Recently I read an article about razor blade companies suffering sales declines due to the popularity of  beards in our culture. That got me thinking about so many businesses and professions that are no longer around due to new technologies or cultural changes. Think about how demand shrank for blacksmiths,...

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Different people may have different ideas of what it means to be wealthy. To some people, it may mean being worth billions of dollars, like Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos or other high-tech entrepreneurs. To reach that level, you need to invent something most of the world wants to buy or start a revolutionary...

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When you think about a career in the trades, don’t think that means turning wrenches for the rest of your working life. The skilled trades offer plenty of opportunity for advancement in positions that challenge your intellect, as well as managerial and leadership abilities. As you gain experience in...

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I had a conversation with a young man recently who expressed interest in exploring the plumbing or HVAC trades. He had no experience in those trades, though he was mechanically inclined and always working around the house fixing and building things. But he had a full-time job and a family to support,...

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It’s your lucky day. For the TLDNR (‘too long, did not read’) among us, the answer to the question posed by the article’s title can be boiled down to this: Jobs are the building blocks of a career. Interested in exploring this a little deeper? Read on. Beyond the Words We all should...

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October 20, 2016 The trade shortage is a global problem It’s not just here in the U.S. Employers around the world are finding it hard to recruit enough skilled trade workers – harder than any other field. The latest Talent Shortage Survey by ManpowerGroup that was just released sampled more than...

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The trades offer plenty of them. Here’s a recent story that grabbed my attention. It describes a scene in Queens, New York, where hundreds of people camped out overnight to receive applications to join the Plumbers Local 1 apprenticeship program. The union made it known that they would hand out a maximum...

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April 12, 2016 Take pride in what you aspire to be In my last article I described a conversation I once had with an affluent suburban mother whose son was interested in an HVAC career. She knew nothing about the field and contacted me when I was a trade magazine editor who had written about […]

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March 22, 2016 Tell your parents what’s great about the skilled trades I’ll never forget a conversation I had some years ago when I served as editor of Plumbing & Mechanical magazine. I spent almost an hour on the phone with a mom talking about a potential HVAC career for her 19-year-old son....

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