How can I get into the field of carpentry with no experience? - Page 3 - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #41 of 46 Old 09-16-2020, 10:41 AM
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Good luck with this Enwar. Not all employers are created equally. Some are very serious about teaching you and some are not. I've worked for both types. Those who are not serious generally only want a go-fer to do all the crap jobs and nothing more, but you can usually figure out who is who fairly quickly. You usually won't know the first day, but over time it'll become apparent. If they only want a go-fer don't waste your time, but on the other hand if you believe they're really going to teach you then put your best efforts out there and stick with it. Remember though, you're not the only person with certain limitations. Employers often have more limitations than you do.

I figured it's time to change my signature so hold your breath. This is it.
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post #42 of 46 Old 09-16-2020, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by JIMMIEM View Post
[...] He said "I hire for attitude and train for skill".
I was 23 years old when I hired my first employee. I interviewed a number of applicants. The next applicant was a woman in her late forties who had quit her job as a high school chemistry teacher to raise two children. Now that her children were in their teens, she was back in school, halfway into a Masters degree.

The law was strict about age discrimination. It was absolutely forbidden to mention age in a job interview. She was so much older than me, and I was concerned about it. I was afraid that she might be one of those people who, as @NoThankyou put it, "I do it this way."

I brought up the age difference issue as delicately as I could. We both understood exactly what I meant when I asked her: "Could a person like you, take direction from a person like me?"

The twinkle in her eye was unmistakable as she gave her response: "Why sure! I love kids!"

I hired her on the spot. She went on to be the most productive and well-regarded employee I ever had. She was a part of my team for many years. By mutual agreement, everyone called her "Mom."

- - - - -

(Extra unintended lesson for @Enwar: She finished her Masters degree while working the full-time+ job and caring for her family.)

Last edited by Tool Agnostic; 09-16-2020 at 10:51 AM.
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post #43 of 46 Old 09-16-2020, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by John Smith_inFL View Post
when I had my commercial business, the only people I hired had zero related experience
but were willing to learn. that way, I could mold and sculpt the person to do things
my way and not bring any bad habits into my shop.
the worst example was I hired a young lady in her mid-30s that was a project manager
in her brothers business.
all I heard was . . . . well, in my brothers shop - - - my brother does it this way,
my brother does it differently, my brother this, my brother that.
she lasted all of two weeks.
some of the other people lasted 5 to 10 years, all doing things my way. it is a win-win situation.
so I fully understand and support this guy wanting to train a new guy.
all the best to you !!

Originally Posted by NoThankyou View Post
John, (I hope that your middle initial isn't Q". LOL!)

The quote, "when I had my commercial business, the only people I hired had zero related experience but were willing to learn. that way, I could mold and sculpt the person to do things
my way and not bring any bad habits into my shop." is absolutely PRICELESS! Two sentences! In those two sentences you summed up what ALL businesses want.

In the engineers I've hired, I've always had the "Talk" with them.

You are hired as an employee. All I want in return is your labor. For your labor I will give you salary and benefits. There is nothing more. I don't need a drinking buddy, I have enough family members. Your family ALWAYS is more important than ANYTHING at work. I will repeat, your family ALWAYS is more important than ANYTHING at work. When there are issues, just communicate.

In over 25 years of hiring engineers I had only one tell me that it was unacceptable. To this day I still scratch my head over that one. At a trade show about 10 years later a competitor who was also sort of a friend from a previous life told me that they had hired that guy. He told me that the guy's attitude was, "I do it this way." He also said that they parted ways. I laughed and picked up the bar bill. LOL.
The guy that I spoke said exactly this. He specifically wanted someone who had no experience, but was willing to learn.
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post #44 of 46 Old 09-16-2020, 07:09 PM
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Just be careful who you work for. A lot of them will push you to get a job out the door without considering safety and your lack of experience. The guy I first worked for spent a lot of time teaching me to operate the machinery safely. My brother-in-law went to work for one of those pushy businesses. With only about ten minutes training they put him to work straight away running a table saw. Within a couple weeks he did something where he had a nasty kickback and ended up putting his hand down on the blade cutting it up the middle to his wrist.
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post #45 of 46 Old 09-17-2020, 07:45 PM
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I do it because I enjoy doing it, if I had to do it as a living I wouldn't, then it's not fun it's a job, yes I make money doing repairs and restorations but it is nothing we can live on. Carpentry as in house building can be mundane after a while and as mentioned you will mostly be the gopher for years.
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post #46 of 46 Old 09-18-2020, 08:12 AM
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I can offer several short answers. First would be to find a vocational school that offers a construction course. Second go volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. I strongly support this as it costs you nothing. Third build some wood projects. Start with simple ones and challenge yourself with increasing difficulty. Attend classes at the many woodworking schools. These will cost you money. Watch YouTube videos. There are a multitude of good ones available. Begin to buy a few high quality tools. There are many recommendations out there on what to get. Begin simple with a tape measure, a framing square, a hammer, a cat's claw to remove nails, and maybe a tool belt. Some screw drivers are handy. A cordless drill and impact driver are essential. Maybe a circular saw. And then expand from there as you identify the needs. The recommendation from others to join the military is excellent and very patriotic. Good luck with your efforts.
I have been a woodworker for nearly all my life and am now in my 60's. I have worked with Habitat for Humanity for 20 years. It is a great place to learn, and you will make many friends who can help you.
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