Temporary Traffic Manager. Not something I would have given a second look at 4 years ago; and here I am writing about how I strive to be a better TTM now and in the future. The question isn’t why I want to be the best, it is how do I become the best. If you’re reading this thinking “it’s impossible”, I am here to tell you that it is not. This is my journey – how I turned my curiosity from a why into a how.
The TTM industry is like a secret – we’re noticed all around the place, but it’s not until you dig a bit deeper that you notice it is a big industry. Some people say I was lucky to get in. Working in the hospitality industry my whole life, I needed to take a risk. An opportunity came my way, and I took it. Not knowing anything about the industry or what I was signing up for, I did it.
Opportunities coming your way is part of the battle, taking a risk is the other part. I was given the opportunity to attend training and courses, and, in the beginning, I was just saying yes to everything. The more I studied, the more I realized – training, levels, safety, gear – all these things were connecting and widening my lenses to see that all these areas make up this TTM Industry and it all plays an important part.
First step complete; risk taking
As the picture was being painted; showing me the industry I was a part of, I quickly noticed how much of a niche market TTM was, in particular, the role of a TMP Designer. Civil works can’t happen without TTM and TTM can not happen without a TMP designer. 2.5 years down and different challenges were coming my way. I was at a crossroads – do I continue doing what I am comfortable with, or do I go down a path where I could better myself and my career. You see, no longer was this just a ‘job’. I was seeing it as a career. Seeing my work make a difference in a safety driven industry meant something to me and having a sense of importance made me appreciate the work that I do.
Second Step complete; certainty.
With this mixture of challenges and opportunities, I was becoming more than a TMP Designer. Different projects were coming my way which involved a different set of skills and knowledge – I had the courses and the training, now 3.5 years in, it was my turn to utilize what I have been taught and turn it into reality. Barrier designs, executing your design on the road – this was becoming unreal – I was essentially working my way up to becoming a barrier design expert – never did I see this in my pathway. Site audits, complex TMP designs, estimating and making decisions where you must stand with your decision and own it (whether it works or not).
Third Step complete; achievement
If you get anything from this, it is possible. It is possible to turn your curiosity about the Temporary Traffic Management Industry from a why to a how. I want to be an all-rounder.
Not only does it motivate you to strive to do better, becoming an allrounder helps you to better understand the industry, as all these different areas work together – making the job easier in a way.
Fourth Step: pending..
The industry is big enough for me to say I have only chipped away at the surface of where I could be.
The Traffic Management Industry isn’t for everyone; but I know that it was certainly a path I took with both hands. I believe that if you want to become that allrounder, you must have a mixture of risk taking, opportunities, certainty, and self-belief.