I am going tomorrow for a job interview with a company called Multiband USA:
I googled 'em and the only negative thing I found was a guy complaining that he was laid off without two weeks notice - I don't find that unusual...
They want me to use my own vehicle so I assume they will be paying mileage. They also said that one of the requirements is that I purchase all the equipment I will need before the end of the six week paid training period, but the woman verifying my info and setting the appointment didn't know what equipment and how much it will cost.
This is just in time (if it's a decent job) as my summer job ends next Saturday.
Anyone know of anyone who has worked for them? I know I can't be choosy right now - a job is a job, but I would like to go in with my eyes open.
The wiring business I tried to start has gone nowhere - only a few gigs and for one of them I ended up having to replace a piece of test equipment that cost almost as much as I was paid - I really suck at this...
This sounds like a scam. Have seen this shit go on around this area. Many times your required to buy tools etc off them that are expensive and worthless. You should have your own hand tools which is common. But the other stuff a company should supply I would be very careful before going any where with this outfit.
So ..... you tried something and it didn't quite work ..... this time .... this place.
What is it that you gained? I hope you're going to say ...... "what not to do, ..... the next time I try"
The fact that you tried to do something on your own puts you in a small group of people compared to thoes who NEVER try. Just don't put yourself in that category of people who only try once. If you really want to be on your own, sit down now, while it's still fresh in your mind and make a list of some/all of the things you can think of that you should have done and/or what you shouldn't have done. At your next job, try to pay attention to those aspects of the company that you're going to work for. For someone who whats to work for themselves, each employer has got to be considered a place to get more knowledge, experience and education, so that you can eventurally use all of your experieces to achieve your goal. Give them every ounce of your ability and attention as this will bring attention to you and thus give you a greater opportunity to learn more. Be prepared to work longer and harder than everyone else for them, because it is that very trait that you'll need to aquire, in order to run and own your own business. Don't expect them to give you exactly what you think you deserve in money, by putting in all the extra effort. You'll get some recognition but the biggest and best thing you will get (if you play it with your goal in mind) is the education. That's what will be the most valuable thing you will gain. You've got to defer some of the income now to attain that. Think of it as if you had a job and were going to school and had to pay the tuition from your salary. Dedicate your time attention and extra hours to the company you work for. Get noticed to get educated. Get interested in every aspect of what they do and how they do it. Billing, purchasing, accounts receivable, accounts payable. inventory, insurance, sales. You already know the tech part.
Owning your own business doesn't mean that you do less than when your work for someone else, it means that you are different from the mass majority of people who aren;t willing to go that extra mile, to work that extra hour, to give up a weekend or two or three ...... to get what you want.
My next best advice is to take some small business courses. The one common denomiator that I see among people who fail at starting their own business is that they think they can start a business because they know the mechanics of the trade but, ..... they don't have a f ....g clue about running a business. Realize that an educated business person can be successful running almost any business. Comparitivly few trades people can. Some tradesmen hit it just right and get past the "running a business" part and become a success. Most don't.
If you are out of work, then something is better than nothing. McDonalds or whatever...
I would want to know what equipment I need to buy, where I can buy it from, and how much I will be paid for those 6 weeks. And I would want to know how much mileage was paid per mile. Also how much I will be paid after training. If they can't tell you that upfront, then look elsewhere for a job...
And figure out your cost per mile. It is high. Cost of vehicle, maintenance, oil, gas, insurance, tires, etc. I would be looking for something like 50 cents a mile.
Well said there Jim its hard to get a small business running compared to when I started on a shoe string 30+ ago you had no where near the bullshit you have now. I had a job working as a security guard and started my company so I would have some kind of income while building it up.
What equipment and whether or not I HAVE to buy from them is a major deciding factor. One of the guys I used to work with said he thinks he knows this company and that it basically a list of hand tools and some satellite specific type sensors that you have to prove (show) you have - he doesn't even think they sell 'em - but if they don't sell those but they DO sell grills...
What I am encouraged about is that there aren't a bunch of scam warnings about these guys and they have apparently been around for while. One of the few complaints that did pop up on google wasn't about them but about a company they bought - so they sound fairly legit. Don't get me wrong I don't have a Pollyana view and will keep my eyes and ears open during the interview.
What DOES concern me is that they do have techs in company vehicles but are asking me to work out of my own - I think that sort of sounds like a temporary deal. I mean, if they are filling a vacant position, there should be a van available or if they are creating new positions I would think they would be leasing more vehicles. Then again, could be a hundred other reasons for this.
Well, I gotta hit the road in about an hour so I want make myself all clean and shiny just in case it's the greatest job opportunity I've ever interviewed for...
If it doesn't work out here are some tricks I've used to get jobs.
Just call the company you WANT to work for and ask to speak to the operations manager. When you get him on the phone just be honest and tell him you are looking for work and CHOSE his company to grace with your presence.
Drive around and look for construction sites in the stage where the alarm is being wired or trimmed out. You can then A> stake out the alarm company vehicles for a tech coming out to grab a part (or a smoke) or B> be bold and go into the construction site (careful though, depending on the site you may get in trouble if you are not authorized to be there) wear your steel-toed boots and bring a hard hat if it's that kind of site. When you do find the tech's by either method you can then strike up a conversation and get the hiring decision maker's direct number and name. You can also look for tech's in residential areas, or even catch one eating lunch. Your mission is to get the inside scoop on who does the hiring, and his number (cell or extension).
The tools "required" are the basic hand tools expected for running wire
- I have all those plus the test equipment they don't expect you have until you are bumped up to "service tech" which the interviewer says takes at least a year. They will also give me a 28 foot extension ladder.
The satellite sensor & crimper they will want me to use is given to me (but remains the property of the company).
It's Piece work (which I'm not not too crazy about) and starts at $40 for a basic (which they allocate 2 hrs) to an "all the bells and whistles" at $180. They add on another $15 for using my personal vehicle and he said they "try" to keep you within a 25 mile radius of the city I live in. Any unexpected issues like having to post-mount the dish adds allocated time & additional money to the job. If I log more than 40 hrs "onsite" in a week I get overtime which if I understand it right is 1.5 times what the job would normally pay. If I get assigned way outside my "normal environs" they usually pay for a hotel.
He claimed there's tons of overtime in the summer - not so much in the winter. I would work out of my home (tax implications, anyone?) printing out work orders off a website each morning.
The tech's I saw coming and going while I was there, plus the ones in for their weekly meeting/training seemed to be in good moods - so it doesn't look like a "horrible" place to work.
The weekly meeting would be an unreimbursed 206 mile round trip (103m each way according to my trip meter). So that 8 hour day would cost me about 35 bucks (at least it did today).
The job is mine if I want it (unless the background check reveals something unsavory - which would surprise me more than them) I have 'till Sep 2d to decide as that is when the 8 week training period ($10 an hour) begins.
I don't have much (read - any) experience with piece work but it sounds fair and I really can't afford to be too picky as this point. Plus I can drop the $30 month I'm paying for my liability insurance. (the work for myself attempt was a desperate move as I've always been a terrible salesman - a fact )
Additional benefit - driving around the area between jobs I can still drop off resumes...
$40 per install for satellite? I was paying guys $50 per install when I did a lot of that back in 1995. My good guys could just do 3 per day. I could do 4 myself, but it was a really long day. Most of the time the guys got 2 per day, and one fellow could never complete two in a day.
Was it harder than what you are installing today? I don't think so. Of course working always beats not working.
New twist - the place I have been working this summer has a full-time, year-round position open.
There's a good chance, but no guarantee that I'd get the job. I really like this place and the job is great. The money won't come anywhere near the high end my interviewer said could be possible - but it would be consistent and a little more then the low end. I know I enjoy this job and there job security is solid - the place ain't going anywhere and you gotta screw up royal to get fired.
Problem: The interview period is right in the middle of my 8 week training period which takes place just over two hours away from home. I put in for the job but I'll have to flake out on my new job to get interviewed - that bothers me.
I feel like I shouldn't accept this one if I'm trying for the other - is that stupid? I mentioned on another forum that it feels like I'm trying to date two girls...
Bird in the hand...
Don't count your chickens...
The grass is greener...
Dang! I need a pithy saying that says, "screw it - go for both - to hell with conscience"
If you can go to school for the satellite job and also be able to interview for the other, then that would be the best option.
These companies have no problem laying people off to make more money (greed), to cut their health care (greed), etc. They have no conscience lately when it comes to you!
(I would not have said that 30 years ago when companies were loyal to their employees.)
If you would lose the satellite job by going to the interview for the other job, then you would have a decision to make. One or the other. And you could wind up with nothing! Life is not always easy...
They wouldn't hesitate for a second to tell you you're laid offl
As I said before, if you ever want to be on your own, you've got to treat your employers as a place that you go to get educated and take advantage of what they offer you to use as a stepping stone to reach YOUR goal.
If you think otherwise, and think that it will pay off, you just get back to me someday when you HAVEN'T reached your present goal and tell me how many of the places that you used to work for are helping you to be happy and helping you to pay your bills.
This is YOUR future that you're playing with. They will be where they want to be in the future.... with or without you and you've got to think of them in the same way.
Look, without knowing the details, you could do this ..... Lets say your interview is at 2PM. Make the ride to your class, get a phone call from home that there's an emergency ( make up one that only you must attend) and make your profuse apologies and determined inquirys into how you can make up the class on your own time etc, etc and go to the interview. Be prepared the next day to relate all the trouble you had getting home in traffic and how tied up you were into the wee hours of the morning with your "emergency" If you get the job, you get it. If you don't you still have this one to cover your ass until the next opportunity comes up.
I can remember many many years ago, I got laid off from a factory job I had when I first got out of the Navy. I landed a job at a grundgy mail order electronics place. The guy loved me because I had an electronics background and almost all of the other people he had working for him, didn't have a clue. It was really low pay and I was working pumping gas and in a grocery store warehouse at the same time. Had very little time to look for a job but would fit in phone calls during lunch and other breaks setting up interviews. I'd set up an interview at 1:00PM give the excuse that I had to go home and bring my wife to the doctor or whatever, I'd go out to my car, change into a suit and tie in the back seat of the car, do the interview, come back whenever change back to my work clothes in the car .... with a big story of what happened at the doctor and a hard time story about having no insurance and increase drug bills and how sick the kids were ....... and all would be well. Eventually the guy wanted to pay me more and make me in charge of a department, still at much a lower pay than I needed. ( he didn't know that I was working two other jobs so I could pay the bills) But when I finally landed a better job, I just told him that I found a better job and was leaving. I gave him the two weeks that I told my new employer I felt obligated to give, and left. I still worked the other two jobs for quite some time. Once you get used to only 5 hours sleep and you're still in your 20's .... you can do that. But long hours and little sleep does get you in practice for when you own your own business. Also, it prepares you for times in the future when one of your employee might try to do the same thing to you. Ya see how it works?
And by the way, if sales is your weak point, see if you can find some kind of course on line or a home video course and learn some of the sales techniques. Sales is simply a pre arranged plan of what your are going to say when someone gives you an objection. It's just something that takes practice( some of which you can do on your own) and some on the job training helps too. Even though I had sales background before I got into this trade, when I started on my own business, I found someone who was a freelance salesman for an alarm company and I would go out with him in the evenings to see what he did. It didn't take but
3 or 4 times with him to be able to apply my background to what he was doing. So if you've taken some sales courses and learned some of the techniques you just need to practice and a little on the job experience and once you make your first few successful sales calls, you're on your way.
It's just something that you have to make your mind up that you're going to have to do and DO IT. If you don't, just because you think you 'suck" at it, you just put your self closer to that group of techs that don't make it because they didn't have the talents other then their technical skills. As I said, ya gotta know how to run a business as well as do the technical stuff, if you want to be on your own and be successful. Sales is just one part of it.
Thanks for the advice Jim, but what it really comes down to, as much as I hate to admit it, is that I am just far too cowardly to continue trying to make a go of my own business. Until I started this summer job I couldn't even get those five hours of sleep and felt like throwing up most of the time.
I admire you guys that had the balls to do it - even if it went well, I don't think I could have taken the stress for long.
Oh and BTW:
I spoke today with a former employee of this company and got his opinion of what will suck and what won't. We discussed what I was told at the interview and for the most part I was given straight scoop - with the politics left out - which is what finally had him seeking employment elsewhere. He did say that, to be fair, he was a machinist before and after and likes it a whole lot more.
It will be long hours and lots of driving (though he did say that the guys using their own vehicles were kept closer to home) but that part doesn't bother me. The income can be inconsistent but he said the good money is on the installs and that he averaged 2.5 to 3k a month - some didn't do so well, a few did better, on average. By comparison 2.5K was a lot of overtime at my old job and about the most I ever made in a month (these are before tax figures).
Even the low side (meaning drop in installs with mostly service calls) will be more than enough to make the mortgage which is my biggest concern right now. The savings have dried up.
I have also managed to push back my start date a few weeks, so there's a good chance I'll know about my other opportunity before I start. That was important too. In case you've missed it, I'm a sober drunk (20 yrs) and part of that is I try not to do too much that makes me feel like I'm being dishonest (but don't get me wrong - to feed and shelter my family I'll do what it takes).
I'm keeping mt fingers crossed that the place I'm doing the summer gig for works out. Fun job, good people and it's close to home.