Friday, October 8, 2010

Just Do It?

I'm guessing a majority of readers who peruse my blog will have a hard time understanding why it is so difficult for me to find a job right now. If it's a job I wanted, I could get one, sure. I could go to work at any number of places that require few to no skills to acquire, but that's not what I'm looking for. Here's why.

In 2000-2001, I enrolled in a full time pre-apprenticeship training program for Heavy Duty Mechanics, which is, the overhaul, repair and maintenance of heavy equipment such as bulldozers, excavators (hoes, if you will), loaders and any manner of equipment basically. It was a 9 month course. This course gives you the fundamentals to start an apprenticeship in that field.

 During my course we were to find a 1 month work practicum, then return to school for the final week and final exam. I got my practicum at the City of Vancouver engineering department, working on everything almost. When I was finished my program, they hired me on as an auto serviceman, the idea being to work my way up to a HD apprentice. 2 years of that, with no perceivable hope of making it to full time employee, let alone an apprentice position, I was laid off.

Sadly, after I was done my pre-app program, the provincial government changed the apprentice governing body, formerly called ITAC (Industry Trades and Apprenticeship Commission). This set up what was to be a few uncertain years for apprentices, as there was no governing body set in place immediately to watch over us. So, nobody wanted to hire apprentices.

It wasn't until 2006, after 3 years of toiling around, working temp jobs and doing what I could to stay afloat, that I finally started my apprenticeship with a local materials handling dealer, mainly forklifts. I worked for them from 2006 to 2009 (with a brief period in 2007 where I left to go to Alberta to work for Komatsu) and then was laid off in October of 2009, having completed 2 of my levels of training (6 weeks each at school).

When I got laid off, it took about 6 weeks before I found another job, that is, one in my field, sort of. Great company, amazing benefits and people working there, but the drawback was that they only work on diesel engines, so, my training would end as far as they were concerned with Level 3, where I'd be a Diesel Engine Mechanic. I wanted to complete my HD ticket, be a HD journeyman, with red seal certification. Since they couldn't offer me that, I left them to work for a smaller forklift company who doesn't deal them, but had a large rental fleet.

It was 3 months after I started with these guys, they laid me off, and here I am today.

It would be easy to go and find a job in a warehouse, or something of that nature. But would it pay me as much as my unemployment, when you factor in commuting costs and all that jazz? Probably not. Also, since I have my 3rd year booked and tuition paid for school starting in November, no place is going to hire me for a month, then let me just leave for 6 weeks.

When I do go to school, the Provincial government, in response to the economic downturn, has offered incentives for those laid off or unemployed to still get their training done, such as tuition reimbursements, travel allowances, living allowances and so forth. There are also bursaries and grants I can apply for once there.

So it is that I've decided to put off searching for a path back into my career for now. It's plainly obvious that the reason no one is hiring me is because I'm still in my 3rd year. So I'll take this time to go and complete my 3rd year, come out on the back end a 4th year, and thus almost a journeyman. Much more attractive to employers.

In the meantime, I'll blog, I'll clean, I'll do projects around the house (like the pesky rips in the drywall from the cats...), I'll study up for school and be prepared.

tl;dr I'm putting off looking for work until after my 6 week schooling is done, unless something amazing comes along and they allow me to go.


  1. You've got my support. Just finish school and hope for the best. Things will present themselves to you all in good time.

  2. Great idea, and always a better solution to get a job.

  3. good idea. i hope you'll find something great after the schooling.

  4. Good luck! You an do it!

    Somehow I blame Gordon Campbell...

    I hate that man.

    I figured that they would need people like you to help with building the highway and new bridge.

    But then again... The city of Vancouver isn't the smartest.

  5. Lots of people in the same boat. Well not exactly the same boat but you know what I mean. I hope everything works out. The world has a strange way of doing that for us.

  6. Well, here is to hoping that something amazing comes along. Maybe some puzzle pieces will begin to fit together.

  7. I feel ya man. You don't want to waste your school/apprenticeship for a lowly job. People keep telling me to get a worthless job too. I feel like such a leech on society without a "real" job, though. :(

  8. I know quite a few people who are in the same predicament. Plus if school can get you more money and you can get by with what you have now, then I say keep doing what you're doing!