How Welders Can Hone Their Skills Like Dylan

Photo via Flickr by gregory_y

People like you have taken up the welding profession because you like to work with your hands. You are probably also fond of working with steel, iron and other metals, as well as welding tools and equipment, like torches and flame cutters. Plus, there are nearly a half-million welder jobs in the US and the employment outlook is bright, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which must bring you some comfort.

As you may already know, one of the risks that come with a career as a welder is burnout (no pun intended). Many skilled labor jobs require workers like you to perform routine and regimented tasks repeatedly day after day, week after week. After a while you may start to feel like you could do the work with your eyes closed. You may continue to receive a steady paycheck, but you also might begin to lose your appreciation for welding.

So what can you do? One solution comes from Bob Dylan who, after more than 50 years as a prolific singer-songwriter and cultural figure, has expanded his artistry (yet again) into a dedicated space in his home. In this space he welds together iron gates made from vintage scrap metal. You see, aside from his work as a musician, Dylan has also been creating visual art for decades, and his decision to embark on a new welding hobby is a great example of how he sustains his drive as an artist: he never stops learning.

There in lies the key to how you, too, can keep your welding craft feeling fresh while avoiding burnout. Consider this: develop a hobby outside of work that allows you to rediscover your welding skills, either by welding personal projects or by taking on a whole new medium. Here are some of the benefits coming your way should you decide to expand your skill set in an effort to better hone your welding craft.

  •  Endure new challenges
  • Learn new techniques
  • Use and master new tools
  • Add variety to the labor
  • Discover new approaches for your welding job
  • Build a deeper connection to your craft
  • Use welding or another medium as a means to express yourself
  • Share the fruits of your labor with loved ones
  • Earn extra money on the side

It's all too easy to slip into routine as a working adult: we go to work, we come home for dinner and downtime, and we go to sleep; weekends are a mixed bag; repeat. Without trying something new and expanding our view of the world and the part we play in it, we can begin to lose sight of our own meaning of life. The truth is we have all we need to keep us feeling inspired and alive at all times, right at our fingertips. It's up to us to roll up our sleeves and find the right striker that gets us started and keeps us going.

What's another suggestion you can provide for how to keep your work feeling fresh?

Contributed to by Kim Evans

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