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Looking For Feedback On Changing Careers

 
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Old 12-26-2018, 03:36 PM   #1
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Looking For Feedback On Changing Careers


Hey everybody. My name is Adam. I’m 31 and I live in western South Dakota and I’m looking at changing careers and following a long time pipe dream of mine to get into construction.

I’ve been reading various topics on this forum for years but this will be my first post. My goal here is to accurately describe my current situation and see how many of you would do what I’m thinking of doing. Because I’m definetly on the fence. I’ll try to keep it short and to the point. Any and all feedback will be GREATLY appreciated. Positive or “you’re insane”, I don’t care.

I currently work for a large company. 13 years so far. My annual income is between $95k-$110k depending on how business is going. My health insurance is exceptional as is the retirement I will receive at 60. I have a wife and two kids. We live comfortably. It’s realy a dream scenario except for one thing; I hate what I do. I stuck with “paying my dues” long enough thinking that when I make a certain wage and have good job security that I will be content. I think I’ve reached that point and I still don’t like it. I spend 65-75 hours a week (6 days every week) doing things that I have no passion for or desire to do. My job is grueling and very stressful. It’s becoming painfully obvious that I don’t like the corporate BS and the only reason I do it at all is strictly for the compensation.

I’ve had a passion for construction my entire adult life. Numerous remodels on homes that I’ve owned, I had a contract remodeling apartments for awhile (had to move otherwise I’d still be doing it) and I’m currently flipping a small dive house. I’m not an expert in any one trade but I’m competent enough to do hold my own in most of them. I’m obsessive about finding ways to become better and more efficient.

Doing side projects away from my real job is great and I enjoy it. It gives me a way to fuel my construction desire and keep the financial security of my real job but at this point I’m half assing both. And I’m getting tired lol. On top of that, wifey has basically become a single mom in my absence and I want more times with my kids. (I’m easily at 90 hours a week between real job and side gigs) She has said she would support me if I went into construction, paycut and all. We both grew up very poor and have had low points financially getting to where we are now. We made it thru and I think we can do it again, although fighting the wolves at the door again scares the hell out of me. Especially with children on this go.

If I take the dive, I plan to start out framing. My brother in-law works for a framing contractor and says he can get me started there easily. My end game is to become a general contractor. I haven’t figured out how to connect those two dots but I’m confident that my work ethic and passion will get me there down the road.

If you’re still reading this, thanks. That wasn’t short at all like I said it would be lol. But that’s my life in a nutshell. So the big question, with what you all know based on you’re experiences, what would you do and why? Chase the dream or be content with the security?

Thanks a lot,

Adam
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Old 12-26-2018, 04:40 PM   #2
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Re: Looking For Feedback On Changing Careers


very tough & competitive gig you want to get in to.

how much debt do you have

how much cash do you have

tools & truck

what are you going to do about medical insurance

fund your retirement

you looked into insurances


sounds like you would be giving up a great deal to pursue a pipe dream in a field you have never really worked in.

a kids broken arm could set you back for life.


you might want to take a vacation from your job and get on with your brother in laws crew to see what it's really like.

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Old 12-26-2018, 06:29 PM   #3
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Re: Looking For Feedback On Changing Careers


Construction is tough.

There's money to be made, and $#!Tloads of money to be lost.

The key to making it and not losing it, is to KNOW YOUR TRADE.

It sounds like you've gotten your feet wet. My advice would be definitely get on with a crew. Learning with some experienced guys is invaluable.

Give yourself a few years. Before you even think of going out on your own.
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Old 12-26-2018, 06:36 PM   #4
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Re: Looking For Feedback On Changing Careers


Quote:
Originally Posted by griz View Post



what are you going to do about medical insurance



fund your retirement



you looked into insurances





This!

you dont realize how much this stuff cost when you have to pay the full burden yourself. Coming from a company where you work as an employee that handles most of this to being self-employed is a real eye-opening experience

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Originally Posted by Seven-Delta-FortyOne View Post
Construction is tough.



Theres money to be made, and $#!Tloads of money to be lost.



Yes it is, and yes there is money to be made however theres money to be lost and when you lose money it comes directly out of your pocket then you have to figure out how to feed your family and pay your mortgage after you just lost your azz or got stuck out of money by some jerk




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Old 12-26-2018, 07:33 PM   #5
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Re: Looking For Feedback On Changing Careers


Figure out how to get your day job done in 40-50 hours a week, and bank 20% of your gross. Find out what it's really like to have a wife and kids.

You'll still have more time for side jobs than you have now.
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Old 12-26-2018, 07:38 PM   #6
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Re: Looking For Feedback On Changing Careers


I always tell people if you don't like your job move on, nothing worse than being stuck in a job you don't like or not enjoying what you do but if you do don't look back with regret.

Doing construction as a career or as a business is completely different than doing it as a hobby.
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Old 12-26-2018, 07:57 PM   #7
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Re: Looking For Feedback On Changing Careers


Your obviously an intelligent man. I'd say go for it. The guys here are making the arguments pretty clear. Just know for sure that construction America runs diametrically opposite of corporate America. But, your still young enough to make the plan work!

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Old 12-26-2018, 08:07 PM   #8
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Re: Looking For Feedback On Changing Careers


I ditched a lucrative career in high tech right around your age. Almost 20 years on, I enjoy just about every day I work.

Plenty of downsides, though (in no particular order)
- there's been lots of hard slugging: craptastic bosses/ craptastic clients
- being well equipped isn't cheap
- I always wonder if I should have stuck it out and learned to appreciate that environment more
- I'd be making about 6x what I make now if I'd stayed
- my body will eventually get sick of all this work and force me back to a desk job

Good luck in deciding.
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Old 12-26-2018, 10:30 PM   #9
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Re: Looking For Feedback On Changing Careers


Wow thanks for the feedback!

I forgot to mention that I can take a leave of absence from work for up to six months. That’s my plan to get my feet wet. Hop on with the outfit my brother in law currently works for and see where it goes. Im not sure if six months is long enough to figure out if it’s the right move or not but it’s a start.

My biggest concern is health insurance. My wife and I are looking around at the moment trying to find a good fit. The costs are staggering. It’s already an eye opener.

As far as tools and and a truck, I have just about all of it. Not all of it is the best out there but if I fail it won’t be because I didn’t have the tools I needed.

I’m hearing that I need a few years in the trade to learn, and I agree 100%. From what you guys have seen, how long does it take for the average new framer to be expierenced enough to go it on his own?
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Old 12-27-2018, 09:13 AM   #10
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Re: Looking For Feedback On Changing Careers


You're also taking on the responsibility of making other peoples lives your own. On a major remodel or build, they're happiness sometimes relies upon the job you are able to do. That's a lot of pressure as well.

You're also only as good as your subs, and finding good, reliable subs can be tricky.

I clicked on this thread because I thought you were looking for advice on moving out of the trade, which is where I find myself. I just relocated to Nashville and although there is plenty of work to be had, the thought of the trial and error of vetting a bunch of new people is daunting.

And it's not just health insurance, make sure you look at liability and comp.

Good luck.
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Old 12-27-2018, 07:33 PM   #11
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Re: Looking For Feedback On Changing Careers


If you are working 65-75 hours a week working a job you don't enjoy, and have a family, I cant see how you are also taking on construction projects. Is the $95k-$110k from your job or the job and side work combined?
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Old 12-28-2018, 08:44 AM   #12
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Re: Looking For Feedback On Changing Careers


Man I've worked for myself since I was 21 in construction. I decided to make a go of the desk life. That **** sucked. I just can't sit around that long and would find myself in the mill everyday helping those guys.

It takes at least 2 years to become a competent framer but it's the best way to learn construction as a whole. 6 months will give you a good grasp of the reality but expect a MONSTER pay cut.

Personally I suck at business. If you want to make a lot of money you have to be good at it.

If you just want to make a living and working or not working when you want you have to set yourself apart and only work the highest market around. That takes a lot of time. It is nice though.

You're probably looking at 10 years or so before you get where you wanna be. I'm lucky enough to have my wife who has health insurance through her company. You're body does get beat up too. That's definitely something to think about.
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Old 12-28-2018, 08:56 AM   #13
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Re: Looking For Feedback On Changing Careers


Quote:
Originally Posted by Noname View Post
Wow thanks for the feedback!

I forgot to mention that I can take a leave of absence from work for up to six months. That’s my plan to get my feet wet. Hop on with the outfit my brother in law currently works for and see where it goes. Im not sure if six months is long enough to figure out if it’s the right move or not but it’s a start.

My biggest concern is health insurance. My wife and I are looking around at the moment trying to find a good fit. The costs are staggering. It’s already an eye opener.

As far as tools and and a truck, I have just about all of it. Not all of it is the best out there but if I fail it won’t be because I didn’t have the tools I needed.

I’m hearing that I need a few years in the trade to learn, and I agree 100%. From what you guys have seen, how long does it take for the average new framer to be expierenced enough to go it on his own?
Going from making upwards of six-figures to a start-up is a HUGE undertaking... if you don't have at least 6 months of Capital Reserves and Emergency Fund set aside, I'd encourage you to wait until you do... if you have any debt, this is even more critical...

While your company may give you up to 6 months for a leave of absence, keep in mind, someone will have to do your job during that period and if they do it better, that may work against you if things don't work out... but it can also be an issue knowing you still have that option to go back and might keep you from fully committing... part of that is on display with your even bringing it up...

Because you have an established career, wife and kids, the conversation to have with your wife BEFORE you commit is discussing all the realistic downsides that can occur and having a plan as a couple for how you'd deal with it... it's easy to be optimistic about potential... but part of being a business owner is knowing how to plan for and deal with issues that WILL present themselves (like you're finding out with health insurance, which is one of a thousand issues that will present itself as a business owner)...

Do you know the difference between paying yourself and paying your company and how to formulate your pricing to cover it all and then some including funding your kids college, retirement, ROI? Do you know how to deal with payroll/taxes? What type of business entity will you establish under? Do you have an accountant? What happens if there is a downturn in the market and you're not established yet, how will you deal with that? The list goes on and will constantly be revised to reflect the realities you'll face daily as a business owner... one of the reasons why CT and others like it exist...

I'm all for guys striking out on their own, taking risks, and going after their dreams, but the considerations and costs to do so nowadays have increased dramatically... but you're also not single with only you to risk at this point in life, so while it's rare to have ALL your ducks in a row before taking the plunge, be sure the ones that affect your family the most are at the top of the list and addressed before doing so... a wife who is totally on board and secure in the knowledge that you both know the path forward and decided it together will be a HUGE benefit versus hoping it works out...

Best of luck... 8^)

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Old 12-28-2018, 10:23 AM   #14
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Re: Looking For Feedback On Changing Careers


Eat Ramen noodles for two weeks. If you feel like splurging get some campbells soup. That's all you eat for two weeks. If you drink beer, it can only be crap beer. Run and workout outside until it really really hurts. Do something frustrating while doing it.

If you can do that and say, "better than my current life". You'll like starting up a business. Some people just hate the corporate world. I did. It is a serious change, if you hate what you're doing, you just might enjoy it.
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Old 12-28-2018, 12:04 PM   #15
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Re: Looking For Feedback On Changing Careers


Not sure how old you are, but going from a desk job to framing is quite a jump. I hope you are in good shape.
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Old 12-28-2018, 05:37 PM   #16
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Re: Looking For Feedback On Changing Careers


Going from a desk job to a good framing crew is going to kick your butt. You might work less hours than you do now but when you get home youll be exhausted and ready for bed. Your first three months youll be too tired when you come home to help your wife with anything around the house. Youll be waking up at the crack of dawn. The paychecks will suck. Most likely you will have a coworker who will make it their number one goal in life to get under your skin.

If you want to taste for what its like go outside at 5 oclock in the morning in the summertime, make sure youre wearing boots and work all day long in the sun with no air conditioning no fans and only what you can bring in your cooler to eat. When you have to take a poop you get to use a porta potty. The good news is framing crews are one of the first on a job so itll only be mildly disgusting. But theres nothing more miserable than a porta potty on 100 day. Its like a sauna.

I dont mean to the harsh. You owe your wife and kids a certain standard of living. What theyve become acustom to isnt possible working on a framing crew. Also, going from a office job to a construction job is going to completely screw up your social circle. If you and the wife enjoy going to cocktail parties you might want to sit her down and explain to her that now you have to go to barbecues and drink cheap beer.
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Old 12-28-2018, 07:47 PM   #17
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Re: Looking For Feedback On Changing Careers


Eh.....

Times sure have changed.

This obsession with financial security is an overarching and overwhelming force.

Used to be that a guy might do ten different things. He was married at 19, 5 kids by 25, packed his $#iT and moved across the country four times chasing work, and always managed to make it OK>

R.G. LeTourneau, of LeTourneau heavy equipment fame, has a interesting auto-biography. He was born in 1888 or something like that.

Did some mining, foundry work, logging, heavy construction, farming, auto mechanics, and building of heavy machinery. Went broke a few times, lost everything, make a crapload of money a bunch of times, and built quite a little empire.

Not saying people should be reckless, but there were some tough SOB's back in the day, and for all the lack of having every step of their lives planned out, they sure managed to accomplish a lot.

And none of them had health insurance.


Just another perspective.
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Old 12-28-2018, 08:48 PM   #18
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Re: Looking For Feedback On Changing Careers


It doesn't sound like you need a different career dude, it sounds like you need a new job.

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Old 12-28-2018, 09:01 PM   #19
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Re: Looking For Feedback On Changing Careers


Quote:
Originally Posted by Noname View Post
Wow thanks for the feedback!

I forgot to mention that I can take a leave of absence from work for up to six months. Thats my plan to get my feet wet. Hop on with the outfit my brother in law currently works for and see where it goes. Im not sure if six months is long enough to figure out if its the right move or not but its a start.

My biggest concern is health insurance. My wife and I are looking around at the moment trying to find a good fit. The costs are staggering. Its already an eye opener.

As far as tools and and a truck, I have just about all of it. Not all of it is the best out there but if I fail it wont be because I didnt have the tools I needed.

Im hearing that I need a few years in the trade to learn, and I agree 100%. From what you guys have seen, how long does it take for the average new framer to be expierenced enough to go it on his own?
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Old 12-28-2018, 09:10 PM   #20
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Re: Looking For Feedback On Changing Careers


Quote:
Originally Posted by Seven-Delta-FortyOne View Post
Eh.....

Times sure have changed.

This obsession with financial security is an overarching and overwhelming force.

Used to be that a guy might do ten different things. He was married at 19, 5 kids by 25, packed his $#iT and moved across the country four times chasing work, and always managed to make it OK>

R.G. LeTourneau, of LeTourneau heavy equipment fame, has a interesting auto-biography. He was born in 1888 or something like that.

Did some mining, foundry work, logging, heavy construction, farming, auto mechanics, and building of heavy machinery. Went broke a few times, lost everything, make a crapload of money a bunch of times, and built quite a little empire.

Not saying people should be reckless, but there were some tough SOB's back in the day, and for all the lack of having every step of their lives planned out, they sure managed to accomplish a lot.

And none of them had health insurance.


Just another perspective.
I always find you posts to be helpful and I respect your opinion. But, consider this; If he was a tough S.O.B. that could make something out of nothing from sheer will power he wouldn't be talking to us. Those of us that have crossed the country looking for work did it out of desperation or foolishness. I would know, I'm 35 and I've moved 5 times for work.

With the sky high divorce rate and the judicial predjudice against MEN he would be a fool to jump ship on what he said is a dream job and a great life.

Quote:
My annual income is between $95k-$110k depending on how business is going. My health insurance is exceptional as is the retirement I will receive at 60. I have a wife and two kids. We live comfortably. It's really a dream scenario except for one thing; I hate what I do.
How many new guys on a framing crew can say that?


----------------------------------------------


OP would be wise to stay in his current field and look for another position that excites him. I'm surprised that all the men here are encouraging another man to take a huge risk at the expense of his family. If my brother in law asked to go to work for me and quit his high paying desk job I'd read him the riot act.

The OP has 13 years with his company, great healthcare, great retirement an understanding wife and the forum is encouraging him to throw that away to be the new guy on a framing crew???

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