I can!' Then get busy and find out how to do it." - Theodore Roosevelt

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                Originally posted by MAr
                ... Nish deleted it...

                Originally posted by Axel "coffee-fueled, beer-cooled."

                Master Jar-Jar


                • nobbie333


                  Editing a comment
                  I agree I always feel like I can do better
                  For my job now I am director of online sales for a small gun store

                Today and yesterday I did my first 'acting' as 'Executive Director'. I finally felt that Senior Management had enough confidence in me, and I felt their support. First days I have been confident after 2.5 years.


                  At my first job, which was a gun tech at the local paintball store, it was about a year in. Customer brought in a Mini, which is a gun a hadn't worked on before, that had gone thru 3 other store's techs. None of them could figure it out. I had the issue properly diagnosed and the parts ordered in under 30 minutes. It became very clear, very quickly, that I was the best [professional] gun tech in the region by a country mile. That sounds arrogant, but it was true.

                  At my current job, I have not felt I'm good at it yet. I'm an architectural drafter, and while I have a good handle on the software we use, I always miss stupid details. I don't think I'll be a drafter long enough to get good at it. I'll probably have moved on to designer by then.


                    Well ... Some "feel good" from a customer: specifically requested for me to come startup they 2 new units ... After my management recommended my lead ...

                    We both been at that customer (on different occasions) and they asked for me by name. Always feel good to see those emails 😁
                    Love my brass ... Love my SSR ... Hard choices ...

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                      Liquor inspector is getting ready to retire. Bringing his replacement around to the bars in their territory. Introduced me to the replacement and told him I was "a good one"
                      Originally posted by MAr
                      ... Nish deleted it...

                      Originally posted by Axel "coffee-fueled, beer-cooled."

                      Master Jar-Jar


                        When 3 of us (including the new Controller) were given 3 days (9 man-days total) to input all the accounting data for 240 new rental units with 4 different depreciation schedules on 3 different screens with 21 different data points, so 20,160 fields to enter. The data was in an Excel spreadsheet and needed to be input into our AS400 system.
                        I spent an hour writing VBA and hit the Go button.
                        I called my new boss over to my desk.
                        Her: "Not now, we have to get this done."
                        Me: "It will be done in an hour and a half. You should see this."
                        She came over to my desk and saw the screen flashing and fields being filled out in the blink of an eye.
                        I explained to her that the job will be done in about an hour and a half, so she can quit the data entry and get her end-of-month tasks completed.
                        I told her, "This is what I do. If you see me cruising the internet, I'm studying code. Leave me alone and I'll make you look good."
                        When I left that job, they had the IT department burn all my code to two different sets of DVDs since I saved the whole department so many manual hours.

                        The Closings department (it was a real estate development company) would hand me printed packets of closing data with different accounting codes for sewage, electric, garbage collection, lot costs, real estate taxes, etc.
                        They were told to limit the packets to 6 lots per packet because the AS400 would time out in 15 minutes if the entry wasn't saved and it had to balance to be saved. A lot was about 60 data fields.
                        I told them it wasn't a problem, do up to 12 per packet.
                        A few weeks later I told them to just email me the workbook and drop off the packets at the end of the day.
                        One day one of the ladies from the closings department came to my desk and said, "I just checked and you got 12 lots posted in under 5 minutes. How in the hell are you doing this?"
                        I showed her my workbook that datamined their sheets and input the data into the AS400.
                        She asked if she could try.
                        She used my workbook from then on because it was easier than walking down the hallway.

                        I learned to code because I'm ambitiously lazy. (VBA, VBScript, Javascript, PHP, ASP, etc.)


                          When I realised nobody in the paintball industry could afford me
                          Last edited by vijil; 06-30-2021, 12:48 AM.


                            When the owner of the company brings me into a meeting with him and 2 other senior managers and says ok we need you to show us how you're doing your job because you're doing it a LOT faster than anyone else and it's always perfect, basically how do we make everyone here into you?
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