How To Not Get Messed Around When Applying For Jobs (wages) - Business - Contractor Talk

How To Not Get Messed Around When Applying For Jobs (wages)

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Old 02-12-2020, 04:56 AM   #1
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How To Not Get Messed Around When Applying For Jobs (wages)

Hi everyone,

So I'm a construction grad with some labouring experience in home remodelling (with my old man) and can either do an apprenticeship or find a contracts/site(field)/project management grad role.

My issue is I've been looking at both, and am getting f***d around quite a bit by potential employers. They either don't want to pay the going rate (or somewhat even close to it), or the job description is completely different (grad contracts assistant role, but instead have me in the field as a labourer instead - why even advertise it as a grad role)

I don't know if it's due to my age (25) and that I dont have a tough guy personality - Is it due to my lack of experience?

I know I am supposed to eat s*** at the start, how much s*** and for how long? - I am prepared to do this, but how much and how long should I expect?

Any advice on what to do? My old man is a GC soon to be retired, should I try to make it on my own and do remodelling? Everyone seems to be a mess around. I really want to get into building new homes though...but working for myself seems to look better each day

thanks again
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Old 02-12-2020, 07:09 AM   #2
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Re: How To Not Get Messed Around When Applying For Jobs (wages)

Really interesting question...

I would imagine there are people around you, perhaps outside your network, that are willing to invest in someone that is committed to the field.

In my area you could be busy with just the skills to build a deck.

What would your schedule look like if you went off on your own?

How would you continue to learn? YouTube, JLC, fine home building, conferences, trainings, etc if you aren't picking up tricks from an employer?

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Old 02-12-2020, 07:34 AM   #3
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Re: How To Not Get Messed Around When Applying For Jobs (wages)

Once you define your career, look for an entry level position in that field and work your way up, even if it means starting at the bottom (ie laborer). If you are smart, work hard and have a good attitude those menial jobs won't be for long. As you gain experience and build a resume you can move to other companies for better opportunities and pay.

The alternative is to continue working with your Dad and eventually take over his existing business. If that is possible and what you want to do.

Last edited by NJ Contractor; 02-12-2020 at 07:38 AM.
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Old 02-12-2020, 07:37 AM   #4
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Re: How To Not Get Messed Around When Applying For Jobs (wages)

Originally Posted by ausapprentice View Post

I know I am supposed to eat s*** at the start
You're only a few years younger than me, and I'll tell you now if you work for professional company that doesn't respect you, your time, or your tangible skill-set, you need to find new work.

As for finding jobs fresh out of school, hopefully you can show an internship, or show that your work for your dad's company was meaningful to a job in the construction industry.

If you're also planning to continue to work in the industry, I suggest you continually push for annual raises, or pursue other employment every 12-16mo. Unfortunately, loyalty to a (lager) company is rarely, if ever rewarded anymore.
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Old 02-12-2020, 10:56 AM   #5
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Re: How To Not Get Messed Around When Applying For Jobs (wages)

Have you tried putting yourself in the shoes of a potential employer? Are you making the case for yourself?

The way employers think:

Is this person likable, respectable, capable, commanding of respect, etc? What will this person do for me and my business (vs. anyone else)? Are they likely to stick around? Are they someone I want to invest in? Will they get the job(s) done? Are they self-motivated, capable, someone I'd want to work with, work for, work under, etc....?

Btw, sometimes it's easy to jerk prospects around just to get a sense of their commitment. Most folks leave. Perhaps it can be a point of discussion.

Finally, action speak louder than words. Anybody can talk all they want about how committed they will be, but so can anyone else. It has to be demonstrated over time. Everybody knows that folks leave as soon as something else comes along, especially for educated 20-somethings.
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Old Today, 05:57 PM   #6
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Re: How To Not Get Messed Around When Applying For Jobs (wages)

I donít know the particulars of your situation but when you say the companies arenít willing to pay the going rate, where are you finding that number. If itís online research be careful because a recent graduate with no experience other than carrying lumber isnít going to get the same rate as an experienced project manager with tons of successful projects under his belt. So the offers you got might be the going rate for an inexperienced person.

Maybe your dad could have you run a couple of his smaller jobs so you gain experience with everything and can say that you ran the whole job rather than just worked as a laborer on site. If nothing else the experience will help you decide what direction you want to go in.
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Old Today, 06:04 PM   #7
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Re: How To Not Get Messed Around When Applying For Jobs (wages)

Great advice above from BuilderJohn.

Not sure what you think you are worth, but a 25 year old with basically no experience, and a construction management degree, is not generally worth much.

If no one around you is willing to pay what you think you are worth, it might be time to lower your expectations to a more reasonable level.


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