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Hints on looking for a job

So… you’re looking for a job. Cool! It can be a stress filled experience but then so can a job. Sometimes I wonder which is the more painful.
I figure that your here to find a position as a Watchmaker and are looking for a bit of advise on how to go about it... Here are some thoughts.

A Clown is a person that goes out and blankets the country with a printed flyer saying, in short " Hire Me". Some folks call it a resume' and think it is the foot in the door to things grand. ( not... )
Another misguided person is the type that will post a resume and leave they're silly sounding log on name for an employer to respond to on a message board.
For example, "BigBobWilly" is one I saw recently. Good luck at finding a real job Sport !
Yea sure, you should have a printed resume but this little culture you are wanting to get into is a bit deeper then the printed word. You'll have to bare your soul.... Be a human being first and not a piece of paper.

To the New Student and Novice....
Start as early as you can and go out and make friends of Watchmakers. You'll need them when you’re in business and so you better start collecting a bunch of them. Even if your just getting started you'll find it a wonderful experience to talk to people in the business. Visit they're stores! If you cold call, don't waste a bunch of they're time but tell them what your doing.(learning to be a watchmaker)Ask questions and tell them about yourself but don't ask for a job unless it just falls into your lap ( and it might !!)
They will more then likely welcome you into the fold! They may not have a job for you right then but they will remember you. Maybe they will need you in the future or tell somebody else about you. (Watchmakers network a lot)

I love Jewelers to death but beware of them. They will use you.
Most of them are looking for somebody to do all the work so they can make all the money. It is not a dishonest way to be it is just how they have to be in order to make a living. I have never met one that does not think that way.
If you let people use you, your life will suck ! You don't owe anybody a living unless your getting a fair shake out of the deal too. Figure it out up front that, "You Are Worthy".

Don't limit yourself to just the Watchmakers of the world. Talk to anybody you feel is receptive to your story. Most of them will think your just a nut but some of these people will pay you to work on they're watch!
Sell with attraction and not through promotion. You don't need to "hard sell". Tell a story about your interest in watches and if you make it interesting you'll have a new customer.

If you'll do this I promise that before you graduate you'll have a job offer, probably at least three. The transition will be much smoother because it happened slowly over time and it happened as a result of your newfound friends. I will have to say though that there are some people that are just too weird to be employed as a Watchmaker. They will have to become self-employed right off the bat. (That was me 24 years ago )

Join the AWCI and NAWCC. Read the want ads in Horological Times and take in a few Conventions and Marts, You'll learn plenty. Join your local Guild if there is one and if not attend the meetings of your nearest Affiliate Chapter of the 2 national organiztions above. Again, Watchmakers network a lot. Get online if your into that sort of thing ( and who isn't these days) and look for discussion groups. Look for those that are for the professional watchmakers and not just collectors. Don't ask a bunch of fool questions or post anything right off the bat. Introduce yourself and that should be enough for a long time. just read the posts and learn. Much of what goes on in discussion groups is more "cussin' then discussion". Stay out of it or it can ruin you before you ever get started.

Keep you credit clean !!!
A watchmaker with a bunch of debt and bad credit is a liability for an employer and costly to insure. You will be assumed to be a thief weather you are or not. People can and will research your credit history before they hire you. Long story short...if you can't be trusted to guard your own reputaion then they won't trust you. That may sound harsh but it's just business so get used to it.

Figure out what you are worth !!
This is probably the hardest thing for people to do. First of all you need to determine what it costs you to exist on this earth so add up all your expenses. This should include saving for your retirement, Income Taxes, State Taxes, Social Security Taxes, insurance, food, housing, utilities, auto , your wife/husband/kids/dog/cat and other dependants, vacation/sick time (same thing) and anything else that you spend money on. Find out what it really cost for you to wake up and face the world each day weather you are working or not.
Now decide how many hours a year you plan to work and divide that amount into what you figured your your expenses are.
You now have a break even point~ Or ~ " Alpha Dollar Amount ".
You should be able to know how much you should charge per minute to cover your personal expenses.
Now you will need to add in the cost of your business overhead if you are self employed. Even if you are not self employed it will cost your boss money to have you there so that needs to be accounted for. You will need to make 3 to 4 times your wage to make it worth someones while to have you work for them.
Now that you have it all figured out you need to see if you can produce that much work.

#8.... Shine your shoes !

More to come soon......