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Don't Laugh, But I Kind of Want to Learn to Drive a Forklift

Updated: Jan 4, 2022

[By Kerri Nettles]

Kerri in front of a forklift

It could be a midlife crisis. I don’t know. Regardless of what sparked it, I’m intrigued. Don’t laugh, but I kind of want to learn to drive a forklift. You didn’t see that coming did you? Or maybe you did. It is in the title.

I’ve always been a bit of a rebel – in a nerdy way. Tell me I can’t do something or that it might not be in my skillset – and I say, “watch me!” That reasoning sounds much more honorable than the most likely motivations for my new-found interest. First, it just looks fun!

When I get a chance to step out of my office, I sometimes visit the production floor and watch the team zip around on their forklifts, hauling bins of donations to be processed so they can live again in a new home. I like the way they glide like a Zamboni and the “beep, beep” of the horn, reminiscent of my Schwinn back in ‘82. No doubt, it’s a lot more challenging than my bike, but I think I could do it.

Also, maybe a little of that midlife thing is true. It’s not so much a crisis as an awakening. Have you ever had a dream? You worked really hard to achieve it, and loved every minute of it, but then for some reason you wanted something more? That happened to me several years ago. After nearly 20 years in the same career, I made a decision I never saw coming. I quit my job and took on a whole new career at Goodwill. In the first week, it was like my body was 20 pounds lighter. My stress wrinkles on my forehead were traded for smile lines around my eyes. It was then I realized, I had found my “more.” I’m helping people!

The great thing about the “more” I found­­ is there’s still “more” to come. Let me explain. I found a bigger purpose, a calling. But I’m not done yet. It’s rooted in the mindset of Goodwill itself. We can always be more. We should never limit ourselves. We should explore the possibilities. You can never hold too many skills. That’s why, when I tell them I’d like to sign up for forklift class, they won’t laugh. They might when my feet don’t touch the peddles, but that’s another topic.

Even though it’s a skill I wouldn’t use every day, I never want to stop challenging myself. I want to accomplish the unexpected. I can’t wait to be able to add forklift operator to my list of accomplishments and skills:

Bachelor of Science

Emmy Award Winner

Regional Edward R. Murrow Award Winner

Arkansas Business and Professional Women Award Winner

Mental Health First Aid Certification

Google Ad Certification

Forklift Operator

If you’d like to join me in forklift class, or enroll in any other Goodwill training program, visit and click on the “Programs and Services” tab. If you’re interested in working at Goodwill, visit


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