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Not sure what to do or what's out there...

Discussion in 'Careers, Employment and Professional Development' started by MX5Churbo, Feb 7, 2020.

  1. MX5Churbo

    Associate

    Joined: Feb 7, 2020

    Posts: 12

    Hi all,

    I've been perusing this section of the forums as a guest (along with a load of other forums) for quite a while now trying to gain some inspiration about what to do, and which direction to aim career/job wise, but I'm still totally lost.

    Given it's new year and having struggled massively with this for a long time, now seems as good a time as any to draw on the experience and knowledge of you kind folk.

    I'll try and keep this as concise as possible:

    I'm 27 years old, no commitments, no debts, still living at home.

    First job out of school was working at an independent garage. Dropped in at the deep end on the spanners and picked it up quickly. Really enjoyed it, but the owner couldn't afford to put me through my quals. Learnt a lot there and still absolutely love working on my own cars.

    Did a few A levels and BTEC subjects at college (Environmental science, Geology, Music tech, Theatre tech) and did well.

    Enjoyed messing about with computers during this time as well. Built a gaming PC and other computers for family with a decent desktop spec to save them money.

    Went to uni in the hopes of studying Geology, but had some mental health issues which scuppered that. Unfortunately came home after a year. Got back on my feet, but was still totally clueless about what to do.

    Found an engineering apprenticeship restoring WW1 and WW2 aircraft at a museum. Applied not thinking I would ever get onto it because there were hundreds of applicants. Somehow got to interview, and miraculously got the position. Three years at college, level 2 fabrication and welding then level 3 BTEC manafacuring engineering. I'll be honest, I really struggled with the college side. While I find engineering interesting, the theory side went straight over my head just like maths did at school. The apprenticeship sounds a lot more impressive on paper than any real hard skills gained from it, so going into modern aviation without serious training would be a no no (doesn't interest me as a career anyway)

    The contract ended at the museum and it felt like a good excuse to go travelling (which I naively thought might lead me to a vocation). I travelled for about 14 months on 6k that I'd saved up. Stopping in each place around 2 months doing work exchanges, staying with hosts who offered food and accommodation in exchange for a few hours work per day. The work side of it just further proved to me that I get a real kick out of fixing things, helping people and being outdoors. Great experience, wouldn't change it for the world, but again, still just as lost when I got home.

    Did a brief stint working on a factory production line just to get some money together. Whilst there, I got a call from someone who'd seen my CV online. It was a small classic car restoration company.

    Interviewed for it, did a weld test and got the job. A couple of weeks in I knew it just wasn't for me, the other guys there were disillusioned with the job, and while I love being on the spanners (there wasn't much of that). Welding rusty old chassis legs and body panels got old very quick.

    Tried my hardest to make it work and stuck it out for three months, but in the end me and the owner sat down and knew it wasn't working for either of us, so I gave my notice without a job lined up.

    While working there my depression decided to return. I ignored it up until about three months ago, currently going to CBT once a week and slowly getting back to normal.

    Spent a month looking for something else. Found a job repairing mobility equipment (scooters, wheelchairs etc...) and that's where I've been for about 18 months. Realised after the first few weeks that I'd gone for the comfortable, boring easy option. The job has a lot of freedom, no one breathing down my neck, and as long as the work gets done you're left well alone. On the downside, compared to other work I've done it's unbelievably simple. The days work is usually done by 11/12 and I have to do my best to find other productive tasks. Working alone has also taken it's toll a bit, as has working in a windowless room 9-5. The main problem is that there's just no scope for advancement, and it's barely above minimum wage.

    The money doesn't really bother me. What really bothers me is that I'm not learning or growing. It's the same things every day. I'd honestly work for nothing if it meant picking up new skills in something that has a future.

    Couple of options I often come back to is learning a building trade or smart repairs/PDR, but every time I do research or ask people about getting into it, they tell me not to bother because it's so saturated/it ruins your body/there's no stability etc...

    The thought of wasting my years away in a dead end job honestly terrifies me, but having been in a rut for so long I feel totally stuck, and the cynical side of me says that work is supposed to suck, just get on with it and try to get fulfilment outside of work.

    Anyway, this is already way too long and I totally understand if it's too much reading, but I'd massively appreciate any insights or advice from people here, as well as an opportunity to get input on my CV and how it stacks up.

    I also hope that others reading the forum in a similar situation can also benefit from your replies.

    Thanks!
     
  2. bloodiedathame

    Sgarrista

    Joined: May 11, 2007

    Posts: 7,659

    Location: Surrey

    What about training as a sparky? Can be done for a few grand, job for life there.
     
  3. NickK

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jan 13, 2003

    Posts: 18,533

    Military - fixing things :)
     
  4. alexakasloth

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Aug 13, 2004

    Posts: 7,554

    Location: Sussex

    Agreed, although I would ask what your medical records state regarding depression.
    All branches require technical skilled people including avionic techs and welding.
     
  5. MX5Churbo

    Associate

    Joined: Feb 7, 2020

    Posts: 12

    This has come up a few times, at 27 I think it's going to be a massive challenge to get onto an apprenticeship, and I don't want to go down the 5 week wonder course so I'll be keeping my eye out for a proper 3/4 year apprenticeship.

    One of my grandparents has offered to fund the training side, so maybe I could pitch it that way to an employer to show I'm keen and willing to take some of the financial risk away from hiring an older apprentice.
     
  6. MX5Churbo

    Associate

    Joined: Feb 7, 2020

    Posts: 12

    Yes another one that has come up before. I don't have any formal records for my anxiety and depression from a GP as I was concerned about this very thing.

    I feel like I'd definitely be at the older end of recruits, and the idea of being locked in for a certain amount of time is a bit daunting.
     
  7. alexakasloth

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Aug 13, 2004

    Posts: 7,554

    Location: Sussex

    I wouldn't worry about the age, in my phase 1 intake there were many who were in their mid 20's to early thirties. If anything it was seen as a positive.
     
  8. bloodiedathame

    Sgarrista

    Joined: May 11, 2007

    Posts: 7,659

    Location: Surrey

    I'm thinking about doing it myself and I'm 32 with a wife, two kids a mortgage and a cat.
     
  9. Slade2

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Apr 14, 2011

    Posts: 1,034

    Location: Stafford

    I`m 42 and i am in year 3 of a 5 year Chartered Surveying Degree course. Its damn hard work at the moment but the rewards at the end are worth the effort.
     
  10. Quartz

    Capodecina

    Joined: Apr 1, 2014

    Posts: 10,461

    Location: Aberdeen

    REME!
     
  11. MX5Churbo

    Associate

    Joined: Feb 7, 2020

    Posts: 12

    Ah right, I hadn't even considered it being a positive. Are you still in the forces?
     
  12. MX5Churbo

    Associate

    Joined: Feb 7, 2020

    Posts: 12

    Fair play, I've got zero excuses then.

    How far have you looked into it? I'm trying to figure out if it's best to just go full time on a college course and then somehow get a job as an electricians mate or something to get the NVQ portfolio side done.

    Can't decide between sparky and plumber either. Feel like plumber might be a good route because of the potential for branching out into gas work.
     
  13. MX5Churbo

    Associate

    Joined: Feb 7, 2020

    Posts: 12

    Not sure if I'd have the brains for it but will definitely have a look. My friend is an officer in REME and I'll see him tonight so I'll ask him.
     
  14. bloodiedathame

    Sgarrista

    Joined: May 11, 2007

    Posts: 7,659

    Location: Surrey

    There are lots of places that offer 3 week courses for £3k which gives you Part P compliance so you can work domestically IIRC. They suggest you then find an electrician to work alongside to give you some real world experience and sign off your work. That's as far as I got researching. Haha.
     
  15. MX5Churbo

    Associate

    Joined: Feb 7, 2020

    Posts: 12

    Sounds intense, but I think you'll be in high demand once you're qualified, so like you say, worth the effort. Best of luck with the rest of the course!
     
  16. alexakasloth

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Aug 13, 2004

    Posts: 7,554

    Location: Sussex

    Yes, I went the shipwright trade (which has now amalgamated into metalsmith). REME as @Quartz has said. If you have any questions fire away.

    You don't need good math skills unless your going a tech route (avionics, electrical tech), which is around A Level maths. But even if you failed that at phase 2 you can just retrade to VM, armourer, metalsmith etc.
     
  17. MX5Churbo

    Associate

    Joined: Feb 7, 2020

    Posts: 12

    Thanks, I'll have a look into that. Hopefully having some paperwork will go some way to persuading someone to take me on as a trainee or mate. Just scrolling through the apprenticeship listings and putting some applications together. Worth a go.

    I think I would have to see which trades are in demand and have a chat with the local recruitment office. How different is life for someone going in at the lowest rank, compared to an officer?

    Maybe it would make more sense to join the reserves to dip my toe. Being comitted for X amount of years and finding it's not my cup of tea is not a situation I'd want to get myself into even if it would be character building.
     
  18. alexakasloth

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Aug 13, 2004

    Posts: 7,554

    Location: Sussex

    I believe most trades are in demand as the army is undermanned, although dog handler was quite popular last time I checked.
    All I can say about officer/ soldier is that the AOSB focuses a lot on leadership qualities. Reserves sounds like it would suit your situation, and adventurous training also counts towards the days as well, had a few TA on a 2 week sailing trip I went on a couple of years ago.
     
  19. MX5Churbo

    Associate

    Joined: Feb 7, 2020

    Posts: 12

    I can understand that given the amount they have been advertising lately.

    Definitely given me some food for thought thanks.

    I think joining the reserves would be a good way to meet new people, learn a lot of new interpersonal and practical skills and hopefully get some confidence back.
     
  20. mrbell1984

    Capodecina

    Joined: Aug 9, 2008

    Posts: 24,251

    You are not the only one and certainly won't be the last that feels this way. I too have been searching for a while for something new but not come to an agreement with myself yet in which direction to take.

    I feel lost and out of control with work aspects not knowing which direction to take next or even where to look properly.

    I have been observing these types of threads for a while and it appears to me that the jobs available are filling positions in companies where people have left due to dissatisfaction. I don't see many 'new' roles been created and not have done for at least a year or two now. Not roles worth filling within a company anyway.

    I have been toying with the idea of joining the army myself as a "Cyber Engineer" but I don't have the balls just yet just to get up and go. This will be one of the hardest decisions I will make in the up and coming future.

    While I think the IT side of it will be easy for me, I would be more focused on the discipline, courage, tactile and enhancement side of things and also to become part of the Royal Signals.

    I feel like all I want someone to do is pull me by my hand, guide me to somewhere away from where I am now and make me do things and experience things I have never experienced before.

    Probably very soon no doubt as my money is running out fast. I wish you luck in what you choose to do.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2020