How Do I Find A Good Shop? (for automotive technicians only) [PODCAST]Oct 09, 2023
I wanted to shift gears with this post and speak directly to automotive technicians.
I spend a lot of time talking with techs one-on-one, on the phone and at conferences but I normally don’t create content for techs.
If this goes over well I might create more content to help techs link up with good shops.
Recently I was interviewed by Sean Tipping for the Automotive Diagnostic Podcast and we talked about the hiring process from the technician’s perspective.
I highly encourage you to listen to the full podcast by clicking on the embed at the top of this post but if you’d rather read, the highlights are summarized below.
How Do I Find a Good Shop for Automotive Technicians?
When you're looking for a shop that’s going to take care of you, it’s important to go beyond the surface.
Shop culture matters, and they can't fake it.
Take a deep dive into how they operate, the workflow, and the general vibe.
Talk to current employees. Check out social media feeds. Check out their online reviews.
Ask yourself if you see yourself fitting into this culture.
PRO TIP: Ask the shop owner about their journey. What's their origin story? Does their passion and motivation align with yours? Finding a shop where your personal drive resonates with the owner's vision is a significant step toward job satisfaction.
When Do You Know It's Time to Make a Move?
Confidence in your skills is the foundation for making the right move.
If you feel like you're not growing or contributing to your full potential in your current shop, it might be time for a change.
A great shop should be a place where you can not only showcase your expertise but also continue to learn and evolve as an automotive technician.
Three Things You Need to Believe in for the Shop to Be a Good Fit.
For a shop to truly feel like home, you need to believe in three essential aspects:
- Believe in the owner's philosophy: Beyond mission statements and values, understand why they do what they do. Does it align with your own principles?
- Believe in the industry: Are you genuinely passionate about automotive repair? If not, it might not be the shop that's the issue; perhaps it's time to reconsider your career choice. Look at ways you can evolve from an automotive technician into other areas of the industry or apply those skills to a new industry completely.
- Believe in the customers: What type of vehicles do you enjoy working on the most? Whether it's family cars, fleets, high-end vehicles, or classics, aligning your interests with your workplace can lead to greater job satisfaction.
How Is the Communication?
Effective communication is essential for a harmonious workplace. Consider these factors:
- Are decision-makers readily available on-site?
- Do they listen to your suggestions and take them seriously?
- Will you have regular one-on-one meetings where they address your concerns and help remove obstacles hindering your performance?
- Do you have clear job expectations and the necessary support to meet them?
- Is the shop committed to ensuring your work-life balance by taking actions, not just making promises?
What's a Clear Sign That a Shop Cares About Their Automotive Technicians?
One clear sign of a shop that values its automotive technicians is a well-structured onboarding process. This process demonstrates that they've invested thought and effort into making your transition into the team as smooth as possible.
In other words, they care.
How Do You Get the Inside Scoop on What It's Like to Work for a Shop?
Talking to current employees is a fantastic way to gain insights into the shop's culture. Ask if you can speak with a few automotive technicians to understand their experiences and perspectives. Their firsthand accounts can provide invaluable direction as you navigate your career options.
How Do You Make a Tough Decision About a Shop?
When you're stuck deciding between competitive offers or whether to leave your current shop, try this exercise:
- Grab a notebook and write at the top of the page, "What's important to me in a shop is..."
- Quickly complete the sentence ten times, numbered from 1 to 10.
- Repeat this exercise for seven days upon waking up. Keep it quick