It's now the dead of winter, a time of the year that construction workers dread because the number of available jobs fall off. Of course, there are jobs in construction if you are lucky enough to be hired by a bigger company. Even if they lay you off, they provide unemployment benefits because of the fact that they don't want to lose experienced personnel in the off time. So where to find work for those that are not this fortunate?
One way is to think outside of the box, especially if you have many skills. For instance, you can find jobs in commercial maintenance. Maintenance workers are employees who work for firms that have nothing to do with the maintenance worker's talents in construction. For instance, accounting firms will have a maintenance department with employment for maintenance people who will paint offices, do plumbing, fix electrical problems and all the things that need to be done on a maintenance level.
As a matter of fact, if you see a large or mid-sized office building, chances are the owners will employ a full time maintenance staff. This also may be true of smaller offices. Landlords may own many properties and will hire a full time maintenance person to work on all of them.
The biggest reason for hiring maintenance people is dependability, the knowledge that the needed repairs will be done as the owner of a property wants them to be done. A landlord typically has waiting list of work to be done, especially now in the age of big government fines for unsafe work situations that can occur, with fines piling up because of a private contractor needed being tied up on another job, this is what landlords want to avoid. So to avoid fines because of poor maintenance on property, a maintenance person is employed.
Another thing on the list of reasons for a maintenance staff which is important in a business is cost effectiveness. A full time maintenance staff paid year round may be cheaper than having to pay a contractor for each job. General contractors often have a minimum fee for doing a job. It’s because a general contractor cannot justify sending out a person to do a job that takes an hour and not charge a landlord what the employee sent would have earned the contractor if not taken off a better paying job. So an added bonus too for a landlord is fixed labor costs by having a maintenance crew with known costs.
So where to look for these maintenance jobs in a way that is outside of the box. Well, you can look on job websites that don't deal with construction. Financial, banking, fashion job sites may advertise for maintenance people. Heidi Klum is a fantastic model, but I think it's doubtful she does the plumbing when on assignment. Use internet search engines too, putting in keywords that you would not associate with construction. An example might be advertising+maintenance (no spaces between the + and the words. If you won't move, you will chase a lot of uncaught rabbits if you don't limit the searches to your region).
It may be the dead of winter, but there are a lot of year round businesses in America, and they hire maintenance help all of the time.
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By Jeffrey Ruzicka
Jeffrey Ruzicka is a retired executive of a small company that specializes in industrial water treatment. He lives happily with his wife in Western Pennsylvania and is a contributing writer to Nexxt
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