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Brass tax, these days if you don't have connections/contacts don't count on breaking into the trades. The trades has always been like that, but even more so over the last 10 years. However you're just getting started, so my suggestion would be to take a pre-apprenticeship course at a technical college and form your network there.

The people you meet there will be vital for helping you (and them) break into the trades. You will absolutely meet people who have connections and if you're personable, smart, and dedicated to actually making a career of it you'll fit right in with similar people who can help get you get a foot in the door. The trades are a small world, so you will run into these same guys all the time at various sites and companies once you do get put on the tools, so it's really important to just be a decent person and make some acquaintances/friends along your way. It's also important that you look out for them too, if they get laid off you'll be the first person they call to see how you're doing and if you can find them work with your company. If a company is hiring and they ask their go-to guys if they know anyone looking for work and someone drops your name, you're basically guaranteed a job. That's how the trades work and that's kind of always how it's worked.

Unfortunately to be successful in the trades it's very much a "boys club" with a "fit in or fuck off" attitude. That's just the reality of it. It's not as obvious anymore, but I guarantee you companies hire and fire people based on exactly those two things all the time. All the time. I know because I've been around the block a good number of times, I've seen it, I've heard it, that's how it works at the majority of companies when layoffs start rolling around. I've seen useless guys who fit in get kept on because they're good for moral where someone much smarter that no one likes working with because they don't fit in gets sent to the unemployment line.

There's two very difficult stages as a tradesman. The first is getting signed up in a trade so that you can begin your apprenticeship. No one wants to take a chance on an unknown starter because there have been a hundred useless guys before you that were dead weight and who wants to keep repeating that mistake? Once you do get signed on you're golden, though. You just need that one company to take a chance on you and sign you up. Once you're an apprentice you're an apprentice, no one can take that from you. The second is the minute you get your shiny new jman ticket. Now you cost the company full jman rate, but in reality you're not actually worth the full jman rate yet. 4 years as an apprentice means sweet fuck all, most guys are still trying to figure out their asshole from their elbow at that point, except now they're expected to know everything a 10+ year jman knows. But again, no one can take that from you.

So if you can get over those two hurdles and you can fit in with the people you work with, your foremen, your supers, and everyone else around you, you will be successful in this industry. It's just not exactly for everyone because you need a very different attitude than most people have. You have to be willing to eat shit sandwiches with a smile on your face and then ask for seconds because you live and breath eating shit sandwiches. Your whole life goal is to eat as many shit sandwiches as possible. But hey you'll make damn good money eating shit sandwiches. Also you'll destroy your body, but who cares? There's shit sandwiches out there with your name on them!

/r/PersonalFinanceCanada Thread Parent