Professional development tactics

Guest editorial
Aaron Clevenger
Generation Next Governor at Large
Muncie Power Products Inc.

This article was published in the March 2020 edition of NTEA News.

NTEA caught up with Generation Next Governor at Large Aaron Clevenger of Muncie Power Products Inc. Here, he offers insights to work truck industry newcomers.

What advice can you offer professionals who are new to the industry?
Being new to the work truck industry can have its challenges. The industry is very close-knit, but it’s all about getting connected.

  • Make the most of trade shows. Attend as many as you can and cover as much of the floor as possible. Find out what kinds of companies are in the industry and have conversations with people manning the booths. This will not only get you more acquainted with products and companies behind them, but strike up friendships within the industry. You’ll be surprised how things start to click just from listening to what others are saying.
  • Join some groups/committees. This gets you connected to some great people who by default have something in common with you: the work truck industry. It will give you an in to building friendships and networking to strengthen and expand your professional reach.
  • Take advantage of training and webinars. Education is power. You will be shocked to learn how many different things have an effect on our industry. You may also come away with new techniques on how you go about your business.

What actions have you taken to advance your own professional development?
For my personal development, I’ve tried to step out of my comfort zone. It’s easy to go day to day doing what you’ve always done. Here are some of the ways I’ve tried to up the ante.

  • I joined Generation Next. This helped me get face to face with some great people from around the industry. It’s gotten me to open up about what I see in my duties, but also given me insight on what else is going on in the industry.
  • I enroll in training opportunities. This can be anything from product-specific training to general business, or even how to more effectively operate programs like Microsoft® Excel. Nothing is off the table.
  • I dive into articles and literature. Being in a sales position, I like to read up on different sales strategies. I also get great content from NTEA newsletters that update me on how global economies and politics may have an impact on our industry.

Any tips for trade show attendees?
Step out of your comfort zone, be intentional, and have a great pair of walking shoes.

  • Go out of your way to learn more. Take time to see what’s out there. Don’t skip over a booth because you don’t know what the product/service is. You never know what could be beneficial to you or your company.
  • Be intentional. Ask questions and stay curious. Intentionally sit through some speakers. The time flies, and you don’t want to miss out on a single bit of it.
  • Have the most comfortable shoes available. If you don’t have a comfortable pair of shoes, go buy some (and maybe some inserts while you’re at it). There’s a lot of ground to cover.

Generation Next gives new industry professionals support in developing skills and building peer relationships in the work truck industry. Involvement is free to employees of NTEA member companies with less than 10 years of industry service. Learn more at