Changing fields


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Old 06-08-07, 11:01 PM
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Changing fields

Anyone have any advice on getting into a new field?

Here's my situation... I'm really struggling financially because I just don' t make enough money where I'm working. It's really trickling down into the rest of my life, generally lowering my self-esteem and making it hard to enjoy any of my free time.

I went to a trade school for welding and earned several welding certifications. I tried to get into the welding field, but most places are looking for "on the job experience".

Now it's been about 2 years since I went to school and I'm rusty. Obviously getting some practice in is a must. But beyond that, how do I make an employer interested when I haven't been in school for over 2 years, and I've never held a job in this field?

Anyone have any advice here? I really feel like a new job that pays halfway decent would really get me out of my funk.

Mathius
 
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Old 06-09-07, 04:21 AM
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While school learning is a nice asset there is no substitute for on the job training. As you know a lot of employeers are leary of hiring someone to do a particular job for the first time. It won't pay as well to start but if you could get hired on as a welder apprentice, you would gain expeirence and if they declined to raise your pay as you become more productive you could then look elsewhere for employment as a welder.

My oldest son works in a shop that builds race cars. He has learned to mig weld on the job. They have hired several welding school graduates that for one reason or another never worked out. That's why employeers are leary of trade school graduates.
 
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Old 06-09-07, 09:52 AM
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I know at least a dozen people, myself included, who did not go to school for the trades they do. On second thought, strike that. MOST people I know did not go to school for the trades they do. They may have a degree in something similar, but quite simply did not book learn their jobs at all. Some are executives in very large or successful companies too.

Every single one of them is self taught. Some started by learning at home. Others jumped into a job because they knew someone or it sounded like fun and they started from the ground up. Everyone is good at what they do and for the most part enjoy their careers or feel empowered to take on a specialty within their field now that they have experience.

Ironically so many folks have done this that companies started requiring certificates or degrees, which weeded out some extremely talented people for a technicality. Now the companies are stuck with people who have a piece of paper but couldn't find thier rear with both hands, a flashlight, and a map, metaphorically speaking. As my former boss said, a diploma is just proof that you can put up with two to four years of BS, and nothing more.

Want to change jobs? DO IT. Your sanity is much more important. It may be the very best thing you ever did. Some people need excuses to move forward in life or take a different path, and inevitably they wonder why they didn't change earlier. Be brave - you will be glad you did.
 
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Old 06-10-07, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by marksr
While school learning is a nice asset there is no substitute for on the job training. As you know a lot of employeers are leary of hiring someone to do a particular job for the first time. It won't pay as well to start but if you could get hired on as a welder apprentice, you would gain expeirence and if they declined to raise your pay as you become more productive you could then look elsewhere for employment as a welder.
No such thing as a welder apprentice (at least not around here). I'm in the process of trying to get into the sheetmetal workers union as an apprentice. That's as close as I can find, but that's contingent on how well I did on their spacial and mechanical aptitude tests and whether or not they choose to give me an interview.

That creates problems of its own. I'm working two jobs just to live in a crumby apartment. The sheetmetal workers union will require that I work with a member during the day and go to classes at night. Doesn't leave much time for a second job.

Originally Posted by logcabincook
Want to change jobs? DO IT. Your sanity is much more important. It may be the very best thing you ever did. Some people need excuses to move forward in life or take a different path, and inevitably they wonder why they didn't change earlier. Be brave - you will be glad you did.
Easier said that done. Of all the places I've replied, only two have actually brought me in for a weld test.

First place, I got a job there, but after a week I quit. They had us working 10 hour shifts in a warehouse doing production. As a welder I was pretty much in leathers most of the time. I ended up getting electricuted by my own sweat! Not once, but three times! The first two were just a small jolt. The third one knocked me off my booth. I quit that job before I ended up getting seriously hurt.

Second place was a shop that took out contracts from the government, welding armor plating. I went in and took a weld test for TIG, and I was rusty (as I said in my original post). They told me to come back and try flux core, so I did. They said my welds looked pretty good and asked me to fill out a formal application. So I did that and haven't heard back from them in 2 months. I sent a thank you card letter, hoping to generate at least a response saying they couldn't hire me at this time, but nothing.

I'm at the point where I'm just ready to start applying for anything, but what do you put on a resume for a job you've never worked in the field for?

I can put my schooling on there, but it isn't likely to impress anyone as you guys have all stated.

Mathius
 
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Old 06-10-07, 12:06 PM
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You probably need to check out the smaller shops, tell them of your interest and schooling, and ask for a job as a helper so you can learn the trade.

While my oldest son may not qualify as a journeyman welder, he started out cutting and fitting tubing, grinding welds, etc. Then he progressed to tack welding the chassis so an expeirenced welder only had to finsih the welding. Now he does a good portion of the welding. I think he's worked there about 2 yrs.
 
 

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