Huge gaps in my construction/maintenance skillset. What's my best shot to find work?
May 24, 2007 6:02 PM   Subscribe

What summer job should I get in Austin, TX with this new mixed bag of construction and maintenance skills? And how on earth do I go about getting it?

I'm a staffer a rural campsite. I didn't know a damn thing about working with my hands when I started, but they've taught me things as needed. This has left me with a broad but spotty skillset, which I'm worried might be hard to use for job-hunting when I move to Texas in a month.

For instance, I can wire a new wall outlet to a breaker box, but I can't wire a light switch. I can plumb in a toilet but not a sink. I can fit PVC drain pipe or one of those flexible water supply lines but I can't do a damn thing with copper. I can use a Dumpy level but not a transit. I'm sure I could fill in the gaps if I had the chance — I've picked everything up quickly so far — but I'd need someone to take a minute to teach me rather than firing me for being clueless.

To add to the problem, I got this job pretty much by chance — I was affiliated with the church that runs the campsite — and I have no idea what other jobs are like it, much less how to get them. I'd like to keep on doing this sort of work during the summers, but I just don't know how.

So: what does a mixed and spotty skillset like this qualify me to do? Bonus points for learn-as-you-go–type situations, specific leads on work in Austin, and advice on how to land the job rather than just find the opening. No information is too basic — I worked behind a desk my whole life until this summer, and I have no idea at all what a normal construction site is like.
posted by nebulawindphone to Work & Money (2 answers total)
A friend of mine is working at Habitat for Humanity in Austin. They could probably use your skill set. Drop me an email if you're interested and I'll set you up with his email address if you'd like to ask him some questions.
posted by trbrts at 6:21 PM on May 24, 2007

Habitat could definitely use your skill set, and you could pick up the rest. Another good idea is apartment handyman -- Thanks to UT, Austin has tons of apartments and they're doing repair and renovation work to many over the summer while the studentses are away. Check the local papers near where you live for ads in the help wanted section. You might not want to take on a full-fledged handyman position, but being a handyman's assistant would allow you to fill in your gaps.
posted by SpecialK at 12:22 AM on May 25, 2007

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