Many truckers agree the first year of a trucking career is the hardest. If you have reached this milestone, congratulations! You now have an opportunity to take stock of where you are currently, and where you would like to be in the future. Now that you've reached the one-year benchmark, there are new opportunities to explore within the trucking industry that may provide better pay, more home time, better benefits, etc.
It is possible, perhaps even likely, that there is a trucking job out there that's a better fit. However, it takes effort on your part to find it. It can be difficult to know where to start. That's where this guide may come in handy.
1. Know What You Want
Now that you've been driving for a year, you probably have a pretty good idea of what the job typically entails, what works for you, and what you would prefer not to deal with. Your needs, wants, and preferences can help to inform your job search and narrow down your choices.
Try making two lists: what you need from a job and what you want. Decide which are your non-negotiables and what you'd be willing to compromise on. For example, are you willing to accept less pay if it would mean more home time?
What's important to you depends on your individual situation, but here are some ideas:
- Pay level
- Available mileage
- Home time
- Company size
Additionally, it is a good idea to identify the trucking niche in which you prefer to work. For example, do you prefer to drive a flatbed, or would you rather drive a tanker? It is also helpful to know the geographical areas where you prefer to work, as well as those that you would prefer to avoid at all costs.
2. Be Prepared To Ask Questions
Identifying what you want also helps you to formulate detailed questions for recruiters. If they don’t touch on items that are most important to you when discussing the job, that doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t offer them. It’s important to get all the facts before switching trucking jobs, and asking questions can help you choose the best fit.
3. Make Yourself More Marketable
If you're particularly interested in transporting passengers, hauling hazardous materials, etc., an endorsement is a must. However, an endorsement can be of considerable value to you even if your interests do not run in these directions.
Getting an endorsement on your current license serves three purposes. It opens up new job opportunities that would have been closed to you before, it gives you the capacity to increase your earning potential, and it demonstrates to potential employers that you are serious about your career. Better yet, gaining an endorsement usually requires a relatively small investment of time and money.
4. Know Where To Look
The internet is an incredibly valuable job search resource. Gone are the days of picking up a newspaper and calling every trucking company listed in the classifieds section. You can find truck driving jobs that you wouldn't find elsewhere.
There is no shortage of job search sites on the internet, but if you're looking specifically for a position with a trucking company, it makes sense to look on websites like CDLjobs.com that are dedicated specifically to trucking jobs.
5. Consider a Different Path
An alternative to continuing as a company driver is starting your own trucking business and becoming an owner operator or a lease operator. Although these jobs offer a lot more freedom, it can be a risky undertaking that is not to be taken lightly. You should conduct plenty of research before you commit to this career path.
If you’re ready to branch out and find a new trucking job, look no further than cdljobs.com. We have job listings from some of the top trucking companies in the country, and our easy online application allows you to apply to as many jobs as you want with just one application.