Thinking of changing careers... and the fear along with it.

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GoStumpy
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Thinking of changing careers... and the fear along with it.

Post by GoStumpy »

I have been doing a lot of soul-searching in the past couple months, reading a lot of good books, listening to a lot of good books, overall doing a lot of self-improvement... I don't hate my job, I don't dread going to my job, I actually enjoy it quite a bit.

However, it just doesn't feel right. I moved here in 2007 to be the manager, 'warehouse supervisor' was my official title from when I came from Vancouver, and apparently it never changed... 8 months after moving here they hired an official 'Manager' for this branch, and I've been a bit torn on what I really am ever since. I have since been allotted the 'Sales & Service Rep' title, with company VP and GM supporting me with an inside & outside sales role.

Don't get me wrong, I like doing sales, but as many can imagine, it's not the most fulfilling job when it feels like beating your head against a wall.... we have all the customers that give two *bleep* about quality, we have the customers that don't like the competitiors business practices, and now we're trying to sell to the people that only care about price or their long-lasting relationship with our competitiors...

I don't feel like we can go very much further, we have a stable business, I'm sure with some trimming & tweaking we would be making decent money, but I just don't feel like I can be increasing sales 10% YoY anymore... Our competitors are too big (billion dollar company), it feels like competing against Walmart.

One problem is, they're paying me well enough that I would have a hard time leaving. It's hard to think about leaving a $40k+ job, with 3 weeks vac (4 soon), company vehicle, gas card, and 10 years of service.

But I don't feel fulfilled. I feel like I am just going through the motions, I am not inspired to sell, I'm not driven to go out and get more business....


I started to think about what I would WANT to do... what could I do that wouldn't feel like work, but provide a good income. Lots of things went through my head, but they were all fleeting hobbies or interests I've had, nothing really long-term that I KNOW I would enjoy.

Except one.

Auto-body, and Painting.

I've painted cars since I was 5 years old with little models, I helped my Dad rebuild, restore, and repaint classic cars when I was 7, and painted my own car with a rattle-can & clearcoat when I was 17.... with no professional training or assistance...

I think back to what was the absolute single most fun thing I've done that could make money, and it was repainting that car. I've never had more fun in my life. I spent a full year rebuilding & restoring that car, a labor of love, and I've been told I'm a gifted painter.

I've done wetsanding & polishing as a side hobby for years and years now, and I love every bit of that... but I wished I was the one that painted it as well!

Image

I've had years upon years of polishing & FINISHING experience, so I know I already have a leg-up in that regard compared to almost anyone else near my age in the industry.... the only thing I don't have is any actual spray-gun painting experience.... all my painting has been done with a rattle-can made to look like a spray gun!

What started as this:
Image

Slowly through the process:
Image
Image
Image
Image

Became this:

Image

This pic was taken before I wetsanded & polished the paintjob, so it was much glossier after that :)

Now, if I had access to professional tools, spray-guns, etc, that would have turned out even better!

I believe I would be paid similar to what I'm paid now to start as a painter, with a much MUCH higher ceiling.


What do you guys think? I'm in a position right now where I can plan a year or two forward...
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Captain Awesome
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Re: Thinking of changing careers... and the fear along with

Post by Captain Awesome »

Pardon me if I missed that, but are you looking into working for a paint shop or opening your own?
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GoStumpy
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Re: Thinking of changing careers... and the fear along with

Post by GoStumpy »

Working for.
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Captain Awesome
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Re: Thinking of changing careers... and the fear along with

Post by Captain Awesome »

Have you thought about working there part time just to try it out? Business owners love part time people because it gives them flexibility. You can test the waters without taking the plunge of quitting your job and risking your family's finances. If part time works proves to be what you had in mind, you can then transition full time. Say, you start working 4 days in your day job, and pickup a Friday and Saturday shift at a body shop.
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GoStumpy
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Re: Thinking of changing careers... and the fear along with

Post by GoStumpy »

It's a good idea, and I haven't really given it much thought... I'll start thinking about that too...

I'm Salary at my main job, so I'd have to approach the VP (my original boss) about it.... I'm sure he wouldn't be terribly surprised, before I moved to Kelowna to take a Salary position, I was hourly and worked 3 days per week so I could do detailing 3 days per week.

I do know my current boss won't like the idea, though... I kinda sorta keep that place together ;)
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coffeeFreak
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Re: Thinking of changing careers... and the fear along with

Post by coffeeFreak »

One of the things to consider when changing careers late in the game, is will your career choice be something you can sustain as your body ages, especially if arthritis kicks in (and that can start early). I took a care aid course at 42 and really enjoyed working with seniors, but arthritis in one of my hands and in my back restricted my abilities to such an extent that I had to give it up in order to protect the level of function I do have...Just something to consider.
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steven lloyd
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Re: Thinking of changing careers... and the fear along with

Post by steven lloyd »

GoStumpy wrote: I do know my current boss won't like the idea, though... I kinda sorta keep that place together ;)

Have you thought about opening your own business? Looks like you have the desire and inclination for the work. Maybe specialize in offering custom work as an added service. I don't know what kind of demand there is for that anymore though. Back in my younger days customizing body work on our cars was a big thing (wish I had a picture of my old '71 RS Camero to show you).
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GoStumpy
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Re: Thinking of changing careers... and the fear along with

Post by GoStumpy »

Not sure if this is posted anywhere, but I just turned 28, so I'm not even half-way through my working life :skippingsheep:
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steven lloyd
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Re: Thinking of changing careers... and the fear along with

Post by steven lloyd »

GoStumpy wrote:Not sure if this is posted anywhere, but I just turned 28, so I'm not even half-way through my working life

When I was your age I had just recently earned a degree in economics, was working in the investment industry flogging mutual funds and thinking - "I went to school for this? I am so freaking bored !". I ended up taking a year off to travel, play around, and ultimately went back to university to earn a degree in something else. Certainly there was some fear in stopping work and saving (although I did work my way through university the second time to avoid new debt) but my current work is far more challenging and rewarding. I guess my point is you do still have a lot of time and most people change their career direction at least a few times in their lives today.
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coffeeFreak
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Re: Thinking of changing careers... and the fear along with

Post by coffeeFreak »

GoStumpy wrote:Not sure if this is posted anywhere, but I just turned 28, so I'm not even half-way through my working life :skippingsheep:


Oh my goodness!! You are just a young whipper snapper, so I'd say go for it! You have the time to build enough skills and experience to work towards opening your own business as sl suggested...
WhatThe

Re: Thinking of changing careers... and the fear along with

Post by WhatThe »

Captains idea is a good one. Go part time to learn the ins and outs of the business and then open your own. If youre looking for rewarding that's it. Knowing all your "blood sweat and tears" is going to your future is very rewarding. It's as challenging as it gets because its all up to you. Unless you got the capital to bail you out should failure occur, don't go willy nilly, you're either all in or all out. Meaning know everything there is to know before investing any money. And be prepared to "hate" what you used to love because when money and customers are involved it changes things.
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GoStumpy
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Re: Thinking of changing careers... and the fear along with

Post by GoStumpy »

Thanks for all the tips guys!

I do agree that opening my own at one point in the future is a wise plan, I am the entrepreneurial type & building a business is in my blood, however I am NOT willing to open a business in a field I don't feel extremely confident in... I am confident that I can learn autobody & painting, but I am not comfortable enough now, or within a year or two, to be trying to open my own shop...

BUT, long-term, that is always a thought!


I had a great talk with a friend that owns a bodyshop in Armstrong, he let me pick his brain for a bit... he says that the best course of action is to get hired on as a prepper to start with, and enroll in the apprenticeship program though Okanagan College. He agrees that with my work ethic & informal experience, I should have no problem getting hired *somewhere*, and to look around and have many options available for places to work. The apprenticeship program offered by OC is a 5 week/year course I believe, and done in two years. Once I am a certified painter, I should have no problem making a respectable amount more than I am earning now.

I really can't think of a single reason I would not look forward to going into work as a bodyman/painter, except perhaps a toxic work environment which I will avoid at all costs!

I am very experienced in wetsanding/polishing, so I am going to ask the next time I see him if anyone would pay a prepper extra if they were able to do the pre-delivery work as well!

This is exciting!!
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