Below are some stories you may use as examples for your Goodyear employee story submission, which will help Summit Education Initiative increase student confidence and skills in middle grades mathematics.
About Hard Work…
One lesson I learned as a kid that has helped me in life is “Always do the hardest work first.” The “hardest work” is the work you might want to put off until later, or the work that you know is going to take the most time and effort. This is also the kind of work that makes you stronger.
I always try to do the hard work first at my job – at the beginning of the day or the beginning of the week. Doing the hard work first gives me confidence. Doing the hard work first is also a good way to be sure I don’t overlook something important.
Thanks to my Hard Work First rule, I leave work more relaxed because I know that the most important and challenging work is behind me.
When I was 12 years old, I wanted to learn to ride a unicycle. I imagined how cool it would be have this skill. I thought riding a unicycle would be so fun and interesting. Eventually, I received a unicycle as a gift. I was so excited. I went right outside to start pedaling.
And then I fell. And I fell again. And again. This was a disaster. Riding a unicycle was so much harder than riding a regular bike with two wheels. I was ready to give up after 10 minutes. But that’s when I learned something very important about myself, and about life.
Nothing worth learning is easy at first.
I picked myself up and tried again. I leaned against a fence. I asked for help. I watched how others got started. I kept trying. I kept falling. Then one day, I didn’t fall any more. One day, riding a unicycle just became easy.
When I have to learn a new skill at work, or when I have to fix something at home that’s complicated, I just remember that unicycle from all those years ago. Because I know, if I stick with it, one day soon it will be easy.
Find your way…
I never wanted to be an engineer. I grew up thinking that an engineer was the person who operated a train. Those funny hats were not for me. I wanted to build things. Fix things. Solve problems. I also wanted to get out of doing work. Every time I had to work around the house, I complained that there should be an easier way.
One day my mom said, “Since you’re always looking for better ways to do things, maybe you should be an engineer.” I was confused at first, so my mom explained. “That’s what engineers do. They find smart ways to get things done with the least amount of energy or waste. They make things better and easier.”
Being an engineer sounded a lot like doing what I loved, but for a job. I’ve been an engineer at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company for over 20 years now. I get to spend my day solving problems and making things work better than they did before.
That was the best advice my mom could have given me. She understood what I cared about first, and then helped me think about a career.
This is also the advice I want to give you. Don’t start off thinking about one job you want to have in the future. Think about what you enjoy doing. Do you like to write? To solve problems? To help others solve their problems? Do you like to share new ideas? To build things?
Think about what you love, first. Talk with adults about the skills you want to develop. After that, a career path will become a lot clearer.