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Old 02-15-2012, 09:25 AM
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Default In need of some career advice!!

Hey boys I'm in need of some wise words!!
So the story goes,I've been working in a music shop since I finished school 14 years ago. It was cool when I first started but as I matured I wished that I had of done a trade instead.
Now I'm 31,married with two kids and a third on the way.
I hate my job and despise dragging myself there every morning. It's only a small shop and my boss relies on me as his right hand man. I also do the majority of the instrument repairs. I prefer doing this, it gives me some sense of achievement.
I'd love to just chuck it in but I have too many responsibilities and it's all I know! I also think that the shop would go to the dogs too!! I feel burnt out...I'm over sales...I'm over the s*** pay...I'm just feed up with retail. I feel like I'm stagnating and that all my mates are moving ahead and I'm going nowhere fast!!
I want to do something with my hands.My wife is very supportive and is encouraging me to learn a trade. But the problem is that I just don't know what I want to do.
I'd love to be a bike mechanic but I'm fearful that it'd ruin my passion for bikes. That's what has happened with my music. Outside of work I haven't played my guitar for over 8 months. I'm also considering becoming a apprentice panel beater.
I also don't know if we could survive on a apprentice wage for four years.
Have any of you completed a mature age apprenticeship? Do any of you work in the bike industry? Has it killed the enjoyment of working with bikes?
I just feel lost and don't know what to do...
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:45 AM
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Why not start an instrument repair/trade shop of your own? You already have people you know that trust you to bring their instruments, and if the boss can't appreciate what you do for him by giving you a good raise + % of profit get ready to quit and start.
Just make sure you are ready for it before this time and don't allow too much time to go by before you make the leap as you will run broke and seek any employment that comes up and the years will go by and you will be out of the business. If you find the right place that has space in the back for bike repairs you can get into it as well.
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Old 02-15-2012, 12:18 PM
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Why not look for a job at another place? Sometimes a simple change like that can be all that is needed to give you a better outlook on the future. It may wind up being the same thing, but it may be exactly what you need.

There are lots of trades, but you have to be careful in what you choose because you can wind up being burnt out on that too. Have you considered going to college? It will be hard and take a while, but you can start part time or online for the first couple years. I don't know about your country, but you also might not be too old to enter the military. They will teach you a trade and keep you and your family well cared for. It is a sacrifice, but it will help you more than you can imagine. I'm not sure about Australia, but in the states if you join the military, they will pay or help pay for your school. All told, I've received close to $90,000 in benifits over the last four years.

That is just my two cents, as I was 19 when I enlisted and 25 when I started college. The pay isn't bad either. As a recent graduate I started out making more or close to what most trades will pay after 15-20 years. Money isn't everything, but being able to live comfortably is nice. It was a long journey but well worth it in the end for myself and my family.
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Old 02-15-2012, 01:07 PM
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I was a bike tech for about 18 years...and you're right I will never do it again for a living.

Sometimes I'm hard pressed to even work on my own bikes.

Doing it for people that were just not as passionate as myself about the bikes has ruined it for me.

Maybe again one day...

Good luck with whatever choices you make.
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Old 02-15-2012, 01:25 PM
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The silver lining to making a low income (I assume this is the s*** pay you refer to) is that it is relatively easy to replace that income with other things.

You have developed a skill of repairing instruments, but if I had to guess having your own instrument shop just means more headache, more risk, and you still deal with the public.

So what if you pursued another career and then fixed instruments on the side? If your current employer is reasonable, he could see advantages to this arrangement too. Basically he could outsource the repair to your side business, you don't have to deal with the public, and he doesn't have an employee he has to pay taxes or benefits on. Plus the obvious benefit to you that you get to try something else in your day job. It seems relatively low risk for both of you if he has a steady stream of business. Also when self-employed you get tax deductions like crazy, although paying your quarterly estimates isn't fun.

It might be more work for you but in the end you would also probably make more money.

If I could suggest an interesting blog, check out OutOfYourRut.com Lots of good ideas there.
OutOfYourRut.com | Careers, Business Ideas, Money and More

A couple good articles are here...
10 Qualities of the Self-Employed Mindset | OutOfYourRut.com
Income Security VS Job Security ? Does it Matter? | OutOfYourRut.com
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Old 02-15-2012, 02:30 PM
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Being a bike mechanic was my dream. I was on the path, working as an apprentice, but in the end I had to get out of it. I was 25 making 10.50/hr, in debt, and the realization of the cost of tools was the kicker for me. Watching the techs around me spending money every week on tools/tool truck guy stressed me out. Working to pay for tools to do your job. That's kind of what I saw. If I would have started at 18-20ish, not thinking about getting married or a family, I'd have followed through with it forever.

So, I guess what I'm saying is, it is a HUGE financial investment. Make sure if you decide on this path, you can afford it.

I know there are guys here who currently are techs, maybe they'll tell you I'm totally off base, and I might be, but this was my experience.
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Old 02-15-2012, 03:39 PM
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If I were you the first thing I'd do is get my tubes tied. One kid probably would have been enough in your position.

How about night school. Education is an investment.
Or invent the pet rock. Uh, sorry, already done.
Dunno.
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tacheny View Post
Being a bike mechanic was my dream. I was on the path, working as an apprentice, but in the end I had to get out of it. I was 25 making 10.50/hr, in debt, and the realization of the cost of tools was the kicker for me. Watching the techs around me spending money every week on tools/tool truck guy stressed me out. Working to pay for tools to do your job. That's kind of what I saw. If I would have started at 18-20ish, not thinking about getting married or a family, I'd have followed through with it forever.

So, I guess what I'm saying is, it is a HUGE financial investment. Make sure if you decide on this path, you can afford it.

I know there are guys here who currently are techs, maybe they'll tell you I'm totally off base, and I might be, but this was my experience.
I was in the same situation, just at 19. I had been at a dealer for about a year and wanted to be a tech. Most of them that I talked to advised against it for the reasons you stated above. Sadly the only way to make a decent living (more than say $20/hr) as a motorcycle tech is to move into management where you aren't really a tech. I enjoyed working there, but even at 19, I knew that making $15/hr for the rest of my life wasn't going to be enough.

There were some guys that did it and loved it, but most regretted not going to college, getting out of the military or just not doing much to better themselves in general. Every job I've worked has had its share of guys like uncle Rico in Napoleon Dynomite. Still wishing that coach would have put them in fourth quarter. They could have taken state, gone on to pro ball, and been living it up with their soulmate.


Also, if you like working with your hands, look into something like welding or machining. Both are always going to be in decent demand, and won't take hits like the niche market of powersports. College is still the best choice you can make. Ask people you know that earned four year degrees if they regretted it. Then ask all the people you know that didn't go if they wish they had. The answers won't surprise you. It is really never too late. Both of my parents didn't start until after they were thirty with two kids. It isn't just an investment in yourself, it is an investment that increases the quality of life for your family.
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:38 PM
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U have alot of kids.
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Old 02-16-2012, 06:45 AM
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Go educate(evening school besides your job) yourself where your interests are, but when a hobby becomes your job things change...you'll start to loose your passion with the years. I guess thats where good college's can make the difference as they become your 2nd family, you'll see them more often than your wife/kids.
Good luck with your decision. I'm sure it will work out good for you.
Over here we're in need of good skilled techical people wich are hard to find these days, technical professions aren't "sexy" anymore, paycheck sucks,bad workingtimes(night shifts.etc)
Nobody wants to do it anymore and the schoolguys we get (aircraft maintenance) can't even wipe there own bud without help.....its a new generation.
The heavy Boeing 747 maintenance(4 weeks) is transferred to China as the pay/hour is about 70% cheaper over there.(no, i dont mention the quality)
One advantance is that really skilled techical guys are becoming rare and you can exploid that.....

Last edited by tuurio; 02-16-2012 at 07:08 AM.
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Old 02-16-2012, 03:41 PM
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[QUOTE=Tacheny;698329]Being a bike mechanic was my dream. I was on the path, working as an apprentice, but in the end I had to get out of it. I was 25 making 10.50/hr, in debt, and the realization of the cost of tools was the kicker for me. Watching the techs around me spending money every week on tools/tool truck guy stressed me out. Working to pay for tools to do your job. That's kind of what I saw. If I would have started at 18-20ish, not thinking about getting married or a family, I'd have followed through with it forever.
So, I guess what I'm saying is, it is a HUGE financial investment. Make sure if you decide on this path, you can afford it

Everything he said plus I have to add what I experienced in 10 years as tech for Jeep is that your income will depend A LOT from how much work comes in the dealership meaning you being flat rate mechanic if there is a lot of work you can make shit load of money,but if there is no work NO MONEY unles you can do something on the side.Next thing is going to be warranty work and you'll make very little money if any of off that.Final thing what sucks is medical insurance in dealership is expensier every year but in same time benefits are getting wors!Best thing is get the trade school done and find job with government,that's what I did and I LOVE IT!
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:56 PM
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Australia is in the midst of a natural resource boom supplying minerals, oil & gas to the underdeveloped nations of the world, primarily China & India.

This boom will last for your working lifetime.

Iron ore in the NW; gold in the SW; coal in the SE, uranium in Victoria & Queensland; oil & gas off shore in the north. Mining & oil companies need skilled workers to operate & maintain these plants.

Think BIG! As an engineer, now retired, I helped to build the process plants & infrastructure to produce these commodities all over the world. You are already skilled, you just neeed to change your direction...which you have already recognized. Many of these jobs require mechanical, electrical & computer skills. There are many opportunities to move into managerial positions.

I guarantee your intellect will fed if you make the transition. Companies desparately want employees that desire to keep learning.

Companies have training programs for specific areas of their facilities.

You have a career opportunity to improve yourself & provide for your family.

Best wishes on your career change. If you want to discuss further, PM me.

Jack
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Old 02-17-2012, 01:26 PM
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If you enjoy working with your hands, machining or fabrication could be cool and it might parlay into your joy of motorcycles indirectly. 3 kids sounds like a lot on a meager wage, too many people in this world as it is!
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Old 02-18-2012, 02:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by borislav View Post
!Best thing is get the trade school done and find job with government,that's what I did and I LOVE IT!
Can you elaborate at all? if you would rather not in this thread I would highly appreciate a PM! thanks!
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Old 02-18-2012, 12:46 PM
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Get a job on the wharf in Melbourne - $$$$$$$$

I sent you a PM with the details

Cheers
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