So you want to be a welder? - Part 3
Whether it is expectations of an employer or expectations of self, failure to achieve expectations results in firing or job burnout. If you want to be a welder, whether it is as a MIG, TIG, or Stick welder, or even as a master of all three major categories of welding, you must adjust your expectations based off of natural skill. If you are still in the courtship phase of being a welder as a new career, it is best that you serious evaluate your natural talent and skills.
If you’ve dabbled a little in welding before, you need to be an honest judge, and be as impartial as you can in determining your natural aptitude for welding. Learning to weld is an awful lot like learning to drive a car: Some people are naturally better at it than others, and some people shouldn’t be on the road (even though they are granted a license). That is not to say good training and practice can’t help you to learn to be a good welder, but having the natural talent to begin with goes a long way.
Being well trained is certainly desirable, but still many people struggle with the basics after graduating from a full course in welding. This is one reason so many companies are reluctant to accept welding certificates from trade schools at face value and put the perspective employee under intense scrutiny with a battery of welding tests before being hired. If you’ve not at least experimented a little before with welding and expect to get your first taste of welding in the school’s welding lab, you need to be keenly aware of your natural talent compared to others in the same situation around you. If your welding doesn’t mature as fast as others, carefully consider if this is the right career choice for you. By the end of the first semester you should have a real feel of how talented you are. It’s no shame to drop out at this point, if you honestly feel you are progressing well.
The real shame and waste of personal effort, and of school resources is to continue to pursue a field of work where you experience little or no progress, whether naturally talented or not. Again, many people can become proficient through practice and instruction, even without a lot of inborn talent. But, ultimately, you need to have an honest and sincere evaluations of your development and abilities at some point during the process before you graduate and aren’t hirable due to your skills. If you aren’t brutally honest with yourself about your abilities, your perspective employer will be.