Jump to content

Ever get the feeling you're in the wrong line of work?


RobL
 Share

Recommended Posts

So, I was briefly watching the BBC today, as mother had it on, and they've got a "new" programme on in the afternoons called Saved and Remade or something like that.  Basically it's a bit of a mix of The Repair Shop and Money For Nothing if you're familiar with those shows.  Another of the cookie cutter outputs BBC have...

 

Anyhow, I'm an office worker when I'm not between jobs, and it struck me that as I have basic DIY skills and can use power tools that, if I had a workshop, materials and tools, I could do a few of the things that were done on the show and I'm looking for the wrong type of employment.

 

One of the "creations" was turning some accordions that some bloke brought in into a pair of floor standing shelf units.  The lady that "created" them basically took some wood, cut, screwed and glued it into a basic 4 sided box shape, disassembled 2 of the accordions and then reassembled them without all the gubbins inside and screwed them to each end of the box shapes whilst sandwiching the accordion's bellow between two bits of wood glued and screwed in the middle of each box as a divider! 

 

The wood appeared pre-finished, and "creating" the piece involved very basic DIY skill level work.  And yet the lady who "created" the piece probably gets paid quite a lot for such basic work!

 

Seems like I'm missing something, if it's that easy!?!

Edited by RobL
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's another show called 'Find it fix it flog it' on Channel 4. With Henry Cole. Essentially they take something which could be junk or simply tired and re-purpose them. Sometimes it's a light restoration like a motorcycle or a bike. On one occasion it was an RC model Corsair which they promptly crashed. 

 

Of course it's not that easy and the people you see have spent years learning their trade. Some are essentially artists. 

 

But I don't see why you couldn't give it a go. Part time initially. There is a market. On Sunday my wife and I toured a few furniture stores looking for chairs. But what struck me was the number of decorative items which were made from simple things. A tour of some shops like that might provide inspiration. 

 

I know the purgatory of office work but I managed to tidy up a few motorcycles and sell them on at one stage. Back when I had the space and time. 

 

I say dip your toe but first see what sells. 

 

Good luck. 

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes … I worked in roughly six or seven major fields of work over 25 years before I was forced to retire for medical reasons.Started with Retail, then Security/body guarding. Next up was a stint at construction, then truck driver. In the later 90’s I was a V.P. And field manager In mid level management with 164 employees under me. Then in 2002 I transferred to Law Enforcement. Finally when done with the my few years there I took another management position in warehousing and construction materials. Sadly the last job was cursed, three major accidents in three years caused to much medical issue’s and was forced into early retirement. My philosophy was this, if Im not happy Im not giving 100% to the job. Thats not fair to me or the employer, so I would move on when I wasn't happy with a job. 
 

Dennis

Edited by Corsairfoxfouruncle
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, RobL said:

Seems like I'm missing something, if it's that easy!?!

I once looked into producing picture frames - I had all the gear and skills needed, and there is clearly a market for them. But adding up the cost of  all the materials required and the time involved showed that either  each frame would be prohibitively expensive or meant I was working for well below minimum wage!

 

Hobby/crafts are notoriously difficult to turn into successful businesses, often because they are often very time consuming - which is fine if the time is your own, but not so good when you have to make a living wage in that time. 

 

Cheers

 

Colin

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm with Colin here: there are two problems in this kind of "job"....

First is that while these things look easy, they are easy only for those who have the right degree of experience. A bit like our hobby, everything is easy once you have done it a few times successfully but doing it the first few times is a totally different story.

Then there's the harsh reality of what kind of money such jobs really bring in. Yes, some craftsmen may get paid a lot but they are usually the ones who add a high level of creativity and while making something may be easy, imagining something different that would appeal so much to people to make them open their wallets and then making it,... well, that's a different story

In addition you have all the problems of being self-employed, meaning that you may make good money one day and nothing for the next 6 months, with the additional problem that in order to make stuff to sell you'll have to put money in advance for tools and materials.. And then there's the matter of finding the right paths to market, getting known and so on...

Now it sure can be done and a guy I know manages to get a good living by making various wooden furniture items of his own design. Took him a while to get recognised enough to have a decent stream of work coming in but he persevered and won. He also had the advantage in those early days that his partner was a lecturer at the local university, meaning that at least there was no problem in paying the basic bills... and that made a big difference !

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As for me, yes I've had a few moments in my life when I felt I was in the wrong line of work.... the strongest moment was a few years ago in a very central and affluent part of London.. I was walking to a large building site where I was contracted to do a monitoring job for a certain infrastructure when the guy walking in front of me stopped by a Bentley, put his case in the boot and drove away. At that point I realised that I had probably taken a few wrong choices in my life if I was walking in hi-vis and safety boots to work and not driving a Bentley in a tailored suit.... 🤣

Edited by Giorgio N
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 23/08/2021 at 18:29, RobL said:

Seems like I'm missing something, if it's that easy!?!

One other thought - its very easy to take the joy out of something you love doing when you try and turn it into a business. Happened to me with photography ... I was an avid photographer since childhood. Started to earn some money from it shooting aviation and sailing - for a while after a redundancy, it became my sole source of income. Dream job right? Yet 10 years on I'm back in a 'real' job and rarely pick up a camera. There is a huge difference between doing something when you want to do it and doing it because you have to.

 

Cheers

 

Colin

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having the cameras there (regardless of the channel involved with the production) will add an "income stream" to the people creating the items. It can then become viable/profitable.

 

This form of TV show is cheap to make since you don't hire big-name actors (this means greater profits to the channel broadcasting the programme) meaning they fill their allocation of the airwaves & sell advertising, etc.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
On 23/08/2021 at 23:21, noelh said:

But I don't see why you couldn't give it a go.

 

 

If I had a car, a driving licence, materials, and a workshop full of tools, and a premises for said workshop, I might do.  But being between jobs in the UK, with no start up capital, and no way of obtaining/generating capital, it makes it a bit difficult to even start something.

 

Regardless of whether I would or not, it's just so frustrating when you see frequently on these shows things that are so basic, which require the minimal amount of DIY skill, "creativity" or imagination to achieve, and people are being paid quite a bit for them.  It's like if a 5 year old painted a picture, that you'd typically stick on the fridge door, and it goes on to sell for £1000s, despite it being your typical painting by a 5 year old, not some highly skilled work of art!

 

 

9 hours ago, hairystick said:

Having the cameras there (regardless of the channel involved with the production) will add an "income stream" to the people creating the items. It can then become viable/profitable.

 

 

Indeed.  That applies in reverse to the antiques programmes you see - so many times they'll get a discount that Joe Bloggs could only dream of, purely because the dealer has a camera shoved in his face!

Edited by RobL
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, RobL said:

If I had a car, a driving licence, materials, and a workshop full of tools, and a premises for said workshop, I might do.  But being between jobs in the UK, with no start up capital, and no way of obtaining/generating capital, it makes it a bit difficult to even start something.

Maybe, but don't talk yourself out of it which is exactly how I read that. Making excuses. Two of my nieces had an idea. One has a real business head the other, well is just good looking, intelligent and articulate. But they had a very simple idea, a fairly girly idea. It's not their only job but they are making a few quid. I suspect they will succeed eventually. 

 

At it's simplest, make something and put it up on Ebay or whatever. Dip your toe. 

You don't have to plan to appear on Dragons Den. 

 

One of the things I realised when I went self employed is that I never wanted to go back to a 'normal' job. I haven't yet. I actually can't conceive of the idea. 

 

By all means listen to the warnings. Have no illusions, Colin

@ckw is an example. 

 

It's a cliche but you never regret what you did but you always regret what you didn't do. God knows I'm the poster boy for that cliche. 

 

My wife only today, who has reached the pinnacle of her profession. She called me in tears of frustration. She's very well paid but it's not enough. The job is tough. 

 

She often told me she'd love to run a nice easy coffee shop. Well maybe but knowing her it would probably rival Starbucks. ☕and she'd be calling me complaining about Starbucks predatory marketing. 😅

 

 

 

 

Edited by noelh
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is a shop near us that specialises in these sort of trinkets at absurd prices - from what you are describing would probably be over £100.... but they never seem to shift and I wonder how much the market for them really is.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 minutes ago, Tim R-T-C said:

There is a shop near us that specialises in these sort of trinkets at absurd prices - from what you are describing would probably be over £100.... but they never seem to shift and I wonder how much the market for them really is.

Maybe but is there any sign the shop is about to close? 

 

After lockdown I visited the only LMS nearby. As ever the owner was chatty. I asked him how he coped with the lockdown. He said online sales kept him going. Mostly local it seems. 

 

That's the key. 

 

Local! 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 24/08/2021 at 08:34, ckw said:

Hobby/crafts are notoriously difficult to turn into successful businesses, often because they are often very time consuming - which is fine if the time is your own, but not so good when you have to make a living wage in that time. 

In leathercrafting we have a saying;

"How do you make a fortune in leather working? Start with 3 fortunes"

 

or sometimes money value is put in

"How do you make a million £/$ in leather working? Start with £/$ 3 million"

  • Like 1
  • Haha 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, hairystick said:

This form of TV show is cheap to make since you don't hire big-name actors (this means greater profits to the channel broadcasting the programme) meaning they fill their allocation of the airwaves & sell advertising, etc.

I think you might be surprised just how expensive any TV show is. To give you some idea, Channel 4's "Deal Or No Deal" used to cost over £100,000 per hour. OK, that would have included Noel Edmond's fee (I'm guessing), but considering it's the presenter, five to eight TV cameras, studio-hire, various, contestants, etc, etc, it all begins to add up. 

 

These days, the average price of a UK TV drama is somewhere between 300 and 500 grand per hour. In the US, that price would be considered very cheap.

 

I've read that comedian Jim Jeffries sit-com "Legit" was produced for $1 Million per 22 minute episode. I also read that there is a currently-being-produced US sci-fi TV series which is averaging $15 Million per episode (but I can't remember it's name!).

 

The currently-in-production, American World War 2 TV series "Masters of the Air" has a reported budget of $200 Million. For eight, one-hour episodes, that is some pretty serious dollar....

 

Chris.   

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, spruecutter96 said:

I think you might be surprised just how expensive any TV show is. To give you some idea, Channel 4's "Deal Or No Deal" used to cost over £100,000 per hour. OK, that would have included Noel Edmond's fee (I'm guessing), but considering it's the presenter, five to eight TV cameras, studio-hire, various, contestants, etc, etc, it all begins to add up. 

 

These days, the average price of a UK TV drama is somewhere between 300 and 500 grand per hour. In the US, that price would be considered very cheap.

 

Chris.   

I certainly agree that production costs are high, but as I commented, these types of locally made, no "stars" involved (apart from a host, perhaps) are far cheaper to make. Hence attractive for broadcast companies.

 

I know of a few youtube channels that have been approached by mainstream TV, simply because the legwork has already been done and the product is there to be put onto the airwaves.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My brother is quite a good artist and his partner is good with all sorts of things like cross stitch, knitting as well as painting, which she only took up after meeting my brother. They sell some stuff, but no way would they consider making it an indispensable source of income. Age apart, they realise the difficulty of making it pay. 

I started out doing a law degree and after articles decided this was not for me. Martial breakdown and a stint as a hospital porter gave me a bit of time to think and I then trained as a nurse. I found I enjoyed teaching and after a bit of an effort and ended up as a lecturer. Enjoyed the job until a stroke cut the end of my career short. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I and two other members of my family all did the same thing, put as much money into tax efficient savings/pension, have none or one children and retire as early as possible. It is then you can either take up the job you really wanted to do or just retire with your hobby. As a result for the last 12 years I have had a number of voluntary jobs in areas which have always interested  me.

 

Even when I was employed I said to the reason for doing what I did was the organisation had a good pension. Unfortunately it is not true today as like most employers is has moved away from a final salary pension.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Feel I'm in the wrong line of work ? Only every single day !

 

But then again the line of "work"  I think I would be most suited for given the chance,  would be "idle multi-millionaire layabout"  :)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/24/2021 at 9:23 AM, Duncan B said:

All the time! Ever watched your life savings disappear without even a hangover as compensation?

 

Duncan B

 

Yes, it's called putting 2 kids through university

  • Haha 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Or the same kid through University twice. Mind you, he now has lots of letters after his name, a company car and earns about fifty grand per annum.

Me, After forty years on military aircraft I swapped to being a drayman. Except for cold 05:00 starts I mostly enjoy it. I'm on a bit less money than my son though.

My Nephew is 60 this month, he swapped to drayman a couple of months ago. Apparently he too is enjoying it. Must be something in the beer!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Starting at that time usually means a long trip, Norfolk, London, or up to Newcastle so it's probably a ten hour or so day.

This time of year ten hours is about average. It can go up to twelve, which can be a bit wearing! 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...