Schools Training

Staying in Touch With Friends From Your Mechanic Training Is Good For You

20 FEB 2012
Career Path : Automotive

Your big day is about to arrive: college graduation! But even as you prepare for life in the working world, you find yourself struggling with a feeling of sadness. What, you wonder, will happen to all the wonderful friendships you’ve developed with classmates in your mechanic program?

With a little luck – and a lot of nurturing and conscious effort on your part – these special connections with your classmates should only grow stronger as your pursue your auto careers. Having life-long personal and professional connections with the other graduates of your mechanic training is good for you.

Don’t believe me now? Just wait until you are a senior citizen, reflecting back on your mechanic training.

Staying in touch now will make your golden years shine more brightly later. Seniors who spend more time with friends report higher levels of happiness, according to a recent Gallup poll. And social relationships have a positive impact on life expectancy, according to a 2010 study by Brigham Young University. But the main time to make friends is in youth, particularly at college. Your time in mechanic training is probably a testament to this phenomenon.

In Dan Buettner’s TED talk, “How to live to be 100+”, he talks about the role of friendship in the longevity of the residents of Okinawa, Japan, where researchers have recorded “the longest disability-free life expectancy in the world.”

What does Okinawa, Japan have to do with auto careers or mechanic training? The lessons learned there can teach everyone, including graduates of a mechanic program, how to lead a more fulfilling and, therefore, potentially longer life.

In Okinawa, some of this proclivity towards longevity can be explained by the strong social network that residents are born into. At birth, they are assigned to a cohort of same-age friends with whom they are expected to keep in touch for the rest of their lives. These friends act as a buffer, supporting one another through ups and downs, just as you and your fellow graduates of mechanic training can do for one another, even as you pursue your auto careers.

“Friends from our youth anchor us in this age of constant mobility,” explains Glenn Sparks, a communications professor, in an interview with Purdue University News about a longitudinal study he conducted on friendships between the graduates of one 1983 college class.

Maintaining connections with others in your profession can also help you navigate your career.

Keeping in regular contact with the other graduates of your mechanic program as you pursue your auto careers can help you professionally as well as personally.

Staying in touch after mechanic training can help you:

  • find a job in the case of job loss
  • find employees to fill positions in your organization more quickly
  • seek advice
  • find service providers

So take that extra effort. Be the first to host a post-graduation BBQ. Start a class newsletter. Organize monthly outings for fellow graduates of your mechanic program to get together on an informal basis. The many benefits will be mutual.