I'm nearly 3 years into my private sector career during which time I've been with two different solar PV installation companies. I've learned a massive amount both about myself and subject matter. But it seems like there is so much unnecessary inefficiencies, waste, errors and stress across all departments. I hope it's just because the industry is young with about 6 years of growth (is 6 years a young industry). My question is: is an absurd level of stress from waste, inefficiency, errors common in most private sector industries hence why only the strong survive? Should I look into another career path?
I think you may best be suited making a comparison between jobs/companies/industries you've worked in personally.
What you're describing is the norm.
This is the inevitable result of the traditional MBA programs. Folks get that MBA, and suddenly they know everything about everything, without having actually spent one day doing the company's actual business. Almost as bad are the firms with a "King Log" (just lie there and do nothing) management system.
I worked for a couple of organizations that seemed to go out of their way to shoot themselves in the foot. One was MBA driven, the other "King Log."
The MBA driven one was ever-quick to get training on the latest software and equipment. Only problem was we were usually trained 6 months before the new software or equipment was installed. And every now and then, just for variety, new software, usually an operating system upgrade, would be installed over a weekend...without informing the staff or doing any training.
The "King Log" firm wrote their policy and procedures manual sometime around 1934. That book was about the size of an unabridged dictionary. It specified virtually everything the retail stores did, including the 1930's era commercial credit extension limits. And that was the mandatory operations bible in use in the early 1980s.
Most people arent that good at their work. When i started as a low level manager in a multi billion dollar company a couple years ago it surprised me how easy it was to stick out positively.
It cost me 2h of work to change a contract in a way we would save 30 000 € a year. Not that i had to use some super smart legal trick. I just noticed we did pay for 10 times the licenses we actually did use. The guy who made the contract before me was just clueless. He left to become a executive somewhere else in our company and the position he left was as the project manager for one of our board members. He also spend 2,2 million Euro on a IT project. The solution he implemented does suck so badly that iam replacing it right now. My budget is not even a tenth of what he did spend, but it is more then enough. If i wouldn't have seen it black on white i still wouldn't believe that it is even possible to spend so much money on that project.
It is also well said, that on average 30% of working time is just wasted, and i have no doubt that this is true. This is probably also true for other resources. You wouldn't believe how wasteful people can be on spending company money.
The good thing about this, is that iam a 100% confident that iam just going to kill it if i decide to start my own business in a couple years. There are just so many people/company's that lack simple common sense it is astonishing.