I was working for a restaurant called Claim Jumpers in Tukwila when I started my path towards a career with Boeing. I heard from my friends parents that Boeing was looking to hire it’s next generation workforce so I did some digging and found some jobs I could apply for on the Boeing website. I was contacted a couple weeks after turning in my resume and started my pre-employment training(P.E.T). What is P.E.T was a full time job on top of my full time job. I had to travel 100 miles round trip to work in an off-site Boeing building for eight hours a day, five days a week, for a month.
I would wake up at 0300 and drive up to Everett to start my training which started at 0530 that ended at 1400, Monday through Friday. When I was finished I would sit in an hour or two of traffic on my way to Tukwila where I would close the restaurant at 2300. Some days I was up for over 24 hours straight and I did this for a whole month but it got my foot in the door. Things have changed since then but this is what I had to do to get into Boeing.
Once I was in my career was a roller coaster of long hours and different shifts. I worked 10 to 12 hours a day, seven days a week for months in a row. After two years as an assembly mechanic I finally got my opportunity to be a team leader where I worked even more. After two years of being a team leader I started applying for management and landing a position as a Manufacturing Manager on the 747-8. I thought I worked a lot as a mechanic…
I didn’t think I could work any more hours but I found a way to in management and with no overtime pay. I took a huge hourly pay-cut with the hours I was required to work under my manager but it was what I wanted to do. I like to think I put in the effort and a good fight after having more than 365 consecutive work days but in the end it turned out management just wasn’t for me. I was a manager for almost three years and I loved it but after awhile it just wasn’t worth it anymore.
I stepped down out of management and transferred from Everett to Renton where I made an impression as a good mechanic on my new crew. Working in Renton was like Disneyland to me. After seven years working in Everett I had never once worked a 40 hour work week. That all changed in Renton and working a straight 40 hour work week felt more magical than Disneyland.
With my work history my manager recommended me to our training group as a mechanic that would make a good Subject Matter Expert to help train a large group of mechanics coming in. It was in training where I found my passion again. I made a good impression on training and when they had a position open up they contacted me and gave me an opportunity to interview for the position.