Searching for employment/employees
I’ve been working as a tech for about 10 years. I’ve always had trouble finding a shop that’s perfect for me. I am a ASE master tech in south Florida with a criminal background that can’t be expunged. I’m always in search for a good paying job with benefits (which feels like impossible for me) haven‘t been fortunate enough to find one. So my question is for techs and shop owners.
For the techs that are in similar situation have any anecdote? Also, how do you analyze potential employer? Since there is no yelp or anything on them about employment (you don’t want someone yelling at you everyday).
Shop owners what do you say when you‘re looking for a tech and someone like me is looking for a job?
Ive been told by a few shops that I can’t be accepted because of the garage liability insurance goes up... Shop I work at now told me that 6 months in working for the guy But he kept me cuz he liked me I guess.
Reason for all this is I’m trying to advance in the world and all shops got to offer me is $500 a week take home. No benefits nothing.. I still buy tools and paid For some classes making that plus living in south Florida (born and raised) is not cheap. I’m also a single father caring for a 5 yr old girl.
BTW guys this is my first post I am nervous and excited at the same time to see what I get. Another side note love reading through every post that comes up. I really feel the mountain of information you guys are putting up. Thank you all for reading and I will continue to read,post and comment when I can. (mostly read to take in as much information as I can Eventually put out what I find in my journey)
I can’t speak for the issue of criminal background situation. What I can speak for is my experience trying to find the employer you are looking for is an elusive situation. 24 years in with 6 different shops at my experience. Not one shop have I been at that is any different than the ones you describe. I finally gave up looking for it. Good luck in your search.
Thanks for the tip! If I continue the search I think I’m gonna need the luck lol.
"fitment" is a challenge in the auto trade. I'm of the opinion that there are only a handful of shop owners that truly value their employees and probably a similar number of technicians that value their employers. When like minded shop owner meets like minded technician they stay together a long time but it's easier for both sides to find crappy fits.
From a technician stand point it's really easy to downgrade to a crappier situation because it's hard to judge shop management until you've worked for it. I think this makes techs cautious and less likely to change employment if their situation is "ok".
It's basically the same from a shop owner standpoint. We know most of what is going to come through our doors claiming to be a tech will be garbage. A tech with a checkered past will certainly have a harder row to hoe in most interviews.
You situation: There is no doubt some folks make mistakes that will haunt them the rest of their lives but I think a tech with a checker past but can demonstrate they are a reliable technician and solid producer will find they can still do well in our trade. That your a single dad caring for a daughter tells me whatever you did must have not been that bad beings you're still allowed to care for your daughter.
Still have a driver license?
I suggest working on your resume to highlight your technical skills, scan tools you are familiar with and/or own, maybe even provide a write up of a difficult diagnosis you successfully completed. In your interview you want to be open and candid about your past and include a specific reason why an employer will benefit from taking a chance on you and what you've done to make sure the mistakes you previously made are not duplicated.
BTW, here in Delaware we are piloting a program where inmates can sign up for a year long auto training program while incarcerated. Willing employers will receive short term incentives for giving a program graduate a shot as well as the program graduate will be issued a state bond that protects their employer further. Point being is there are some of us that recognize second chances can be beneficial for employee and employer alike.
Message me if you'd like me to review your resume and offer input.
Yes I have a valid drivers license. I never really had to show anyone a resume at the places I’ve applied to. it’s really just talking to the owner and he asks a couple of questions usually get the job. It’s not for much some under the table. It’s a lot of bouncing around though. I’ve been through a lot of shops. Over 20 in my 10 years of being a tech. 80% of them I walk away from. how would I be able to message you for more input? Email or something?
Not having to show a resume may be an indication of why you're struggling to find a fit. I suspect a shop that doesn't want to see a prospect's work history is a shop that probably isn't going to value it's team members.
If you want to work for a shop that will value you you'll need to demonstrate you are worth investing in, I think that starts with a resume.
My email is …
One thing you may need to do is tell them how you have changed your life for the better and why they should take a chance. If your skilled show them that and dont be ashamed of your mistakes just learn from them and be a better person and show them your willing to put in the work. There is no reason you shouldnt be able to make a liveable wage and 500 take home is not it. There are some great employers out there just may take several tries to find it. And thank you for your post and hope to continue to see more from you.
Thank you for the input. Will be posting more whenever I get a chance.
Having been in our Industry for 48 years , owning a family business, college programs and now consulting and mentoring now.... I must say your on the right path by asking those in this group. As a consultant to a shop here in Massachusetts I was empowered to restaff the business in doing do I vested in a gentleman such as yourself with a very similar situation , including a ankle bracelet. We worked throughout all aspects of employment....My intuition was right and my investment paid off. You see it's all about attitude, integrity and self reliance, he continued for 6 months after I completed my assignments.....And I would like you to know that he moved upwards...No bracelet and is now lead technician and the go to guy for heavy duty welding for a city DPW. These are a few of the things I do in life.....Build a better world one tech one shop at a time.
Have faith in those who lead you , believe in yourself and you will succeed in your quest.
This is what I need to hear to keep going. At times I get discouraged and need a lift. Sometimes I’m afraid to ask for help but I’m getting better at it. Thank you.
Come see me in West Palm this Wednesday night. Your Tuesday night Tamarac class was canceled, sorry!
I can introduce you to some of the shop owners just a bit north of you that try to do things the right way.
Keep going to training! It was great to see you at Automechanika and keep looking for the right fit. I think these days a good tech needs to interview the shop as much as the shop needs to interview the tech.
Thanks Rich! I’ll be there. You got me hooked to training now. Love how there’s loads of support. Thanks
Hi Andres. You are not the first technician to have made a mistake that you feel inhibits your earning potential and you will not be the last.
Many of us might have done some stuff when younger, that we would be embarrassed by, but didn't get caught. To have whatever is "hanging" over you isn't fair, but given the right opportunity to demonstrate your skills, it may be possible to overcome that stigma in the right situation.
What it may take is someone to introduce you to the right people. It appears that Richard has kindly offered to assist and I'd definitely recommended following his lead. An introduction accompanied by supportive referral, may just take you to the next level.
To be a single father raising a young child, demonstrates that you are committed to providing for family stability through hard work. Make sure that you have a supportive back up plan in place for times when child care or times of illness could otherwise have pose a detrimental effect in the workplace and completion of scheduled appointments.
Loyalty to the employer who sets aside your record and provides a serious opportunity for you to advance, is a good way to kick start the next phase of your career.
Best wishes in your quest to find a position that you feel is a good fit. FWIW, with or without any unfortunate history, many technicians still struggle to find that dream job. Never give up.
Sometimes it takes a lot to try an clear a mistake that happened so long ago. I’ve got to do it because I really don’t see anyone trying to do it for me. Rich is awesome! Really played a big part of helping me figure things in this industry. Lead me to here. I’m baffled from what I see and love the support. Thanks for the input!
I am no longer in a position to hire, but as an owner for 36 years I hired most techs from people I knew, a couple from iATN. One's legal background wasn't nearly as important to me as one's overall character and apparent intelligence / automotive ability I perceived in an interview. While I no longer own the shop, I still work part time as a consultant. I hate to brag, but we have one of the top shops in the country. Well known in numerous fields. Twenty five bays and thirteen techs so far, with two more lifts on order. One is a large one to expand our growing Sprinter business. Working in a specialty is the best way to make money in this industry and German cars is probably the top specialty. A move from south Florida to Gainesville would be a great way to improve the living conditions for a small child. A great school district in the city supporting the top University in Florida with a rural culture make it a great place to live. We will be picking up another tech or two shortly. A great way to improve your position is to pick a place, interview it, check it out, then persist.
Wish everyone thought like that. Sounds interesting. Will be looking into more shops that would be mutually beneficial.
Andres , I have been in this business for a very long time and have seen a lot of changes. The one thing that stands out is how few people view this business as a job and not a profession. When you find a shop that seems to fit your needs make it clear that to you are a career professional and not just a grunt. Your willingness to keep learning is also a great point to make to a prospective employer. It has been said that some techs have 20 years experience and some Techs have one year experience twenty times. Let them know you are the previous and not the former. Good Luck.