Career Choices -
Everyone has heard the expression: “Thinking
out of the box.” In the job market, we don’t seem to be doing
enough of “out of the box” thinking. We have been programmed
from an early age by our parents, teachers, and anyone who has
influence over us to think within a narrow box full of
“desirable” jobs – doctor, engineer, teacher, accountant
. . . .
I am not knocking those jobs, but what about
plumber, carpenter, electrician, truck driver,
. . . . Many blue-collar and
trades jobs are going unfilled now because not enough people are
thinking about training for those jobs. Why is there still a
stigma against those jobs?
Not all of us are cut-out to be white-collared
professionals – and we shouldn’t be! Otherwise, who would drive
the buses, build our homes, or delivery the goods we lust after?
These are well-paid, rewarding jobs that require relatively
little training. Many of them do not require a high school
diploma, and instead of spending four or more years building up
a mountain of debt at university, you could be earning decent
money in months.
What kind of money are we looking at? A
carpenter I used 3 years ago at $25 per hour is booked up
three months ahead at $45 per hour. He
works hard, but he expects to make over $70,000 this year.
Plumbers charge even more, and it’s
really difficult to get a good plumber these days. One of my
students is trying to choose between going to school for 6
years, or spending 6 months training to be a truck driver. He
tells me that an experienced driver could make $110 per hour.
That’s a tough choice indeed for someone with a Grade 6
education. If I didn’t love teaching as much as I do, I would be
Take a second look – a long, hard look at some
of your career choices. Look past the traditional jobs and you
might be pleasantly surprised.
For help you could:
• Talk to our career counsellor at the Pearson
Adult Learning Centre
• Talk to friends who are in the trades
• Search the Internet for job sites like