Alright so today on Repairs101 I thought I’d like to address all the people out there who are gong into the job market for the first time and have questions and are looking for some friendly advice.

Alright so today on Repairs101… so this video might be of interest to you if you’re just getting started in the job market and you have some reservations or some questions. I’ll try to give you some ideas on signs you can look for as to what kind of an employer you’re dealing with and things you should be able to expect reasonably from an employer.

Boy I’ve worked at a lot of different places and that is an understatement. Yeah, anyway so, uh, I’ve had a few jobs over the years and some of them were really good and some have been not so great. And I think the way I define the difference between them is the way you’re treated by your employer – whether you’re treated with respect and whether they care about your safety and things like that or whether they’re interested in helping you further your career by providing you training and education opportunities and whether they’re able to provide you with things like a uniform. A good company, if they expect you to wear a uniform or coveralls they will provide you with that uniform or coveralls and clean it for you at no expense to yourself. So stop and think about things like that when you’re evaluating a company as to whether or not you want to make a commitment to them.

OK so the first bit of advice I have is that you should always try and get as much money for your wage as possible going in. OK don’t expect that if you start at a low wage after a little while they’ll recognize how talented you are and give you an enormous raise; because that’s just not going to happen. Raises generally only cover the cost of living and it’s really difficult to get yourself into another income bracket once you got started at some place. Generally speaking if you want a better paying job: you’re going to have to go to another job.

Now a really good employer will be committed to his employees and have work for them even when times are lean. An in that respect a great employer doesn’t care so much about the bottom line as they do about the quality of life that they’re offering their employees in order to get the best possible work from them in return.

So you know in turn you should honour your commitment to the company by doing things like getting enough rest, making sure that you eat right, that you’re fit both mentally and physically to do your job everyday – not, you know, most of the time. And you should invest in whatever tools and personal safety equipment that you’re going to need to do your job that your company doesn’t supply you with.

OK now as far as internships go – man oh man – I really think that they are a way that a lot of people are using to exploit young people and take advantage of them so – so listen unless you’re in a position where you’re financially independent and you can pay all your bills including food, shelter, clothing, entertainment, all your incidentals, communications, you know, your phone… if you can cover all your bills without having to draw a paycheque from somewhere and the opportunity seems worth it to you, the opportunity is going to lead you into something greater further down the road – it will open doors for you – then you should consider that position. But if you’re living just a “paw to jaw” existence and you’re having a hard time making your rent and feeding yourself then you really can’t afford to take any of these volunteer positions. A lot of the times the company can afford to pay somebody they just don’t want to – it comes out of their profits.

Alright so if it ever so happens that you get to payday and your employer doesn’t have a cheque for you they have an excuse or, you know, they gave you a cheque but then you take it to the bank and it bounces? Well, let me tell you, that employer, you don’t want to be working for them for one more minute even because they knew they were running out of money and they still asked you to come to work so they’re clearly taking advantage of you. OK? They knew days ago - weeks ago – people in business are acutely aware of how much cash flow they have OK? They didn’t suddenly wake up on Friday and say “Oh Gee, uh, I don’t have enough money for payroll today.” They saw it coming, OK, and they went ahead and told you to keep on going to work everyday in spite of the fact that they knew that, meh, they probably weren’t going to be able to pay you. So the lesson is if they can’t pay you get the heck out of there as fast as you can and don’t let them incur any more debt to you because you’re probably never going to be able to collect on it.

You know a long, long time ago, back when I was a young man businesses were run differently. You know, they weren’t quite so much about funnelling profits to the top as they are today and you know I’ll give you a great example is back then the president of a company might make two, three or four times what the average employee in his company made, you know? And now it’s hundreds if not thousands of times their pay and their bonus scales – and it’s really just about the immense greed, you know, people just have immense greed.

Alright so now really good employers are going to provide you with a medical plan and a dental plan and the fact is a really great employer should also be able to help you plan for your retirement. You know, they should be able to help you divert some of your income into a savings account and they might even be able to incentivize your contributions by matching them.

So if you’re asked to go and work somewhere unsupervised and you don’t have a lot of experience at the job your supposed to be doing and they expect you to just go ahead and you know, “wing it” – well that employer is probably not interested in your best interests and they probably don’t really care about the quality of the work that you’re doing.

So now if your employer suggests that there’s a good reason for the two of you to get together after work, off duty, off site and become more than just friends… I’ve got news for you that job is not what you thought it was and it’s time to pack up and move on. Because that employer is crossing the line and acting irresponsibly and if you think it’s going to end here (SCOFFS) I got news for you. And don’t kid yourself about just putting up with it for the sake of the job because you think that the job is worth it. No job is worth your dignity and no job is worth taking that abuse. OK? No matter what they promised you and no matter what you think you’re going to get if you put up with their advances – they’re not going to be the type of person to live up to their promises. They’re not going to be someone who does anything except takes advantage of you because that’s what pleases them.

You’re going to fond out that there just aren’t that many great employers left out there. But if you want some really good, solid advice, I would say that you should be considering jobs that are unionized. Well, I don’t know what you’ve heard about unions because I was certainly misinformed before I got involved with one. Generally speaking they’re involved with employers that have medical plans and dental plans and pension funds and uniforms and, you know, paid holidays, paid vacations… 

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