If you could learn a trade — say carpentry, electrical work, roofing, landscaping, plumbing, flooring, drywall — you name it — what skill(s) would you love to have in your back pocket?
Having spent 23 years with my husband, a construction executive, I have been on numerous construction sites and exposed to all the trades that are necessary for building a skyscraper, hospital, restaurant or high end hair salon and spa, so I do have some knowledge of what all of the trades entail. This knowledge doesn’t make this question that much easier simply because I can imagine the downsides just as easily as the upsides.
I can narrow the list by going through the trades that I wouldn’t pick such as plumbing; it is a dirty trade, there is no way around it, very handy to know if you have small problems at home, but you will get wet and more than likely dirty. I don’t like to get that kind of dirty. I appreciate plumbers a lot, don’t get me wrong, but I remember how hard-working and worn out by the end of the day they were, great guys, but not a trade that I would want to put one of its tools in my back pocket.
Carpentry, either rough or finish, is another trade that I wouldn’t be interested in because for one, I don’t have the patience for rough carpentry; it entails drywall, compound and caulk, you need to get the drywall as smooth as possible and that takes infinite amounts of patience, I don’t have it for drywall. Finish carpentry is a wonderful trade, but I don’t have the skills nor the finesse to even contemplate ever doing it.
Roofing is a non-starter because I have a huge fear of heights.
HVAC is another non-starter because you spend way too much of the time in duct ways and rooftops as well.
Landscaping for me is a no brainer, but that is practically not even worth writing about because anyone familiar with my writing knows that I am a passionate gardener, I am far from the best and I have tons to learn, but I love it no matter how amateurish my gardens look like. So landscaping wouldn’t really be a challenge or anything brand new.
So if I was going to pick a trade, it would have to be electrical work. I like the puzzle aspect to the work; more often than not, you need to figure out how to get from point A to point B, branching out to other sources to get to point C; the tool box is compact, the work isn’t too dirty and you are involved at several stages of construction; just as in carpentry, you have rough electrical and finish electrical, it is very interesting, vital to any project and I could see myself doing it quite easily.