If someone would have asked me when I was at school or college whether I would consider working in the rail industry I would have laughed. Honestly, I don’t think I would have held back. When I was young, I had my heart set on something in sport but as I grew up and learned more about my strengths I shifted more towards English and communication. Even at university or in my early career I still wouldn’t have said I’d end up in rail and dread to think I would actually enjoy it.

But life has a funny way of turning out. I progressed through a career in public relations and communications working with tourism and entertainment before getting a taste for engineering, manufacturing, logistics and transport. My eyes were opened to what it meant to be part of a chain, an integral piece of something that delivers a vital role every day. It was also at this point that I discovered I could turn technical and ‘boring’ language into English and just how important good communication is. Something that would come in handy in the following four roles I had and a key element of what Hey Me does now. It would still be a further 3 years until I ended up in rail.

When I got to RSSB, a whole world was opened up to me. Rail is one of the most intricate and complex industries in the UK and an industry that the public only see a tiny amount of. It always seems to be some unwritten rule like fight club, what happens in rail seems to stay in rail. The message we send to other stakeholders is so different to what we send to the travelling public that it is very much like a hidden in plain sight industry, but it does lead me to the first two reasons why you should consider rail as a career.

It has everything!

Rail has something for everyone, no matter what you are interested in.  There is such a variety of roles, professions, disciplines, and careers that you can get involved in. It may not look ‘sexy’ from the outside, but it has so much to offer. It doesn’t matter what you study, you can apply any skill or aptitude somewhere in the rail industry.

There is so much going on and so much variety to what is involved it can be extremely interesting. From studying and preserving its history to developing ground-breaking innovations and all looking after all of the people in between, there never needs to be a dull moment.

Third in my list is to do with consistency and reliability. Due to the nature of the service the railway provides jobs that will always exist in one form or another in this country. There will always be something to do and always more to learn and invent. The possibilities are endless.

Longevity leads us to legacy. If you want to make a lasting impression on the world here is your chance. You could help change an industry, you could help change the country and the world. You could improve safety or help things run more efficiently. You could see the ‘thing’ you designed standing tall for the next 40 years and you can go home each day knowing you have helped someone get to where they needed to be for that important meeting, interview, holiday or birthday.

Finally, and most importantly. You become part of a family team. There are hundreds and thousands of organisations working in the rail industry, but all are focused on delivering a better service to passengers and freight users. They are dedicated to safety and improving for everyone and they never stop striving for more. You can be part of that!

So why do I think it’s an industry you should consider?

  1. Rail has a wide range of roles and professions
  2. It’s interesting and covers everything from tech to people
  3. It will always be around
  4. What you do can have a lasting legacy
  5. You work as part of a big ‘family’ team
Student carries books
Train tracks
Amy doing the sleep out to raise money for Railway Children

Author Amy.Bell

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