The Grass is Always Greener on the Job Security Side of the Fence

Note: New look, same great taste! I’ve updated my blog a bit and will probably screw around with it a little more, but don’t worry, I’ll still be regularly posting crazy tales of awesome craziness about the blue collar work world. Enjoy the new digs!

I’ve said a couple times about how I’m thinking about quitting my job and starting my own business. Grass is always greener on the other side, right? But if I try to be grateful for what I do have, then I realize that I have freaking job security.

The grass is always greener on the other side

You see, three guys from the company I work for were sent out to put some lap siding on this house. Lap siding (sorry dudes, I didn’t take a picture, but that link will give you an idea) is cool. The siding goes up horizontal and it’s old school looking. I dig it.

But with lap siding you have to be careful and know what you’re doing. In the case of this house, there was supposed to be 5.5 inches per lap. And that has to be consistent across the whole house or else it will look stupid. And of course, it took these three guys from the company three days to do the lap siding job, and it took less than a day for the homeowner to call and complain. They did a sucky job.

They had the lap spacing 5 inches here, 5.75 inches there, 5.5 inches somewhere else. My company is cool in that they stand by all their work. If we don’t do a quality job, we’ll come back and fix it. And that’s what we did. The president picked me and two other guys to go out and fix the siding job.

And when I saw what kind of job those guys did, well, it looked pretty freaking bad. Different spacing all over and the wood was sideways in some places, it was bad.

The three of us (I’d say we’re the three best in the company to be honest) had to re-side 90% of that house in one day. We had to knock out in one day what it took those other guys three days to do. One day to tear it all down, and do it right! It was tough work, but we actually got it done! (And did it right!)

Since I get called in to fix others’ shoddy work and since I’m the only welder of the company, I do have job security, and that’s pretty awesome. Yeah, I want to quit and start my own business, but I have job security for now, which is pretty sweet.


The Grass is Always Greener on the Job Security Side of the Fence — 42 Comments

  1. My boyfriend works for himself (he’s a carpenter) and sometimes he has a few days with no work (maximum a week and a half) but he charges a LOT more than he got paid working for somebody else before. So it works out. It sucks because we can’t get a mortgage on his income because he’s self employed for less than 2 years, though.
    Daisy recently posted..July Recap and August GoalsMy Profile

    • Daisy, I feel your pain! This month marks two years since I started working freelance (my “left my full-time job” anniversary isn’t for a couple more months), and getting approved for a mortgage has been horrendous – and will be until we file our 2012 tax returns in January/February of 2013. Job security is great, but having that “proof of income” is even better in my opinion!
      Broke Professionals recently posted..Our House On The Market: Month FiveMy Profile

  2. I’ve been on the other side of the job security fence. It can be a bit scary not having completely secure income. Sometimes there are hiccups in your own business and you’re just wishing you had a guaranteed income each day. Now even though I could get by on my side work, I’m just not willing to give up the security of my job. Of course that will probably change once my side income increases more.
    Modest Money recently posted..A Simple Guide to Starting SavingMy Profile

    • Not having a secure income because you start your own business really does seem like one of the biggest stumbling spots. It makes sense to do what you’re sorta saying and start a side income thing and then after that grows you could quit the primary job.

  3. I feel like in this day and age, job security doesn’t really exist anymore. When I got my job with the federal government, everyone told me oh, you’re so lucky, your job is secure and set for life. Then there were cutbacks. Luckily, I wasn’t one of them.

    My bf is quite handy. Him and his brothers are really into doing home renovations. I told him that they should start their own side company. Call it something like The Three Brothers.
    MakintheBacon$ recently posted..Remembering the DJ (Desk Jockey) DaysMy Profile

    • Well that’s always true, job security really does seem sorta like a thing of the past. Do the best we can to make ourselves the last to get canned, but really anyone can be on the chopping block at any time.

  4. I’ve been on both sides of the fence. I worked full-time for corporations for 19 years and then one day I up and quit to open my own business.

    And you know what, I thought the grass would be greener as a business owner, but for me it didn’t work out that way.

    I thought I had a lot of stress in my full-time job, but that doubled being self employed. Why? Because not only did I have the stress of finding customers, I now had the added stress of how will I pay my bills?

    When I worked for someone else I always knew that money was coming in and bills would be paid. In fact I had a wonderful benefits plan that of course I lost when I quit.

    All stuff to consider before making a change.
    Tackling Our Debt recently posted..Finding a Balance Between Your Work and Personal TimeMy Profile

  5. The blog is looking great! Like the new look–it’s a lot more readable.

    Two thoughts on what others have said:

    1. Self-employment is great. It lets you choose your own hours…any 18 hours of the day you like.

    2. “Do what you do best and farm out the rest.”

    It’s taken me a long time to tumble to this, but slowly I’m beginning to figure it out: the people who own successful businesses aren’t necessarily doing ALL the work themselves. They attend to the business and the hired help do the work. The guy who put in the cool doors & windows I just bought, for example: he spends most of his time hustling new business and running the place, while his underlings run around the city installing glass.

    You may not be able to do that at the outset, but apparently the idea is to get to the point where you’re hiring people to do the work the customer sees, while you do everything else. That includes things like the HR (how would you like to be the boss of some of the clowns you’ve described here?), the paperwork, the bookkeeping, and especially the job of hustling up work.

    Now, how long it takes to get to that point — where you’re the boss and a crew does the work — that part, I haven’t figured out yet. Workin’ on it…
    Funny about Money recently posted..Quiet on the Western Front…for the moment…My Profile

    • Thanks for the thoughts, and you’re right, doing everything myself might not work real well. I have an aunt and uncle where the uncle does the physical labor and my aunt does all the bookkeeping and hustling up work, etc. I should talk more with them and see how that’s all working out.

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  7. for myself.. i do have that same desire to one day work for myself.. but i am unable/unwilling to give up my steady paycheck. i just have too many mouths depending on me to be willing to take on that type of risk. but i certainly spend some of my free time scheming and making plans..

    i think it is awesome that you have such great skills that can translate so well into a business…
    jefferson recently posted..How to Lower Your Cell Phone BillMy Profile

  8. This might sound lame, but I love that show Holmes Inspection on HGTV. Why do I like it? Because the guy demands that things be done properly. He sounds like you. Maybe the key is to start your own business and then employ people who also do things properly. I have enough experience with hiring people to do work on my own house to know that there is certainly plenty of demand for quality workmanship.
    Mike recently posted..Summer Recap (Part One): Tuning Out — Our Four-Day ChallengeMy Profile

    • I think there is too! So many people complain about contractors not doing a good job and it makes me so mad. It’s not hard to do good work!It’s sort of sad that my “niche” in the contracting business could be quality work.

    • Well I already do side jobs but it’s not enough yet to let me quit…I think I’ve hit a sidejob wall of sorts…gotta think of new ways to advertise to get some more work so maybe I can quit my full time job!

  9. It’s a powerful thing to have job security. On the flip side, it tends to be a double-edge sword. A few guys do a crappy job, and the A-Team has to go in and fix their mess. I will be very happy to read one day that you’ve started your own business, and are enjoying far greater work-related success. Keep the dream alive, and just go for it. It will happen for you soon.

    I dig your new blog theme. The layout looks great and easy to navigate. Congratulations on the upgrade.
    Anthony Thompson recently posted..Dividend Reinvestment Plans – A Stock Investment Program for Tightfisted ShareholdersMy Profile

    • Hey thanks, I like the new look too, it’s easier to read I think. I think if I started my own business I wouldn’t want it to grow that much. I want just enough to get by and no more. So I think if it were me and one other guy, we could do that. And since we’d do work together, I coudl make sure he does good work.

  10. I like the amping up the side gigs thing, too. Any chance your day job would let you cut down to 4 days per week (maybe 4 longer days to work the same hours)? Then you could do more regular side gigs on Friday if it wouldn’t get you in trouble with your employer. Maybe you could build it up further that way. My two cents. Keep the change. :)
    Nick recently posted..Show you the money!My Profile

    • I’m not sure my boss would go for that, but it’s worth asking because then I could get some regular business going on friday and the weekend. Might make switching over to my own businss smoother. Thanks, I will keep the change. :)

  11. After reading the beginning of this post the comment you made on my site makes a lot more sense! Good luck as your processing the decision to start your own thing.

    I’ve been copy-writing most recently, and I thought I’d love it, but am not. So literally today I accepted a job for a start-up company. I’m excited about the environment and to employ a broad range of experience to use I couldn’t find a position elsewhere to utilize. So be encouraged in the hunt as your going after what breathes life into you.

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  13. When people go into business for themselves, they should really known how to do their craft. It sounds like they didn’t, so you had to go and fix the problem. My father know how to weld, too..except he is not really a blue-collar work by profession. I remember he had to weld a pipe in the laundry room. It was nothing to cut open a drywall/sheetrock wall and weld the pipe together. Never had a problem since.
    Ornella @ Moneylicious recently posted..Tax refund, Bartenders, and Casinos Can Affect the Way You Spend MoneyMy Profile

    • Sounds like a good man! Even if it’s not your primary job, there’s no reason to do a bad/inadequate job! Most of the time it’s just laziness. Especially when I work on people’s homes, I just can’t justify doing a half-as*ed job because it’s where people live! It’s their home!

  14. I agree job security isn’t what it used to be, but there’s definitely still something to be said for it. Maybe not so much in the US where I understand there are states where employment is “at-will” (eh?!) but in other countries with stronger employment law it can be a lot harder to get rid of an employee.
    eemusings recently posted..Live it, love it, here and nowMy Profile

    • The more I think about starting my own business, the more I think about job security and continual income. There’s definitely something to be said for it!

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  16. Forty years in the trades I choose security over money for lots of reasons….one I don’t deal with home owners well….i had five mouths to feed plus me and ma……I too became the fix guy for several companies I worked for ….when times were slow and they were at times I always had unemployment to fall back on…yes I am one of those guys ….that said whenever I was laid off I always went back to work when I wanted too…with a different company sometimes but back to work…even in hard times…you do what you have to feed the family…..sometimes not always the work you loved but work…flat work, brick work, drywall, framing (I was best liking that) labor, clean up….oh and yes for years I did a second job at night to help out, no it was not side work in the since of carpenter work it was different…because my dad always said a change is as good as a rest….i say its better….today I finished off a room with tongue and groove wood it was a blast…..tomorrow at the hardware….a change is better than a rest….

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