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How to change careers12/22
As anyone had the experience of moving into the cabinetmaking field with no experience and to make it even tougher, at the age of 55.
I have been in the printing business, working in the prepress area, an area that was a craft of the hand, now dominated by computers. I can't see myself sitting at this computer till i'm 70. Woodworking is a love that goes back to jr high. I had natural talent but never thought of it as a career.
I also wouldn't discount your work experience either, while it isn't directly relevant, I would stress how it was a skilled trade and taught you how to work with your hands at a production pace. I would also stress that you're willing AND able to learn new things.
My biggest concern for you wouldn't be if you could get hired, but rather if you could live in a matter you're comfortable with at the pay you'll likely receive with little experience. If you can manage that, I think you'll do fine.
One more note, there are as many types of shops as there are niches in the hobby of woodworking. All the way from studio furniture shops to doors and millwork, custom cabinetry, and production cabinetry shops. Visit a few, and let them know your intent. I'm sure some will offer a tour and let you know more about their type of shop as a career choice. Good luck in your pursuits.
I already had begun to give that thought.
What has worked for me is to encourage men who have worked with their hands and show the amount of responsibility, dedication and aptitude to set up a shop at home and build certain components and aspects of a job for me from their home garage. They operate their own business (of which I encourage them and even promote them to to other shops and clients when their skills fit) and I supply a steady stream of work. I also help with any training upfront. It has proven to be a reliable source of income from home, negates the most negative aspects of taking the hobby they love and turning it into a job, keeps them home and earning a decent income. For me it helps as I don't have to have the real estate or costs and headaches associated with employees. It has proven to be an all around win for everyone involved.
If you are able it might be something for you to look into or approach a shop about.
I'm all the way across the country but woodworking wages run from $12-$35 an hour for all but the best and brightest. With a large percentage of those jobs falling in the lower half of that bracket. It is not a high earning position for most guys on a bench each day.
Good luck in your decision and Merry Christmas.
Familyman has it right when he said it becomes WORK. It can take a lot of the fun out of it. I once had a 60 year old man stop at my shop to ask about a job. He said at his age he wanted a job that he could "slow down" in. He didn't have a clue. Needless to say I didn't even keep his application.
What do you mean by "moving into the cabinet field"? Starting a business or just a job? I started by building a coffee table on my kitchen table right after we got married in 1972. Quit my corporate job in 1988 and started a shop. I held on for 8 years and what I discovered was that I was a hell of a lot better craftsman than businessman. I found a gravy job at a woodworker's magazine and closed the shop. That job lasted 3 years. When it was sold and closed, I took a job in a commercial woodworking shop. Just about killed me. Slinging 4x8 and 5x10 sheets of particle board all day, and laying up a lot of plastic laminate. The owner refused to allow bench stools and no one could ever sit down in the shop. I was 47 at the time. I really wouldn't want to get a job like that at 55. Luckily for me I went back to that corporate job and am now retired with a pension. I was very fortunate to get that dream stuff out of my system in time to get back to corporate life to finish out. I'd be really concerned to try it at your age. Starting wages would sure not help prepare you for any kind of retirement unless, you already have your mortgage paid off and a good nest egg.
Agreed some of the earlier posts. We tried several garage guys ,but to no avail. Commercial millworkers are young and hauling tail to make deadlines. The thought of sitting at a bench with a cup of coffee ,cranking out a project, is a pipe dream. We have had awesome success training women with no experience and as a result they have proven to be key employees
A hobby kills time, by definition. A profession capitalizes upon time for profit.
The IRS has some good definitions of each that help discriminate between the expenses of a profession vs the costs of a hobby. There are probably a lot of 'part time woodworkers' that are actually hobbyists.
What skills can you bring to a shop? Measuring? Accuracy? Engineering? Mathematics? Design?
Charlie I pretty much agree with whatís been said already but Iíll throw some thoughts your way.
Heres a little more perspective-
Too old to produce
Too set in my ways to retrain and learn "modern" ways of doing things
Too much a liability in terms of health-(and I'm in excellent shape, I take care of myself).
All this is couched in "not needing someone of my qualifications" refusals and if I do get an offer, it's for $16- 18 per hour, doing"some sanding and maybe cabinet work".
My most viable alternative is to build a shop and put my machines to work- and being in business is not something I'm good at because I don't care for the busines end of it.
All this leads to is be prepared to start at the very bottom- and it's a tough little pill to swallow after a life time.
Mark, hate to hear that your job is ending. At your age, whether youíre in good shape or not it sounds like youíve paid your dues. You own the equipment to do for yourself, just sounds like an opportunity to set some hours and maybe enjoy more of life and not answer to anyone much. I just know for my own self that Iíve worked way to many hours and a guy that has worked for me for years just quit because of health reasons and instead of hiring back Iíve decided to just stick with the other part time guy that I have and put it on cruise control.