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Would you believe me if I told you that a breakdown truck driver
has the same strengths and values as a coach? Well, it's true. Let me introduce
you to Steve.
This weekend, I was travelling to Essex when my car had a tyre
blow out in the fast lane of the M25. Thankfully, I was able to manoeuvre onto
the hard shoulder with relative ease. As a woman on her own, I was given
priority by the AA which meant a minimal wait of ... two hours on the side of
the busiest, noisiest motorway in the UK. Now, the AA advise that you wait
outside your vehicle which meant that I was pretty cold but really grateful it
wasn't raining (I had no waterproofs in the car - note to self). It wasn't a
nice wait but unlimited lives on Candy Crush kept me from going completely
After two hours of obliterating candies in the cold, the flashing
angel lights of the breakdown truck appeared on the horizon. Enter Steve. Steve
was probably in his 60s, clearly a smoker and swore a lot. He took one look at
me and said "Give me your car keys and go get in my truck. It's
Once he'd loaded my car onto the truck we set off, with Steve
explaining that his job was to take me to the nearest services and deposit me
and the car to wait for the AA. So, more waiting but hopefully in a warmer,
safer place. We arrived at the services and Steve was halfway through unloading
my car when he opened the cab door and said to me "Do you know what? I
know a tyre place about 20 minutes away. I'll ring them and see if they're
still open and they'll have you back on the road in 10 minutes. Better than
waiting for the AA"
A lot of swearing and banter ensued on the phone as Steve
ascertained that they could fit me in and he then drove me to the tyre place.
He asked the "lads" to take care of me and to check the car over
thoroughly, in case there was some other damage, before putting me back on the
When I arrived at my friend's house in Essex, she was
flabbergasted that I bounded into her house, full of energy, after my terrible
journey. But the truth was I'd been rescued by someone who was fulfilling their
strengths and values in a job that, on the surface, seems pretty mundane. I
found that energising. Having spent only about 45 minutes with Steve, here are
what I think his strengths are:
Values are, of course, harder to fathom than strengths as they are
more hidden. However, I'd make a strong bet that Steve had a value in kindness,
compassion or service and that's WHY he drives a breakdown truck. Not because
he likes driving or has a penchant for the M25.
So, what's the point of this story? Well, Steve's strengths and
values are VERY similar to mine. I find mine are fulfilled through coaching and
Steve finds his fulfilled through driving a breakdown truck.
What does this tell you about your career? I'll tell you. Don't
pigeon-hole yourself to one career possibility. If the same strengths and
values can be lived out in careers as far apart as a coach and a truck driver,
imagine the possibilities that are out there for you.
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