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The Importance of Mentorship in the Trades

Jul 12, 2022


Starting a new career can be an intimidating task. With increasing college tuition rates and seemingly fewer opportunities in the job market for college graduates, many people opt for a shift in their career path. Trades are a great option. Construction, for example, is a growing industry with diverse job titles and abundant opportunities for networking and growth. However, it's not as easy as simply getting your license and taking off.


Trade jobs can involve a substantial amount of work. Due to the nature of trades jobs, which often involve commercial or residential building upkeep or modification, there can also be a lot of risks if the job is not done right. People are very protective of their living and working spaces. Not to mention the safety hazards that could arise from an improperly installed electrical or plumbing system or an inaccurately calculated building structure. Learning how to get the job done right and proving the highest quality results possible is essential if you want to succeed, especially if you plan to start your own business. Having someone to guide you through the process of getting off the ground and learning the ropes of the industry is a great advantage. 


Depending on the trade you choose and the organization you decide to do your apprenticeship or commence your job as a licensed tradesperson, you will have different options for finding a mentor. Many organizations have discovered the fantastic advancements and advantages of having an established mentorship program for their workers and will likely have one ready when you join. Others, however, may not have an organized system set up. In this case, it is up to you to take the initiative and look for someone to guide you on your journey. Don't be afraid to go to the people you look up to most. Keep an eye out for people who do their jobs best, ask questions, and work to establish a relationship in which you can look to them for professional advice to help you along your career path. 


Finding someone good at their job may not be all that difficult. However, finding someone who understands the importance of mentorship and is willing to lend a hand can be more challenging. When looking for a mentor, make sure to reach out to attentive people who are in a position to help you get ahead. It may be intimidating to take the first step, but something as simple as asking someone to sit down with you to talk about their personal experience and journey in the trades can bring you a long way. If someone reaches out to you for advice or constructive criticism, make sure to take it as an opportunity to improve your craft. Keep your mind open and seize the opportunities that come your way. 


Once you've done some networking and have gotten a hold of a great mentor, it's time to get the most you can out of your mentorship experience. Like everything else in life, it's essential to keep a good attitude. As mentioned above, most trade jobs require a certain amount of risk. When it comes to the hands-on portion of your job, don't feel discouraged if you don't know how to do something or if a mentor corrects you. Take your time to learn and use these experiences to improve. It's essential to remember that many people have been in the industry for much longer than you and are likely much more knowledgeable. Having a learner's mentality, especially in the beginning, and maintaining it throughout your career will take you further than you think.