When I was a kid I wanted to be so many things.
A fireman, an astronaut, a WWF wrestler…
Each week it would be something new.
But it was never a freight forwarder. I never jumped out of my bunk bed eager to play “logistics” or acted out moving goods with my toy trucks.
Freight isn’t the kind of thing you dream about doing. It’s not sexy or glamorous. It’s not going to get you into the country club or get that “impressed” eyebrow raise when you meet someone new.
“Oh you’re a doctor are you?” (eyebrow raise) “ How wonderful!”
“Oh, a University Professor?” (eyebrow raise) “That must be very fulfilling.”
Nope. Freight forwarding just isn’t like that.
Now, I love my job. I fell into the world of freight thanks to an apprenticeship when I finished school – and boy am I glad I did.
Although most people don’t see it as exciting or impressive, I think they’re wrong.
What’s not exciting about moving a jet engine from one side of the world to the other?
What’s not interesting about travelling the world, meeting people of all cultures and learning about goods in all different industries?
I love what I do. That’s why I’m 30 years in with no plans of changing.
But over the years I’ve tried to find different ways of explaining what I do to the people who just don’t understand.
I’ve introduced myself as a freight forwarder, a cargo shipper, a freight expert, a shipping consultant and even a logistics manager!
None of them get the “impressed” eyebrow raise though.
The other day I heard someone on the radio (who was also a freight forwarder) refer to themselves as a Logistician.
“Wow!” I thought, “That does sound impressive!”
Now, I know I don’t need to impress anybody. I am what I am; a straight-talking, honest and cuddly Brummie with a love of beer and football. They can take me or leave me.
But I did like the sound of that.
It sounds exciting, impressive and complicated – Which is exactly what freight forwarding is.
I can’t really believe I’ve been in the freight industry for 30 years without ever hearing the term before but hey ho! You don’t know what you don’t know!
What about you? Have you got an impressive job title that you use to get the “impressed” eyebrow raise?