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Old 07-23-2014, 09:37 AM   #1
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Default Advice for an Apprentice?

Hi, I'm an apprentice painter working in the Boston Area. I have a couple of years experience. I work a lot of Craigslist. I get steady work (I also work as a laborer). One problem that I've encountered is that I haven't had much luck with painting contractors. Meaning, I'll work for them and they let me go soon after due to my lack of skill/experience.

Any advice for me?

Thanks
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:36 AM   #2
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Join the local union. Say you have experience, but want to start off as a first year apprentice. Put your head down, bust your butt, and listen to what your journeyman had to say....remember there is more than one way to paint.

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Old 07-23-2014, 10:41 AM   #3
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Read and understand product data sheets.
Get some training if possible. Nothing wrong with being self taught, but its a whole lot harder if you don't have a solid foundation in the basics.

Your likely not having luck with contractors because of production issues. Knowing how to go about something makes all the difference. When you just try to figure it out as you go, it can be hard. Painting IS a trade after all, and having access to accumulated trade knowledge is crucial. PT is one resource for that.
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Old 07-23-2014, 12:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjbrooks View Post
Hi, I'm an apprentice painter working in the Boston Area. I have a couple of years experience. I work a lot of Craigslist. I get steady work (I also work as a laborer). One problem that I've encountered is that I haven't had much luck with painting contractors. Meaning, I'll work for them and they let me go soon after due to my lack of skill/experience.

Any advice for me?

Thanks

Well, if you're getting steady work from CL, why not stick with that? And after two years of steady CL work, I'd expect you would have developed a basic painting system and adequate technique by now. There's something else going on why you're not sticking with a painting contractor.

If you want to hear "start your own legitimate painting business" I would encourage you to get a little more Craigslist traing under your belt.

And as far as a union membership, you better get to know someone first.
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Old 07-23-2014, 12:06 PM   #5
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Run.
Run like your life and wallet depend on it.
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Old 07-23-2014, 12:18 PM   #6
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Run.
Run like your life and wallet depend on it.
Took the words right outta my mouth.
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Old 07-23-2014, 12:31 PM   #7
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Are you finding these painting contractors on Craigslist? Might wanna try submitting your resume to reputable local painting contractors in your area, reply to local ads, talk to paint stores, and talk to other painters.

The problem you have COULD be...

-The painters on Craigslist who hire you don't have steady work like they claim when they're trying to convince you how important they are, so they give ya a BS excuse about not using ya on next job due to lack of experience. Truth is, they ain't got a NEXT job yet.

-Maybe you're asking too much for your current skill set. Most painting contractors would agree that the majority of new hires have unrealistic expectations of a starting wage, (at least until you prove yourself anyway).

But personally, I'd never get rid of a good new hire just because he lacks experience. If he has good character and a solid work ethic, we can build on that. Finding quality employees is the single most challenging part of being a painting contractor, so show them you ARE one. Show up on time, neat & clean, respectful, be humble, open-minded and willing to learn new ways to improve upon old methods, ask questions when needed, work hard all day no matter WHO is watching or not, and show a consistent drive for wanting to improve. If you do those things, you'll never have to worry about NOT having work again.


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Old 07-23-2014, 04:45 PM   #8
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I would look into getting into the union. Boston is one of the highest rates on the eastcoast. Its DC #35 check it out online. Also going to paint stores and asking whos hiring can get you some leads..
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Old 07-23-2014, 07:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjbrooks
Hi, I'm an apprentice painter working in the Boston Area. I have a couple of years experience. I work a lot of Craigslist. I get steady work (I also work as a laborer). One problem that I've encountered is that I haven't had much luck with painting contractors. Meaning, I'll work for them and they let me go soon after due to my lack of skill/experience. Any advice for me? Thanks
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bender
Run. Run like your life and wallet depend on it.
To be blunt maybe you don't have the aptitude for it. Not everyone Duz.
And to be blunt. No big loss. Put ur efforts in another direction.
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Old 07-23-2014, 07:51 PM   #10
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Work harder....hard work goes a long way.....
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:45 PM   #11
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Rjbrooks you and I have about the same painting experience (I'm at 2 years next month). I too worked as a laborer (plumbing, framing, and flooring) before I started painting and occasionally do on weekends, after work, or on the few and far between days off from painting. Difference between us is I have been employed by the same PC this entire time. My suggestion would be to call guys you worked for and ask for another shot while continuing to look for something steady. What I lack in experience I more than make up for in willingness and remaining teachable. Show up early, stay late, clean up, anticipate needs, ask questions, buy tools, and WORK. We recently hired another full time guy who is around my age with 5 times the experience. He brags about having worked for 8 different contractors blah blah blah but what he doesn't understand is that loyalty, consistency, and being a team player go a long way.


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Old 07-23-2014, 08:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bender View Post
Run.
Run like your life and wallet depend on it.
That's the very best tip you're gonna get on this forum.

REALLY.

The guy who posted this sage advice is probably 20 years younger than me and I'm agreeing with him, so please, heed this advice.
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:55 PM   #13
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Advice for an apprentice?

Find the right Sorcerer.
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:07 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phillyholiday View Post
Rjbrooks you and I have about the same painting experience (I'm at 2 years next month). I too worked as a laborer (plumbing, framing, and flooring) before I started painting and occasionally do on weekends, after work, or on the few and far between days off from painting. Difference between us is I have been employed by the same PC this entire time. My suggestion would be to call guys you worked for and ask for another shot while continuing to look for something steady. What I lack in experience I more than make up for in willingness and remaining teachable. Show up early, stay late, clean up, anticipate needs, ask questions, buy tools, and WORK. We recently hired another full time guy who is around my age with 5 times the experience. He brags about having worked for 8 different contractors blah blah blah but what he doesn't understand is that loyalty, consistency, and being a team player go a long way.


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Well said fella
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phillyholiday View Post
Rjbrooks you and I have about the same painting experience (I'm at 2 years next month). I too worked as a laborer (plumbing, framing, and flooring) before I started painting and occasionally do on weekends, after work, or on the few and far between days off from painting. Difference between us is I have been employed by the same PC this entire time. My suggestion would be to call guys you worked for and ask for another shot while continuing to look for something steady. What I lack in experience I more than make up for in willingness and remaining teachable. Show up early, stay late, clean up, anticipate needs, ask questions, buy tools, and WORK. We recently hired another full time guy who is around my age with 5 times the experience. He brags about having worked for 8 different contractors blah blah blah but what he doesn't understand is that loyalty, consistency, and being a team player go a long way.


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Couldn't agree more.

But the best advice so far has been post #5.
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:35 PM   #16
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Keep at it til you find the right fit for you if you were a little closer I would give you a shot .
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:41 PM   #17
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Why would you keep at it?
A doctor, a lawyer, a ball player even. You keep at it
A painter. If it don't come easy. By a accident even. Let go of the dream.
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:59 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oden View Post
Why would you keep at it?
A doctor, a lawyer, a ball player even. You keep at it
A painter. If it don't come easy. By a accident even. Let go of the dream.


Dream?
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:32 PM   #19
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[/COLOR]

Dream?
Seriously. People make it their life's work. And I never dreamed of becoming a painter.
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:37 PM   #20
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Seriously. People make it their life's work. And I never dreamed of becoming a painter.
You're hard to stay ahead of, CA.
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