A special TV program was aired a couple weeks ago about all the jobs available in Williston, North Dakota and it immediately made me think about a trip I had there when I was a Division Manager for Bandag Inc. Bandag Inc. is the largest truck tire retreading company in the world and I was responsible for about 120 of their 400+ manufacturing franchises. Almost every truck rolling down the super highways of the USA today has Bandag Retreads on it which outwear new tires.
The TV program was alerting all people looking for a job to head for Williston because jobs of all kinds are waiting for you there. Some of the largest stores of oil can be found there and that area needs a lot of people to fill all kinds of jobs in that area that is growing extremely fast from McDonalds all the way to those jobs tied to the production of the oil from the ground there.
Williston is a small town at this point but that is changing rapidly with all the people that are headed there. Who knows how big it is going to get! The town is in Northwest North Dakota 40 miles south of the Canadian border and 15 miles east of its western state border. It is literally is the middle of nowhere and few people, until recently, have ever heard of it…but not for long!
I flew into Williston with my usual pin striped black suit, black winged tipped shoes, black hat and black top coat. I must have looked like a coroner to the fellow who picked me up in a very dirty pickup truck! I felt pretty darn foolish when I arrived. I couldn’t believe how dirty that pickup was inside and out and how ridiculous I must have looked. I hated to even get into that truck with its extremely dirty seats that were typical in any oil field operation. No one told me, of course, how I needed to be dressed that week. My District Manager flew in to meet me and we handled our business there as soon as possible and took off to see other Bandag manufacturing plants elsewhere.
We decided to take a train east from there to Grand Rapids, Minnesota. It was an over night trip with dinner served on the train. I hadn’t been on a train in a long tine or ever eaten a meal on a train so that part was a lot of fun. At the end of the trip, we took a bus to reach our final destination. That week turned out to be a lot of fun and I learned to check on the area I was visiting before packing my suitcase and getting dressed for the trip so that I was never embarrassed like that again.
My suggestion to all of you who are looking for a job is that you head for Williston. It sounds like, no matter what you are looking for, that an opportunity is waiting there for you. Don’t worry about the location of Williston and what is available there for you and your family. When you have been out of work for a considerable time (like I was once), you will take anything you can find to take care of yourself and your family. You can always change to another area later if you don’t like it there. First things first. You need money at the moment to buy groceries and to pay for a home, etc. And take it from me and my wife who have lived in a lot of different places in this great USA, you might be really surprised how much you will like this new area and all the nice new people you will be meeting. Sometimes the best experiences in your life will come from moving to area that, in the beginning, didn’t look too good. Our move to the Detroit area in 1968 would be the perfect example of that.
So do like one of friends told me to do regarding my decision whether I should make a job change when my kids were in high school and would be soon going to college. Look you are still young. Don’t be afraid to make a change. It might be the best thing you ever have done…and IT WAS!