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a "who-you-know industry"

Discussion in 'General Industry Questions' started by missjeriblue, Nov 4, 2017.

  1. missjeriblue

    missjeriblue Member

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    being new to this trade, i am finding it to very much be a "who-you-know" industry. the problem for me is...i dont know any freaking body in it! so...my question is...

    how did you get your start? did you know someone who got you into it, or did you jump in with both feet?

    any advice would be appreciated too! lol
     
  2. Jakebreak

    Jakebreak Senior Member

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    Occupation:
    operator/pipelayer/mechanic
    Location:
    Bakersfield Ca
    I started out as a laborer in the summer when I was 16 for a little mom and pop outfit met them through a friend I just worked hard and I had grown up around tractors so I knew how to move them not really operate them but that's what I wanted to do as time went on I got my chance little by little on running more equipment and more seat time I have always been on time and dependable and have always been early to grease and fuel the machine before work and keep them clean whether the company owns the equipment or its rental I treat it like its my money and my equipment. I tried not to ask to many questions I took advantage of being a laborer and getting to learn from older operators as I earned their respect they would teach me I have been doing this for 16 years and I'm still learning
     
  3. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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  4. 92U 3406

    92U 3406 Senior Member

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    It was hard for me. I was brand new in a brand new town. I knew no one, had no roots in the community. Had to bang on doors constanly until someone gave me a chance. It was a chicken **** outfit that went bankrupt 18 months later but they gave me my start and I'm greatful for that.
     
  5. PJ The Kid

    PJ The Kid Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
    Mechanic
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    KC
    I got my start in wrenching by who I knew. Accidentally at that. I was busting horses and decided it was time to grow out of my cowboy dreams (still haven't done that) and applied at a local shop I didn't know was owned by my dad's old boss. Gave me a job as I was filling out at app. From there went to the shop my dad was currently employed at, was contacted by his boss and talked into leaving the shop I started at. Left there and got myself a job in an indy shop where nobody knew my last name. a couple years later another dealer called me up and I left the indy and went to that dealer and worked there for 1 1/2 years till they sold out and a mass exodus started, left there for the city garage about 1 1/2 ago and glad I did.
     
  6. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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    I came out of the military, spent a little under a year changing oil and tires in a small gas station while going to trade school. Had been around heavy equipment since was a kid and had experience in military operating large cumbersome machinery. First REAL job, flat rate mechanic in a small truck line garage.
     
  7. Kiwi-truckwit

    Kiwi-truckwit Senior Member

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    I started as a truck driver, and one of the office girls there put me onto a company that her husband is part of. Started off on a truck with a knuckle boom, and eventually got put onto the cranes. So knowing people helps, but it's not always necessary. And wherever you start probably won't be your forever company, but a stepping stone. Hard work and attitude count for a lot, and if you build on that reputation, then employers will soon be coming to you.
     
  8. Dozerboy

    Dozerboy Senior Member

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    Occupation:
    Operator
    Location:
    TX
    I saw on your other thread you mentioned your from San Diego. San Diego is the easiest place I have ever been when it came to finding jobs. I would literally just research company names and addresses drive there turn in applications generally had interviews on the spot and had job offers that day. My first year I didn’t make a whole Lotta money but once I learned what to look for and companys did only prevailing wage work I made a killing. You being you you and I’m not sure how that changes things. I work for union and nonunion chops and always did things the same way. But I was never afraid to leave a company some companies I only work for a week.
     
  9. Dozerboy

    Dozerboy Senior Member

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    Dang speech to text is killing me.

    You been union I’m not sure how that changes things.

    Rest I hope you can make sense of.
     
  10. check

    check Senior Member

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    in the mail
    Put yourself in the boots of the guy that owns the company. Hiring is always a big risk. You fire a lot of people and you end up paying out some bogus high dollar discrimination lawsuits. Most would rather hire someone they know because they are less likely to be anticipating surprises.

    I'm a mechanic by trade so my start is not relevant to starting out as an operator. Compared to mechanics, operators seem a bit overpaid, at least with a lot of companies. It's much easier to get started as a mechanic, you just have to be tolerant of low pay. Lots of people want to be operators and helicopter pilots. Few people want to be mechanics.

    If you want to start out as an operator, hire on as a laborer and you will have the opportunity to show the boss your working habits and ability so he will see it's worth the trouble to train you as an operator.
     
    CM1995, PJ The Kid and td25c like this.
  11. Junkyard

    Junkyard Senior Member

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    Claremore, OK
    Along the same lines as check.....

    Having run a business for 15 years or so I tried to avoid anything that created drama, disruption or a heachache for me. By headache I mean management wise, financially and liability. Unfortunately that may be part of what's holding you back. Should it be? Hell no. But a great example is how the only woman on a job site suddenly is the interest of every swninging you know what there. Old, young, fat, skinny, tall or short it don't matter. Guys are guys. It'll take a bit to get your foot in the right door. Most likely when you least expect it.

    Not everybody you "know" is a positive association either. It's harder these days I think. Used to be you could walk up to a site and ask if they were hiring. Or go to their office and ask. It seems to lack any personal connections. My résumé wouldn't look like much but talk to me for a brief moment and you wouldn't care what it said. I think :cool:.

    I don't care how old we get, we're all clicky, afraid of change and somewhat insecure. So the man or woman who's considering you for a position may be looking more at the collateral effect of the decision vs the good you'd bring to the job. Again, bs but it's the world we live in. Too bad you're so far away. I'd love to set you up as an operator here....some of these fellers need to be knocked back into line :)
     
    td25c likes this.
  12. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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    Talking about " Who you know " reminds me of when I go in to the parts store and new feller working the counter .

    " I need a oil filter for a 4-53 Detroit " Parts feller then asks " what vehicle is this in " ?

    " 1978 HyHoe excavator " Total silence after that ....... :)

    Then the store owner in the back room yells out the part number for the new guy & points to it on the shelf . LOL :D

    Got to get to the rite people anymore . It's generally the old cat working in the back room that's hip to what's goin down .:)
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
  13. Junkyard

    Junkyard Senior Member

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    Like you don't know the part number....messing with that poor parts guy like that :)
     
  14. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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    New parts guy needed a break in cycle ....

    We broke him in good & proper . :D
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
    CM1995 likes this.
  15. Junkyard

    Junkyard Senior Member

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    Is that like a hazing? Haha
     
    td25c likes this.
  16. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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    No ....... More like welcome to life . Glad to do business with ya now .:D

    We all had a good laugh about it !
     
    DMiller likes this.
  17. Junkyard

    Junkyard Senior Member

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    It's like that for me with any Cat dealer I have to order IMT drilling rig parts. Seems like about the time I get one particular guy halfway used to how convoluted parts are they leave or get promoted. Or maybe they hear my name and "power unit" they magically get another call.

    Our local NAPA is a small family owned store and has been for decades. The brothers that run it have to be late 60's. They're constantly giving the younger guy in there a hard time over old stuff. One time I was in there the computers went on the fritz. I asked if he had the book. He drug it out and I flipped through and found what I wanted. I started in parts before they used computers. Back in the day when their entire 50' counter was covered in books.
     
  18. Vetech63

    Vetech63 Senior Member

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    I started off as a trainee with a construction company around 1982. You learn a lot really quick working for those types. It takes some time, but it is great experience for future endeavors.
     
  19. Welder Dave

    Welder Dave Senior Member

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    The thing I hate is the people who exaggerate their resume. Unfortunately a lot of people hiring go by this when deciding who to interview. I'd rather talk to someone in person and do a job test any day. I've been on the floor when the company hires some new hotshot that couldn't weld to save his life yet according to his resume, he's done it all. Worked at one place where a guy was a journeyman welder and going for his steel fabricator ticket as well. He had an attitude that he was better because he'd have 2 tickets in another year. Foreman had him weld 2 4" pipes coming out of a glycol heater for the overflow tank. They were 3 pass welds, 1 weld covered by 2 more. Should be easy for a good 1st year apprentice to do. Foreman then asked me to repair his welds. A 2 pass weld should be smooth between the passes and look like 1 big weld. Not this guys. There was a big valley between the 2 passes and a lumpy mess because he ran too cold and wasn't paying attention to what the puddle was doing. Had to grind it all down and redo it so it didn't look like a blind monkey welded it.
     
  20. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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    I enjoyed finding parts in the old books, could use that to my advantage in updating old machines with new pieces I could get repair parts for. Today's little countermen and women have a difficult time when I ask what also is available in the same category as to replacing a obsolete part. Most never re-engineered anything as we all have had to.
     
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