Why would anyone choose manufacturing as a career? (Because we make stuff!)
This past week I had the opportunity to give a recent college graduate a tour of our facility. He is trying decide between a career in product design or in manufacturing.
He asked a very interesting question… “What is the difference between product design and manufacturing?” And it got me thinking about the joys and frustrations in manufacturing.
I have had prior jobs that were more “project” related. You had a time line, a deliverable, you had assumptions and priorities. More than anything, you had a point where you were done.
No so with manufacturing. The timeline is always “now”. The deliverable is continuous. While you have assumptions and priorities, sometimes it feels like “wac-a-mole” – you make trade offs and always get beat up for the one thing you did not make happen. More than anything, you are never done. Rather – if you make the target, it gets lowered. It is called continuous improvement.
So why manufacturing? Maybe because of that very last thing – continuous improvement. In manufacturing you can always make it better. The repetitiveness allows you to learn and improve, learn again and improve. It is never, never boring. You find people that enjoy seeing their sweat and energy create an actual thing.
The thing is… You and only you control the mindset of continuous improvement. In the words of Winston Churchhill. “Never, never, never give up”.