Volunteering to gain skills

What skills to learn, what tools to get
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mathiverse
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Volunteering to gain skills

Post by mathiverse » Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:09 pm

I'd like to do some volunteering to get out of the house more and ideally the work I'd do would also let me learn new skills. I'm already a programmer, so while I'll mention open source software as a good place to volunteer if you're interested, it's not a new skill for me.

I also thought Habitat for Humanity might be a good place to volunteer in order to learn handyman skills. Can anyone confirm or deny?

Anyone have any other ideas?

bigato
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Re: Volunteering to gain skills

Post by bigato » Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:22 pm

I’d say, get paid to learn instead. Find some low wage, entry job in some trade and offer to work for an even lower hourly pay than what they normally offer, but with the schedule and hours adjusted to fit your needs. You’ll essentially be an apprentice, working along professionals with experience that make a living out of their skills. In my opinion this is the best way to learn a trade, so good that I think the apprentice should have to pay to work instead!

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Lemur
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Re: Volunteering to gain skills

Post by Lemur » Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:21 am

I agree with bigato. I used to work construction in the military for 7 years (essentially did an apprenticeship as I went to a tech school for 6 months and eventually earned a rank of 'journeyman' in my career field). Also volunteered with habitat for humanity. You will learn much more doing the former (an apprenticeship). The latter can also be useful if you end up volunteering with master craftsman who are willing to take the time to teach you things but the formal models of learning have a more useful application imo.

mathiverse
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Re: Volunteering to gain skills

Post by mathiverse » Mon Apr 08, 2019 4:01 pm

Is it feasible to get an apprenticeship that works around a 7 am to 4 pm office job? Should I call the local trade unions to see if they have weekend/evening only apprenticeships? My job pays too well for it to make sense for me to switch to being an apprentice full time right now. It might be a nice idea once I'm FI to look into that, however.

I was asking about volunteering since it's more likely there would be weekend and evening work I could do since many volunteers work other jobs for a living and volunteer in their free time.

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Lemur
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Re: Volunteering to gain skills

Post by Lemur » Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:59 am

mathiverse wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 4:01 pm
Is it feasible to get an apprenticeship that works around a 7 am to 4 pm office job? Should I call the local trade unions to see if they have weekend/evening only apprenticeships? My job pays too well for it to make sense for me to switch to being an apprentice full time right now. It might be a nice idea once I'm FI to look into that, however.

I was asking about volunteering since it's more likely there would be weekend and evening work I could do since many volunteers work other jobs for a living and volunteer in their free time.
Doubtful. You could try calling local trade unions...but if this is the case than volunteering would be your best bet. On second thoughts, volunteering could be useful if you want to get exposure to many different generalist skills (framing, plumbing, electricity, roofing, masonry, dirt work) rather than an apprenticeship which I imagine would be more specialist. Who knows, maybe you will come to enjoy this type of work so much you leave your office job. I personally missed working in my trade... sometimes.

thrifty++
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Re: Volunteering to gain skills

Post by thrifty++ » Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:31 pm

Totally!
Im my opinion the hierarchy of skills acquisition is as follows:

- get paid while learning new skills
- get paid nothing while learning new skills
- pay for learning new skills

My enormous student loan of the past has very much put me off the last version> I think in many cases if you think outside the box you could avoid paying for any skills.

Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity seems a great idea. I have thought of this too. And yeah apprenticeship sounds totally unfeasible I fyou have a full time job. Another option is you find a small building co like even a one man band you could offer to do some work for them on weekends if they teach you specific skills. In my case I have a friend who is a builder who I could suggest this to. Mind you I guess it will come down to whats in it for them. You could end up just slowing them down without any real gain for them. I can imagine a natural conflict here where they want to pay you as low as possible to do all the shit work and not necessarily teach you much vs you wanting to do as little of the shit labouring and learn as much as possible. So maybe volunteering is the best option

Kriegsspiel
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Re: Volunteering to gain skills

Post by Kriegsspiel » Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:34 pm

I doubt a union would be on board with that arraignment, but I could see a local contracting business being very happy with you coming in on weekends when they're behind on a job and lending a hand for minimum wage. I'm not sure how that works with their insurance and bond, though...

BookLoverL
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Location: England

Re: Volunteering to gain skills

Post by BookLoverL » Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:11 am

While it's obviously better to get paid to learn the new skills, I think volunteering could be a good way of learning new skills if the skills you'd be learning there are ones that you aren't good enough at yet to get anybody to pay you for - and then you could switch to getting somebody to pay you for them once you've reached a level where you're competent, if you wanted.

Scott 2
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Re: Volunteering to gain skills

Post by Scott 2 » Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:27 pm

Have you considered taking a class on what you are interested in first? It seems more suited to your constraints and could lead to next steps. They are not terribly expensive and might level you much faster. I am seeing $15-20/hr per targeted contact hour. Some quick examples from a community college:


Residential Plumbing
Gain knowledge of basic plumbing repair and
maintenance. Learn about plumbing fixture components,
pipe replacement, unclogging drainage systems, and
when to call a licensed plumber!

4 3h classes, $160


Basic Home Repair
Perform simple repairs and routine home maintenance
without a plumber, carpenter or electrician. Some hands-on activities are included.

6 3h classes, $250


I imagine there is continuing education marketed to the trades that is more targeted and not terribly expensive either.

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