Car Mechanic

What do you do for a living?

I run the family motor trade business. We do everything from a basic service to a full rebuild. We do all kinds of repairs, bodywork, tyres, air conditioning, MOT tests, engine work and specialist welding.
How did you get interested in what you do? What advice was available to you when you chose this career direction?
I have been into cars since I could walk n talk and with the garage being the family business I have always been around it, although I did spend some time working in other garages and doing other things when I was young before settling in the family business which was great for experience as I brought these experiences with me. As far as advice is concerned I kind of made my own decisions based on the fact I wanted to be around cars and motorsport which we were competing in at the time. We had a basic (very basic!) computer programme at school at the time which we had to answer several questions about what we wanted to do and it decided that all the guys in my year were gonna be prison officers and all the girls were gonna be nurses or something! I don’t recall being given much career advice at the time but I knew pretty early what I wanted to be doing.
What was your journey to reach the role you are in today? 
I left school after 5th year and went straight into a driving job for a large dealership in Edinburgh , then progressed to selling cars in Edinburgh and then ninemileburn garage. After that I came back to the family business. I was taught various selling techniques in the dealerships and basically self taught myself everything I know after that with the help of training courses, reading a lot and gaining hands-on experience in the workplace from the other guys working there. The motor trade is now a fast changing environment on the technical side-cars are very advanced electronically now and becoming more so all the time so we keep up to date via training manuals and courses, the internet, our diagnostic equipment and just working with the vehicles on  a day to day basis.
Talk me through a day in your life... what sorts of things would it involve?
My day starts at 7.50am with paperwork and getting prepped for the day ahead, ordering parts etc and planning who’s doing what. Then is a case of working through the jobs booked in, of course cars being cars there are always unexpected things that have to be dealt with such as unexpected faults and worn parts etc causing jobs becoming taking longer than planned due to the extra work req.d. Also extra work such as breakdowns etc can upset the day. Basically the day is ever changing and I have to adapt to the day as req.d-can be a bit stressful sometimes! I also deal with calls and visits from customers during the day who want to book work in, discuss work or pay bills etc. My day usually ends at 6pm having done more paperwork and invoicing etc. although sometimes I will look at future jobs on the way home or collect/deliver customers cars.
Was it your planned career when you were 18?
Pretty much yes.
What did your mum and dad want you to do?
They didn’t have too much input really-I knew what I wanted to do so they didn’t get too involved.
What advice would you give to someone interested in your career?
Study well at school in the technical subjects such as maths, engineering and physics and also English too-working with modern vehicles requires a high degree of technical skill and you have to be able to read some fairly heavy going technical stuff-especially when it comes to electronic systems.
What other directions could you go in /work in within your field other than the job you have chosen?
I could and would like to become more heavily involved in the motorsport side of things but that is time consuming and VERY expensive-although we do build some cars for motorsport for customers.