Development opportunities for fleet professionals

Published in February 2022 Fleet Affiliation.

Professional development serves not only the individual on their career path, but also promotes continuity throughout an organization and an industry. In the case of the vocational fleet profession, we’d like to share some opportunities to nurture incoming professionals. Opportunities include benefits available to professionals employed by NTEA member companies.

Generation Next. What exactly is this group? Generation Next provides new industry professionals support in developing skills and building peer relationships in the work truck industry. Members represent all spectrums of the industry – they are from fleets, distributors, manufacturers and industry-related suppliers; and from companies of all sizes. Their titles range from technician to sales rep, manager to president. Employees of NTEA member companies with less than 10 years of industry experience are welcome to join.

Apart from the insights and opportunities that Generation Next members gain, the industry also stands to benefit from an engaged Generation Next membership. As the Baby Boomer generation is retiring, the potential loss of knowledge is no trivial matter. Programs such as Generation Next can assist in the retention of tribal knowledge by providing professionals with insights and skills for continued success.

Are you in the beginning of your career? Making those initial connections can be a challenge, and figuring out the landscape can be a daunting task. You might wish to expand your own network, and this is where NTEA’s Generation Next can help. This is one piece of advice I wish I received in the infancy of my career. Here you will have opportunities to gain professional contacts, boost your industry knowledge from experts, and sharpen your own leadership skills.

Experience leads to expertise, and having the proper foundation can accelerate your professional development. As North America’s largest work truck event, Work Truck Week can help with that. It is the go-to place for industry professionals. Looking for networking opportunities? Work Truck Week draws in thousands of people and offers premier educational opportunities.

One special session is Generation Next Leadership Workshop & Networking Reception: AAAs of Successful Leaders. This session, led by former National Football League player Alex Molden and scheduled Wednesday, March 9 from 2:30-5:30 p.m., explores qualities that make a good team – alignment, assignment, adjustment (AAAs). These principles gave Molden success while playing in the NFL. This workshop features activities to help participants identify where and why they may be apprehensive to change, and offers adaptation techniques to build a more cohesive unit and increase productivity. If you’re part of a team that’s struggling with performance, insecurity or accountability, this session is for you. Hear from Alex Molden.

Generation X and beyond. Most people in this industry stay because of passion. This is a tight group of professionals with great dedication for the many aspects of the work truck industry. At one point, all of us were young professionals just and beginning our journey. Most of us likely learned from other industry professionals. Over the years, many of us have transitioned into seasoned fleet experts. Mentorships and fellowships make this happen.

 The workforce is aging, and many seasoned fleet professionals continue to exit the world of work. Looking at demographics, people are leaving the industry at a faster rate than they are coming in. This is a testament to the changing of the guard within the fleet industry.

A note to seasoned professionals: With years of experience, one gains invaluable wisdom and knowledge. With this generational change, it is up to the retiring generation to empower the incoming group. If you have the opportunity mentor those around you, encourage training and networking. Provide introductions to industry leaders that you have made connections with over the years. Knowledge is an asset to any organization. Passing it on will ensure success for the next generation.

Looking for more fleet insight? Register for Work Truck Week 2022 today. View opportunities and education for fleets.