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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rochester NY
    Posts
    35

    Gaining experience without experience.

    I often find myself thinking of why I keep trying to pursue a career In the trades when there's no one willing to train. I'm entry level and have stayed on that level for a year- because I can't find an opportunity for entry level. I've tried the union, that didn't work, I've tried almost every company around my area with no luck because I have no experience. I'm certified and have certifications but don't have the experience. How are suppose to gain experience without a chance? Entry level no longer seems to be right out of school, but more like 2 years of previous experience. And apprenticeships only seem to be offered through labor unions. I really want to learn the trades and find a successful job, but I can't seem to get any leads which has caused me to lose a lot of interest. I have no problem relocating, and have always been agar to learn, but training doesn't seem to be out the for anything anymore. Anyone have any advice or guidance they can offer is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Lamar, SC
    Posts
    631
    I went to a shop that has a reputation of the owner treating the employees poorly. As a result he is almost always looking for help. It didn't deter me because I have already worked for some of the biggest a-holes on the planet. I do my job well and the guy actually treats me pretty good. I have been there a year now and probably making more than I would almost anywhere else around here at the 1 year mark. Good luck.
    "If you've eliminated all other possibilities whatever remains must be the truth."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Cincinnati ohio
    Posts
    252
    Try the BIG companies. They want to train guys to sell but you get experience in the mean time

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    St. Louis
    Posts
    3,650
    Quote Originally Posted by jmsmars1 View Post
    I went to a shop that has a reputation of the owner treating the employees poorly. As a result he is almost always looking for help. It didn't deter me because I have already worked for some of the biggest a-holes on the planet. I do my job well and the guy actually treats me pretty good. I have been there a year now and probably making more than I would almost anywhere else around here at the 1 year mark. Good luck.
    Had to smile upon reading this. Took a similar route. Still there two plus years down the road and stood up to everything they could throw at me. Had to practically live on this site to do it, however...

    So...work for a jerk. I guess...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    St. Louis
    Posts
    3,650
    Quote Originally Posted by jmsmars1 View Post
    I went to a shop that has a reputation of the owner treating the employees poorly. As a result he is almost always looking for help. It didn't deter me because I have already worked for some of the biggest a-holes on the planet. I do my job well and the guy actually treats me pretty good. I have been there a year now and probably making more than I would almost anywhere else around here at the 1 year mark. Good luck.
    Had to smile upon reading this. Took a similar route. Still there two plus years down the road and stood up to everything they could throw at me. Had to practically live on this site to do it, however...

    So...work for a jerk. I guess...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    19
    Yeah, that's the sad part of today's world, everyone is focusing on next quarter.

    I'm in the same boat, and just trying to learn as much as I can, in any way, shape or form, makes not much difference if you are trained on the job or learn the process and watch other people do it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Mid-Mo
    Posts
    3,596
    If you don't work for a jerk, you'll have to pretty much bs your way into it and hope you can swim and not sink. This is about the same situation I was in and had to relocate to get things rolling. If you're serious, that might be an option on your table.


    There are people who live and learn, while others are just livin'. Don't be the latter.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    NC Foothills
    Posts
    73
    I remember those days. Graduated school and thought finding a job would be a breeze. Six months later took a job for half of what I thought I would be making and driving my own truck to work every day after stalking the service manager for weeks. He later told me the only reason he hired me was because I stayed after him so hard. It was either hire me or kill me and he had consider the latter! Stay after it and try to find a shop that covers residential and commercial/industrial work. Good luck. My company has for the last couple of years been doing internships and if they work out ok they offer them a position full time. If anybody in your area does that look into it. Good luck.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Coastal Maine
    Posts
    885
    I will try and answer this from an Owner's perspective. We are all squawking about not having enough qualified technicians, but we aren't willing to train. It is a Catch 22. The reason for this really is the economy.

    Those of you that were around when times were good, may remember coming out of trade school, then getting a job as an apprentice or a helper for a year, then slowly gaining more responsibility. Those days are gone.

    While the market is improving, we are all operating at ridiculously low margins. That means that the error range between making money and losing money is so thin, that we have our top techs doing stuff that only a few years ago, a helper would have done. A simple mistake could cost us the entire profit on a job. Add to that the litigious nature of today's society and honestly, I am scared to have a new guy do anything.

    It sucks for someone like yourself, just trying to break in, but facts are facts. We are not in this for our health. Most of us have a substantial amount of our life savings tied up in these companies and one screw up and it is all gone.

    Having said all that, there are still opportunities. Some of the blame for this current job market for newbies falls back on you guys. Personally, the last few guys that I have hired out of trade school have pretty much sucked. They spend too much time on the phone, they walk in the door expecting the keys to a van and twice what they are worth. Then when we get them on the job, the stuff they are being taught in school is inadequate.

    I have taken the Intern Approach too lately, and have had better luck with it. I look for high school kids with mid 3.0 GPAs and strong science and math skills. We bring them in for the summer and see how they do. After their senior year of high school, if they worked out, we offer them a spot. We are seeing much better results from this than from the Votech schools. They are making money right out of the gate with no college debt. It isn't the answer for all of them, but we have been surprised by a few that have accepted.

    I would suggest finding a small one or two man shop that is busy. Offer to take the job for helper pay and then work your tail off. The smaller shops can't usually afford a top tech and you will be learning it straight from the source. The other option is as the guys stated. Find a shop that is always looking for help. There is a reason that they are always hiring.

    Good Luck to you.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Northwest Ohio
    Posts
    223
    Fake it til u make it.

    Sent from my LS670 using Tapatalk 2

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Mid-Mo
    Posts
    3,596
    Quote Originally Posted by Carbent View Post
    Fake it til u make it.

    Sent from my LS670 using Tapatalk 2
    That's how most of us got to where we are at....


    There are people who live and learn, while others are just livin'. Don't be the latter.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    336
    Posts
    17
    I'm in the same boat man. It's tough being a newbie and no one wants to give you a chance.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    11
    Ok. I am sure some people will frown upon this, but I had to do what I had to do. I went to school (full time with 5 kids btw) for HVAC and have grown to love the field. I also have been working a full time night job (Manufacturing plant) the 2 years in school. How did I get experience? I worked for friends.... I know I know not the greatest idea, but I am already proficient in industrial electrical and have my EPA card... so.... I worked. My night job pays twice what I could expect to start at in HVAC.

    Thankfully I have picked up a commercial contract where I can work legally under their License and Insurance. I can't tell you how many times I have been on jobs alone and fixed something for the first time! It may sound stupid, but times I have been stumped and ready to throw in the towel and BING the answer hits me like a ton of bricks. I also have relied heavily on this site.

    Now I am months away from being fully, independantly legal and I can't wait.

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