Lessons from My First 6 Months in the Metal Industry
Having joined Globe Metal back in May I really didn’t know what to make of the company or the metal recycling industry. I grew up around construction and plumbing but spent most of my career in advertising and branding. Besides a good feeling about the company and its people, the thing that immediately attracted me to it was the B2B focus of the company and the fact that it was sustainable in a way that most industries only dream of. This isn’t common greenwashing that’s so popular today; by keeping metal out of landfills we’re reducing environmental effects by huge sums.
While the people within Globe and the environmental effects have proved to be above my expectations, I’ve been surprised by a lot about the industry, here are a few of those things:
A Whole Lot of Character
I never could have predicted the motley crew of characters I’ve met in just a few months. In my first business trip I found myself in conversations about French neo-classical artwork, the intricacies about the perfect subway meatball sub, politics, religion and stories about backstabbing assholes. From cowboys and hustlers to salt of the earth businessmen whose word is as good as platinum plated airfoils; the only personality trait I’ve yet to find is tepidness.
Knowledge is Power
I’m learning a ton about the processes and materials that we buy and sell everyday. By talking with people that have been in the industry for 40+ years I’m finding out what to look for and be wary of. With thousands of mixes of metal that could be produced only the seasoned pro’s understand how to gain the greatest value in certain streams or some which should be avoided all together. This knowledge also guided me to be wary of one deal that seemed too good to be true, potentially saving us thousands of dollars and months of headaches.
Relationships are Gold
Relationships are key to any business, when you are dealing with trading waste they might be ever more so. Paying huge sums of money for a product that may or may not be what you want requires trust built through experience and reputation. With the cast of characters this requires adapting to individual’s quirks. One client might love weekly updates while others would feel that you’re being a nag. Above all it’s about investing time and listening to needs of your partners instead of simply negotiating the latest transaction.
Action creates Action!
The metal industry is not for those that like to let work come to them. If you want a cushy desk jobs where the work comes to you, look somewhere else. This industry is for those willing to work for their results. I was told in my first week that my earning potential is limited only by my investment of time and energy. I’m starting to see the truth to that and look forward to the next 6 months of action.
I’m at the beginning of this journey and look forward to more lessons that are in store for me. If you have any revelations, related to the metal industry we’d love to hear from you. Please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Brendon Chrus