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I worked for the same family business for 10 years back in Chicago. But just moved to Denver so my wife could advance in her career. Because I worked for the same contractor since high school, I could use a little advice as far as finding a contractor to work for. I called around on Craigslist and applied on indeed, but I know with thanksgiving coming up it’s not the best time to be looking. Would hanging around Sherwin/ppg in the morning seem too desperate? I feel like a dang idiot but I’m a great painter and would like to work for someone who appreciates that.
 

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Right now I'd be surprised if it was all that hard to find work.

That said, I don't think I'd just hang around the paint stores in the mornings like a day worker looking for a gig. But I'd likely visit all of the paint stores, talk up the people at the counter, explain your story, and leave them a number for if they know of anyone looking to hire.

I'd also look up a social networking site called "Nextdoor". It pegs you to your local area and isn't a free-for-all in terms of setting up an account as is something like craigslist or facebook. I'm on my local one and not a day goes by that someone isn't trying to find a painter (or a plumber, or electrician, of handyman, etc.) Maybe pick up some cash jobs to get yourself moving. Then go legit with an LLC, insurance, business license, etc.
 

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Since you stated you want to work for someone, develop a list of paint contractors you've researched a bit on the web that you think you would like to work for and contact them directly. It will show you are motivated/pro-active unlike hanging around a paint store passively waiting for something to come to you. Trust me, you will feel better in general being pro-active.

Have talking points about your strengths/experience rehearsed for your interview(s).

Denver is a big place with varied paint contractors as opposed to a less populated region, so keep plugging away until it happens.
 

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Since you stated you want to work for someone, develop a list of paint contractors you've researched a bit on the web that you think you would like to work for and contact them directly. It will show you are motivated/pro-active unlike hanging around a paint store passively waiting for something to come to you. Trust me, you will feel better in general being pro-active.

Have talking points about your strengths/experience rehearsed for your interview(s).

Denver is a big place with varied paint contractors as opposed to a less populated region, so keep plugging away until it happens.
This might be a great time to break out on your own.
 

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Trades are in HIGH demand. Even if they werent, if you want a painting job, just start calling companies and asking if they are hiring. In the old days, youd pick up a phone book, and start dailing. Now I guess you'd just google paint contractors.

Hell, these days, you should type up an informal resume and email paint companies. Hint: attach a pic of yourself. If you dont have a job offer within three days, you're just being lazy.

Id also hit the union hall too.
 

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All great advise. Might I add, research the contractors that you are calling. Find out what their business is about. Not all contractors offer the same service. If you show that you've done your homework, it will really impress the contractor. Let them know that you can add value to their company. Good Luck.
 

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You don't have to hang out at the SW (or BM) stores, but do drop by and introduce yourself to the guys and let them know you are looking for work. There's a board of painters who leave their cards in all of the stores. This is better than google because they are real painters who live and work in the area and use that store for paint/supplies. Some stores will allow you to pin a card of your own to the board. I've seen handwritten 3x5 cards posted by guys looking for work. They last up to 3 days before someone hires them. If you come in the morning, between opening and 9AM you are likely bump into contractors stopping in to pick up before heading off to the job site. You can meet them in person. If you're dressed in whites and brought tools & brushes, you might get hired on the spot. Even if they are not hiring themselves, they likely know someone who is.
 
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