I meet a lot of people in this industry who seem to have always known they would be here. That certainly wasn’t the case with me. When I graduated from college, if someone had predicted to me that one day, I would have 17 years under my belt in the water systems industry, I would have completely dismissed that, thinking to myself, “what a flat, unglamorous and uninteresting industry.”
Today, I am amazed at how my attitude has changed. I feel very fortunate to be in the thick of the water systems industry for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which is that it’s simply comprised of an outstanding group of people.
Beyond the people, I find working in an industry that delivers a fundamental human need efficiently and resourcefully very satisfying. The companies that developed my iPad and all of its apps may be more cutting edge, but in the overall scheme of things, their products are far less critical than delivering water.
Our industry isn’t without its own set of issues and challenges, but when I look around, it’s nothing like many other industries. It’s relatively stable as opposed to say, the airline industry, with American Airlines being the latest in a long string of airlines to declare bankruptcy. How you can lose money year after year with your product packed to the gills is beyond me. The banking industry is chaotic these days, but probably not as chaotic as health care is going to get. There are lots of other examples, but as a final one, when I graduated as a newly-minted engineer, Hewlett-Packard was THE company to work for. HP recently announced another series of layoffs, this time 27,000 people. They are on their third CEO in a year’s timeframe. Franklin Electric has had three CEOs in the company’s 68 year history.
Finally, I’m convinced there’s nothing else that offers a more interesting intersection of different disciplines than the water systems industry. To be part of our industry is to be involved in a slew of technologies, marketing, environmental issues, and even politics. Whether looking forward or backward, it’s a great place to be.