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  1. #1

    Working for free is this the way to go?

    So I want to get work experience. I looked on craigslist and all the jobs are posted for the Chicago area. I live in Lake county. There are plenty of local heating contractors. I plan on going to a local community college to get epa and basic technician certificates but classs don't start until 2 months from now. I've been reading heating and airconditioning textbooks at my library but book smarts and theory is only going to take me so far. I don't have much to put on my resume except that I have worked various trade jobs for my uncle who was a general contractor for his home renovation/addition last year. I am only 22.

    So I am aware of my limitations when it comes to HVAC. So how do you guys react to some one calling local businesses asking if they are interested in a assistant who is willing to work for free. I am I going about this the right way. I'm working as a prep cook dishwasher right know and I really would like to get some experience in this field, 2 months waiting seems like a very long time for me right now. What kinds of jobs would you give to somebody who doesn't have much experience. Is knocking on doors until one opens necessary in this field?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    SouthEast NC ICW & Piedmont Foothills
    working for free, isn't that slavery?

    yes, you have to "knock" on the door, how is anyone going to know that someone is at that door
    It`s better to be silent and thought the fool; than speak and remove all doubt.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote Originally Posted by dandyme View Post
    working for free, isn't that slavery?

    yes, you have to "knock" on the door, how is anyone going to know that someone is at that door
    at least as a slave they supposed to feed you, provide housing and food, and basic healthcare/day to day necessity.

    I do it all the time for the government of this great land
    Parts Changer Extraordinaire
    Have tools and gauges, will travel.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    I know somebody who started that way and he now has his own business with 15 trucks. Who knows your initiative may be recognized and you might even get paid.
    "War is cruelty,and you cannot refine it." Sherman to the leadership of Atlanta prior to burning the city.

    "Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen."
    Albert Einstein

    Romney campaign: "We're not going to let our campaign be ruled by fact-checkers,"


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Pouce Coupe BC
    It's called an internship in the white collar world isn't it?

    I can't see why it wouldn't work, just be sure to show up with an updated criminal record check on yourself and work boots.

    And don't talk on the job, just practice anticipating what the guy wants you to do. And NEVER put your hands in your pockets

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Ocean Pines, MD
    Many co.s have apprenticeship programs that you may want to look into. You wont be working for free but starting up the ladder combined with you schooling. I wouldn't consider working for free, you probably wont get much from someone who would do that.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Howell, Michigan
    I think that is a good idea. But you should at least get your EPA certification. Just to show your really serious about getting into the trade. It might cost you a couple of bucks to take the test and get the test study literature. Everybody could use an extra hand. You would probably not get that response from an organized company because of the liability involved. How long do you think you could work for nothing? What about expenses to and from work?What do you have to loose! The wheel that squeakes the loudest gets the most oil.
    GOOD LUCK, Kimosobee

  8. #8
    I'm going to email some local companies to see if they are interested in a internship. I wouldn't be able to work for free for a long time but I just want to get some first hand insight. I mean I took a tour of a community colllege HVAC program and its pretty overwhelming. They show you all this equipment and geo thermal systems, walk ins, roof top units, in a class everybody is taking apart a compressor and its like I've never done any of that. Then there are all these choices like residential and comercial, or unions. I'm going to help install a furnace and AC for my Uncles upper addition some time in the future. In a ideal world hopefully, I meet somebody honest who might give me some good pointers. The schools seem pretty biased, that the only way to go is a ASS degree. My family thinks I should get the basic schooling, and they wont contribute anything until I build some professional connections or work experience. The thing is I don't know anybody so but I'll keep at it. I got food and a roof over my head. If a local buisness took me in technically I could ride along, borrow tools from my uncle, but thats my idealism . Maybe I'll find some connections at school.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    SE Michigan
    Just tell them you are looking for a helper position part/full time, and that you just started learning the trade. Don't say you will work for free...thats ridiculous.
    As was suggested, you may want to get your EPA cert.
    To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must cultivate our personal life; and to cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts right.
    -- Confucius

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    I dont have a problem with the offer to work for free, but any company worth its salt should see that as initiative, and if they need help should reward you with minimum wage at the least. there is nothing wrong with your approach, it shows you are willing. owners like that in a newbie especially these days. Dont be afraid to read, ask questions, and take some ribbing. its part of the business.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Kingsport, Tennessee
    That is a great thought and the initative is there, but no company is going to "hire" you for free. The liability and workmans comp. would be a big issue.

    As others have said, explain what you are looking for. IF, you are really serious about doing this and have a good company in mind, maybe show up every day and ask if there is anything you can help with. When they get there, or before. They might think you are crazy, but you will get noticed.

    One problem im my area, many businesses have gone under there are many techs looking for work too. You have to make yourself stand out.

    If you get in, NEVER call out unless there is no other way you can make it. If they every see you as a slacker, you will always be a slacker.

    good luck

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2009
    I need help with an install tomorrow, you still willing to work for free?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Even when you work for free you cost the employer. Work 20 hours volunteer 20 hours. My son did that, now he runs the place.

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