It’s a question I hear a lot in this trade. Perhaps not really a question, but more of a career statement. Why does one put up with the hours, the hard work, the late nights, the early mornings and on-call weekends, holidays, the heat, the cold, the crawl spaces, the dirty jobs, etc.? Tradesmen realize that it’s all part of the job, but in the end, what’s it all about?
For some, it’s collecting a check every two weeks to help them pay the bills and get by until the next pay period. For others, it’s about paying into health insurance and a retirement fund. It could also be the experience of encountering new situation every day, compared to the monotony of sitting behind a desk for the 9-to-5 grind.
For most, let’s hope, it is working with their hands to create something, providing a solution to a problem, and applying the knowledge obtained and transferring it to a job that will either help your customer in a time of need or increase his/her overall comfort. Ultimately, sharing what you have learned through experiences and passing that knowledge to someone else in the trade, as well, should be a satiating goal.
Yet, big picture, larger than the Xs and Os of the financial security of having a job, most would say that they do this to enjoy their families, free time and/or hobbies. I notice this most on social media where a tradesman shares a pic of a newborn or share in the excitement of buying a new home, for example. It makes them realize the importance of the trade and has them striving for something bigger—going out on their own and starting their own company, perhaps.
Fact is, this trade affords those who invest their time in it, the ability to eventually build a family, a nest egg, the ability to make a great living, and it allows for time needed for some leisurely activities, whether it is time on the lake in their boat, for example, taking a hunting trip or just cracking open a few beers to unwind during the weekend.
Sure, hard work is part of the package, but the ability to make a living and enjoy the fruits of your labor is perhaps the one of the most satisfying aspects about the trades.
So let me ask you: What’s it all about for you? Why do you do what you do?
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