Career Advice Please.

Associate
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6 Mar 2017
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484
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Sunny Bournemouth
Hi Guys/Girls. I've been racking my brain for 6 months now about what I want to do with the rest of my life - work wise. I've been a plumber for 10.5 year now, 10 years of that with the same company. Last year my old company outsourced the building site we worked on so that they wouldn't have carded labour and could increase profits. We were transferred under TUPE to this new company who only employed subbies and ground workers, funnily enough, the vast majority of us were made redundant. I'm not bitter as I understand its normal now not to employ carded labour - you can save a boat load on pensions, holiday and when times might go quite - its the way of the world, companies are there to turn profit at the end of the day! I got another job pretty much straight away, but ever since, I have really not enjoyed my work, I dread going in every day wishing my weeks away and have become less productive smoking every half hour. This is not good for my employer who is a genuinely good bloke, or me, as its affecting my home life now. I also ask myself the question, can I see myself doing this in 30 years time, the answer is no. The job takes its toll on you, back, knees, knuckle joints, dust and noise to name a few. I feel like just going in Monday and jacking in now!
Right back on subject. The question is, what job will I enjoy doing? This is where you peeps come in, I'm after some sensible suggestions of jobs that exist out there, maybe these are jobs that you have fallen into and enjoy or are looking at getting into. I know jobs are subjective to the person - but any sensible ideas would be appreciated even if they don't crop up that often.
Some of the jobs I've ruled out are: Armed forces, police, RSPCA Inspector, home pc building (Saturated market and only the big boys can compete on buying power).
Qualifications not plumbing related are Higher than average GCSE's, all B or above....with the exception of French.
Anyways, over to you.
 
Caporegime
Joined
29 Jan 2008
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55,239
you might be able to get a good idea of what work you may enjoy from what you're good at in a more general sense... as we tend to be good at things we've enjoyed and concentrated on at school/elsewhere

I mean perhaps your spacial awareness is quite good (maybe you played with lego lots as a kid and perhaps it was useful to you as a plumber too) - in which case maybe a new job as a CAD technician could be interesting (I've got no idea about that career but was just trying to give an example)

it could be worth trying a career aptitude test for some ideas/suggestions - you can pay for this stuff where your ability to complete certain tasks is tested first and then you have a career related questionnaire - a quick google has revealed there are some free one that just deal with the career preference side but don't test your skills - perhaps these could be of some use though:

https://www.careerfitter.com/free_test/careerbuilder

https://www.whatcareerisrightforme.com/career-aptitude-test.php
 
Associate
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484
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Sunny Bournemouth
Thanks Dowie, I understand its a personal thing but is always good to get an opinion from someone who doesn't know you- thinking outside the box kind of thing. I'm liking the aptitude test - didn't really think of anything like that. Will give it a go tomorrow - should be interesting. Like you say engineering/technical might be a good option to look into thinking long term, I'm not opposed to going to evening classes and stuff. Thanks you've given me some food for thought.
 
Soldato
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10,065
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Stoke area
Have you considered starting your own plumbing business? As you know the work you can sit in the office quoting work and prepping everything and employee people to go out and work for you.

Or maybe teaching it? Make the move to green energy, solar panels etc?

I'd echo Dowie as well, an aptitude test gives some suggestions that may strike a chord with you.
 
Associate
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Sunny Bournemouth
starting your own plumbing business

Thanks for the reply, unfortunately employing people is a dying thing with trades, the government believes its helping with introducing things like mandatory pension contributions and health and safety law (things have gone crazy with what you can and can't do now). Unfortunatley what this tends to mean is companies can't compete with one man bands on price effectively while adhering to these - part of the reason while my last firm outsourced the building site to a company who use sub contractors was this! I was lucky to get a job with the small company I'm at now, but he has the big contacts which he has built up over the decades, who more importantly, pay up on time. A lot of tradesman who used to employ direct labour and now don't always speak about people not paying up and in doing so struggled to pay the blokes who worked under them, let alone pay for the materials on the next job. With less jobs on the go (one man bands) its easier to chase money and not have to worry about not only your rent but the others who work for you. Teaching would be ideal, it is something I looked into and hove spoken with people already in the role while renewing my gas qualifications last October. There are not many jobs in teaching, the gas jobs are highly sought after, especially by the old boys with 2-3+ decades of experience in gas(usually ex- British Gas employees), while the plumbing teachers are given the little $$$$$ who have left school and not interested in learning and are now forced by the government into apprenticeships (cant remember the exact details but they just cant leave education or something like that). I have solar qualifications and used to fit them on new builds - but in this country, I just cant recommend it to customers (being honest) we used to fit them on new houses for tax and energy efficiency rating benefits only.
I have applied for two jobs this morning, going on from what dowie said, what I enjoy and am best at is pleasing customers - unusually my new boss has had numerous emails, conversations with people who have been really happy with my service. I suffer social awkwardness issues with groups of people, but in small numbers my politeness and eagerness to please shines through it would seem. The Jobs are sky engineer, although this is performance based I can earn about what I'm on now and Smart meter installer at SSE once again similliar to what I'm on now but with added benefits. These jobs may not be my ideal career but may just save my sanity until I can find what I'm looking for. I will be trying those aptitude tests in the mean time - should be interesting to see what they suggest.
Anyways, I appreciate the comments, as I said it always helps to get opinions of people looking in as opposed to the people who know me already (prejudicial).
 
Soldato
Joined
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Location
Aberdeen
Do you speak another language? Could you work as a plumber in Canada or NZ? Ascension Island? The Falklands?

And, just to put it out there, how about the British Antarctic Survey?
 
Associate
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Sunny Bournemouth
British Antarctic Survey?
Lol, see that's just the thing i was talking about, thinking outside the box. Something i never would have thought of but could have been a good experience. I like it, i just looked into it but unfortunatly nothing I'm qualified to do. Seriously, I would have been interested though. Want to get away from the building trade in general. Just out of interest what made you think of BAS - do you know someone who's worked for them in the past?
 
Soldato
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Stoke area
If you want something completely different and have no real ties here, the HALO trust are after people. 6 months training, 2 years abroad running land mine clearing teams. I'd love to do it but 2 kids under 5 means it's just not going to happen.
 
Soldato
Joined
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Location
Aberdeen
Lol, see that's just the thing i was talking about, thinking outside the box. Something i never would have thought of but could have been a good experience. I like it, i just looked into it but unfortunatly nothing I'm qualified to do.

Write top them anyway - a good tradesman is hard to find.

Just out of interest what made you think of BAS - do you know someone who's worked for them in the past?

It was the train of thought gradually working southwards.
 
Soldato
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14,154
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Scotland
Water utility or tier 1/2 water contractor. We were always looking for plumbing experience in my last job.
 
Soldato
Joined
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14,460
Local plumbers are so busy round here they have weeks of work lined up - work for yourself for now, whilst maybe studying to do something else in the background?

Offshore work?
 
Associate
Joined
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484
Location
Sunny Bournemouth
Cheers guys, will look into utility company (sounds like a plan) and maybe do a bit of work off my own back - as you say plenty of plumbing work out there. Just gave my boss notice, told him that I'll work for as long as his current workload requires. Still got the majority of my redundancy pay so will just eek it out and find something else to do. I've always landed on my feet and never not had work for longer than a week since leaving school at 16. Bit rash i know but required for me to keep my sanity!
 
Associate
Joined
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1,577
That must have been so liberating! Good luck.

I've been a smart meter installer for two years this June and it's already taking a toll on my body and I frequently find myself asking how long can I keep it up.

I'm off at the moment and my mind is wandering...what can I do...???

Bear in mind, many of the companies taking people on to become smart meter installers charge for the training, or in my case, there's a 'lock in' - you have to pay back £9000 in the first year, £6000 in the second and £3000 in the third year after qualifying, if you leave.

Have you considered approaching a housing association? They seem to be very busy and maybe recruiting for trades people in your area? But it'd be more of the same and you sound like you want out. :)
 
Last edited:
Associate
Joined
6 Mar 2017
Posts
484
Location
Sunny Bournemouth
That must have been so liberating! Good luck.


Thanks, hasn't really sunk in yet, still got probably around a month of working for him. Tbh think I've sort of burnt myself out working long hours, rarely stopping for lunch and hardly eating anything at work- putting myself under continuous pressure so didn't really feel like much of a choice. However reckon my last day will feel like a weights been lifted :D

I'm off at the moment and my mind is wandering...what can I do...???

It is a difficult one, i think people rarely find their ideal job, most, i think, settle for something that's bearable. I would just be happy with something you don't bring home with you at the end of the day and doesn't take to much a toll on your health. I don't think it's ever too late to change career especially if, like me, you don't have kids (can take more risk/pay cut). It's just that its so easy to go with the flow and get stuck in a rut - think my redundancy last year has forced me out of that stagnation.

Bear in mind, many of the companies taking people on to become smart meter installers charge for the training

Yeah, it is pretty much standard practise nowadays with any job that requires training, can't blame them tbh.

Have you considered approaching a housing association
sound like you want out

It's a good idea, but as you say, I definitely want out of the plumbing game.


Anyways, thanks for the reply, and i hope you yourself can think of/find a job that you will be happier/healthier in the long run - it doesn't hurt to look, even if you got to wait another year :D
 
Soldato
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Location
Stoke area
It is a difficult one, i think people rarely find their ideal job, most, i think, settle for something that's bearable. I would just be happy with something you don't bring home with you at the end of the day and doesn't take to much a toll on your health. I don't think it's ever too late to change career especially if, like me, you don't have kids (can take more risk/pay cut). It's just that its so easy to go with the flow and get stuck in a rut - think my redundancy last year has forced me out of that stagnation.

A lot of people quote that "if you do what love, you'll never work a day in your life!"... or you end up hating what you once loved doing because it's now a job.

If it wasn't for my kids, I'd be working for the HALO Trust without a shadow of a doubt. 6 months training, 2 years abroad. In an instant. it'll be 5 years before I can look at it now as the youngest will be 7 then, old enough to understand.
 
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