When chatting with someone recently, he brought up an interesting topic. It was a bit of an off-hand comment, but it got me thinking. He mentioned that he doesn’t think there’s enough mentoring in the HVAC industry. He said how, when he was just getting into the industry, he wasn’t even allowed to drive the service truck for the first few years. He rode shotgun and essentially shut up and listened as the older service tech waxed poetic about the industry. He knew he had to be like a sponge and take it all in.
Although he’s no longer working for a contracting company, transitioning into a job on the education side, his experience dealing with young and upcoming service techs has led him to believe they aren’t receiving the same amount of mentoring as he did when he was coming up.
Now, that’s just some anecdotal evidence. I can’t say one way or another if that’s the case or not, but it does bring up an interesting issue: Are younger HVAC techs being properly mentored these days? Do they want to be?
The role of mentoring does fall on both sides. The experienced techs have to be willing to bring along younger techs, and the young pups have to be willing to soak up that information if it is being provided.
A major complaint of contractors these days seems to be the lack of new blood when it comes to service techs. You can attribute that to a number of things, but any potential shortage of techs makes it extremely important to make sure the ones that are coming into the game are being given the best possible chance for long-term success.
For me, I know having a mentor was critical in crafting me into the journalist I am today. Having a positive influence in your career is one of the most important things you can have. It also helps form long-lasting friendships.
Does your company have an official mentoring program? How does your company handle mentoring?