In the last few years, Americans have taken a deep look into our own lives and the value of our history, our religion, ourselves really. Some things became increasingly clear to many of us. We value our families, our country and what it means to us, our history, our future, and probably most pointedly, our work. As many had the threat looming over their heads for over a year of loosing their work for an indefinite period of time, I heard so many concerns that focused less on livelihood and more on their work. Work gives us meaning and belonging. For the past few decades, I think we’ve been making career choices based on the paycheck and the possibilities and not on what really makes us tick. This is practical, but at the end of your life, will you be happy with it?
Proverbs 23:4-5 says,
”Don’t wear yourself out to get rich;
because you know better, stop!
As soon as your eyes fly to it, it disappears,
for it makes wings for itself
and flies like an eagle to the sky.”
If you haven’t taken the time to stop and take stock of your life, you should. Or maybe you are graduating this year and are giving more serious thought to your life’s work. Consider these words and choose your path on more than just money. Like riches, your life tends to grow wings and fly away – ask anyone in their 60’s or older and they will tell you that life is brief.
During my years as a painter in the field, I frequently heard older men complaining about their choice of working in the trades and how they tell their kids to do ANYTHING else. What a shame! I feel sorry for them – and a little confused. I always enjoyed my choice, but I am a fourth generation painter so maybe it’s just in the blood. I don’t know but I can’t imaging anywhere else I’d rather be! New job sites from time to time, freedom to work at your own pace (i.e. not factory work), and meeting lots of new people – I love it. Not to mention taking a naked building or building in disrepair and putting a fresh new look is enthralling. I mean, some color schemes do more than breath new life into a room, they change the entire meaning of the space. Lighting and the finishes are what make a space what it is! I am thrilled to be a part of that transformation!
I think the problem is that we have a tendency to blame our circumstances on our careers or anything other than ourselves and our poor choices. When your life isn’t turning out the way you planned, you should stop and take stock. Most of the time I realize it is of my own doing and usually just plain old bad thinking. God has a way of making your life turn out in ways that are greater than your dreams if you will just take the time and care to see it! So why DO I tell my kids to go into the trades?
First, the trades are a much better place to work than they used to be. We have left behind the days of the adversarial employer/employee and client/business relationships. Most people want a partner who is vested in the vision of their business and not a reluctant laborer. We’ve worked hard to craft a company that thrives on this culture. Our employees are value team members who add real value to our product. We don’t just paint, we paint with distinction and with an eye to our clients needs. We do this out of a genuine are for our employees and our clients. This is what it means to do unto others as you’d have them do to you. The golden rule should guide all of our actions and thoughts. You’d might be surprised how much peace this will bring to your life and the lives around you.
Second, you can actually make a good living in the trades. I have nine children and have always had as many mouths to feed as I could handle, but God was faithful to provide. I don’t think we ever missed a meal! In fact, most of our crew members will make around $25 per hour within two years of hire. If you work 45 hours a week, that is over $60,000. Your average college graduate only makes between $45,000 and $55,000 per year on the same hours. But, it’s not about the money anyway. Just a point that tradesman actually make decent wages. You can start a career in painting straight from high school, have no college debt, and become a Team Leader making $75,000 in as little as three years if you are hard working and don’t shy away from responsibility.
Finally, it isn’t really about the money anyway, right. It should be about the kind of life you want. If you want to be a marine biologist, you are going to need at least 6 years of college – go for it, that what I though I wanted to be when I was a senior in high school. But I think I am happier now than I would have been. Oh, yeah, before I forget – you need to know this! Happiness is a choice. Disney is lying to you when they say you can be anything you want to be. You can’t, but sure you can try for it. Maybe you’ll make it. Happiness isn’t determined by how many of your dreams come true, it really is a choice you make each night before you go to bed and every morning when you wake up. Just as the happy people why they are happy. They will all have quite different reasons, but that is what they choose to make them happy. Let it not be true of you that youth is wasted on the young. Be wise by making wise choices and choosing to be happy!
As a bonus, some of our more “modern” way of thinking hasn’t made it into the trades yet. The safest places are the places where people are still plain talking and unafraid to hurt peoples feelings, most of us find this a better way to live – to know that there are real disagreements, but we can respect each other despite of those differences. Victimhood isn’t a way of life with too many in the trades. So come join us in our work, you won’t regret it!
Still not convinced, give me a call at 317-528-9500 today – I’d be happy to sit down with you over a coffee (or whatever your drink of choice is these days) and have a chat about it!