5 things I wish my journeyman had taught me.

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As an apprentice you are at the mercy of your journeyman.

They are the ones who guide you, tell you what to do and hopefully teach you.  They are there to help show you how the trade works.  How to use the tools, build things, design things, troubleshoot.

I consider myself very lucky.

I worked under a few really good journeymen.

However as good as they were there are still a few things that I do wish they had shared with me.

Here is a list of 5 things I wish my journeymen had taught me.

#5)  Get on the good side of your wholesaler.

I know that the common thought about wholesalers is that they are a bunch of losers who could never make it in the trade.

This could not be further from the truth.  Having a good relationship with a wholesaler can make your life a whole lot easier and make your jobs run a lot smoother.

Having a good relationship with your wholesaler will get you:

–  The best price for material.
–  Material delivered on time and in good condition.
–  Free tickets to sporting events.
–  Invited to special events.
–  Heads up on jobs that are coming up.
–  A connection that could help you get a job should you be in the misfortune of having to seek new employment.

It is also something that is not that hard to do.  Treat your wholesaler with respect and they will treat you with the same respect.

Maybe your Mom was right, treat others as you would like to be treated.

#4)  Showing up on time is considered to be late.

When the job starts at 7:30 you are expected to be ready to work at that time.  Arriving at the site at 7:30 will generally be seen as you being late.

By the time you put away your lunch and grab your tools, you’re generally 5-10 minutes later than the start time.

Trust me when I tell you that this is getting noticed.

As a good rule of thumb arrive 15 minutes early.  This allows you to get things settled, have a “water cooler” talk with your buddies and get in the mind frame to get started on a productive day.

#3)  Some days are gonna really suck.

I know that this one seems like an obvious one but it deserves to be mentioned for good reason.

There are going to be days that are horrible.  Nothing goes right, tools break, you make dumb mistakes, You’re getting yelled at.  In fact sometimes there will be a few of those days strung together.

Don’t think that this is the way it is always going to be.

Remember the old saying “and this to shall pass”.  Things will get better.

Nothing is worth quitting a possible lucrative career over.  Do your best to change things but know that as is with anything in life there are good days  and bad days.  It is almost always worth waiting out the bad for the good.

#2) Be careful who you hang out with at work.

Bad people keep bad company.

If you don’t think your bosses are noticing who you’re hanging out with at work, you’re naive.

I know you aren’t doing the stupid stuff they are and you are a hard worker.  At the end of the day, their crap will overshadow your good.  When it comes time to make hard decisions and let apprentices go they will be the first to go and you could possibly end up gone just through association.

Trust me.

I am not saying that you can’t hang out with them.  I am just saying limit your time seen with them at work.

#1)  Show up with Coffee and Donuts once and awhile.

I know this sounds like an apprentice kissing ass.  I would be lying if I said it wasn’t but it is also showing some respect.

It shows that you are not just there to “take” but to give as well.  Whether your journeyman is a good one or a bad one they have still taught you some things.  Show some appreciation for what they have done for you.  Who knows maybe that jerk of a journeyman will change his attitude towards you a bit.

I know that there are other things to be added to this list.  Leave a comment below what you would add.  See something that you think is stupid, that is what the comment section is for as well.

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