Most people can learn to do carpentry very fast, but it’s not so easy to start teaching someone the craft. The main thing is that you have to show someone something they’re not used to seeing.
There are a lot of things you have to do to get a carpenter job. You must take an apprentice; you must have a lot of hands-on experience; you have to be honest with people; you work hard; you’re flexible; you don’t always make the best decisions…but it’s what you learn in the process of learning. (Laughter) It’s not what happens after, it’s what it teaches you. After you have a carpenter job there’s a big responsibility you have to take.
But if you want to become a master, don’t worry about it. You can do it. It’s just a matter of learning to take responsibility for your mistakes and not letting them kill you.
How did you start working as a full-time carpenter in this area?
My parents were not very interested in it, but I grew up a carpenter. I never really cared to do it, and I didn’t really want to try, but as I began to learn more about carpentry in the last three years I realized that carpenter was the right career for me. I’m a pretty serious person, and I don’t really take this job lightly. So for me the challenge was getting me out in the field.
My parents were very supportive when I said I wanted to go into carpentry. My sister worked in one of the shops and she was the one who really pushed me into this profession and started me on the path to being a carpenter. We had a couple cars for sale, and I really liked it. I got some really great compliments on my work. I got a really big laugh at a party. Everyone came up to me and said, “Wow! You seem really passionate about carpentry!” It was very hard not to like it.
When I went on the job market after college, all the firms sent me, and I really liked all of them – a few of them took me on as full-time employees. They took me on as part-time work, and I did pretty well. But one of the firms decided they didn’t need my full time help, so they terminated my job when I took it. We’ve not been able to get any other work.
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