August 2018 Director's Letter - Shaping the NDT Industry

24 August 2018

THE CURRENT TUMULTUOUS CLIMATE of accepting individuals of differing cultures, ethnicities, religions, education, gender, and political beliefs is rattling the underpinning   of our global society. We need to talk about it. We need to acknowledge it. We need to understand our role in perpetuating the discourse  or choosing  to  be better. This letter isn’t an indictment of anyone’s belief. As the world’s largest NDT society, this is my oppor- tunity to ask you (as I do myself) to look at how we move around one another in this industry. As working adults, we spend more waking hours on jobsites, in the office, or “at work” (whether in the office or at home) than we do anywhere else. We have the ability to cultivate and nurture workspaces and relationships that reflect the  world  in which  we want to live with these five tips.

Start your day with “hello.” Many times we take for granted that our coworkers or other people we encounter over the course of our workday are too focused or busy to talk. Small talk is not everyone’s forte and, quite frankly, it makes some people very uncom- fortable. I’m not encouraging you to waste  time. I’m simply suggesting  that starting  your day by greeting people you meet with a warm hello, good morning, or good afternoon and a smile could be the catalyst of positivity you and someone else may need.

Don’t hide your passion or joy. We know the serious nature of NDT and its impact. Each person that performs an inspection, writes procedures, analyzes findings, or researches new technologies understands the necessity of being focused and precise as well as the implications if they are not. NDT professionals have a genuine passion and profound personal mission to “getting it right.” Recognize your moments of personal satisfaction and joy when you complete a project, have a breakthrough, or just have a successful day. Even if you are working alone, take the time to say to yourself, “Great job, on to the next.” You deserve it. If you are working on a team, celebrate with a high five, fist bump, or (even better) tell your coworker “great job.” Personal enjoyment is contagious.

Share your NDT good news. When you have a “win” on the job, tell a peer or someone in your network. Negative news spreads exponentially faster than positive news stories. We know that good news in NDT doesn’t make national news or ripples throughout media because no news is great news in our industry. The thousands of daily airplane and amusement park ride inspections that avert disaster are not going to hit the airwaves each day. NDT professionals create a safer world in which people have come   to rely on the structures and components we inspect so casually that safety is an expectation. Don’t let that deter you from audaciously congratulating yourself and team and thanking your peers for a job well done. We need to be reminded of our value and worth in all aspects of our lives. Share your work’s impact with family and friends.

Quickly drop a social media message about your successful NDT workday or project. Take the time to “shout out” and encourage other NDT professionals to keep up the good work. We can and should be our loudest and proudest cheerleaders.

Be fearless in fighting for the underdog. The industry is interna- tionally diverse, and today ASNT is fortunate to have the  greatest diversity ever among its membership and certificate holders. There is not a single mold for an NDT professional.

Someone may not “look the part” you’ve come to expect as a peer on the worksite, but he or she has made the same commitment as you and is deserving  of the chance  to thrive. Be cognizant of your personal biases and work cliques. Even as adults, we can experience some self-doubt and lack of confi- dence when we embark on new endeavors. Mentor new NDT professionals and support your peers that may need extra encouragement and an advocate to succeed. Welcome upstarts and champion their growth  by offering your  time and supportive words.

Show up. Take opportunities to meet new NDT professionals and be among your peers in person. Shaking hands, looking someone in the eye, and having face-to-face conversations are invaluable. ASNT produces world-class events in accessible locations that allow learning, professional development, and networking with scheduling and logistics designed  to encourage meaningful interactions. Email and social media can make communication seem impersonal. Engaging  with  a diverse group of industry people with common challenges and goals gives us a chance to exhale professionally. ASNT events are ideal venues to be heard and feel uplifted by industry leaders. You  being in the room matters. The global melting pot of NDT is filled with different backgrounds  and  perspectives that gather to uncover commonalities and celebrate differences. The ASNT Annual Conference, Research  Symposium,  and topical conferences are the ideal places to commit to being part of the conversation to shape the future of NDT  into  space  that is free of divisiveness and concerted toward a single goal—to create a safer world.

Every NDT professional is responsible for his or her impact on the civility and inclusion of the industry. I challenge you to make every day better than the day before with your words and deeds. As always, I welcome your thoughts.

 

D R . A R N O L D “ A R N Y ” B E R ES O N

ASNT Executive Director abereson@asnt.org