Are you feeling overwhelmed by options in BC’s hot construction job market? With no shortage of work, and seemingly endless opportunities, how can YOU be sure that you are on the right path to achieve your goals? Too often we see apprentices get caught in a tailspin searching for the “golden opportunity” only to get set back in their hours, miss learning opportunities and stunt their career development or prematurely throw in the towel altogether.
We recognize that these are issues facing many young apprentices in the labour market today. So we’ve sought out to provide objective advice from young leaders in our organization who have successfully navigated through their apprenticeships and have reached measurable success in their craft, whether it be site leadership, project management, specialties and safety.
For this week’s post, we spoke with Robert Tainsh, a young Omega Site Leader with a bright future! Robert has worked with us for one and a half years, starting as a Journeyman Plumber, to Lead Hand, and is now a Site Lead at the Eventide – a luxury condo development in Vancouver’s West End. Read below to learn the keys to success, according to Rob!
Pictured above Robert Tainsh at the rooftop patio of Eventide in Vancouver’s West End.
What is the best career advice you have been given?
“Show up, have a good attitude, work hard and good things will happen”
Did this advice ring true for you? What good things happened?
“Well, at first I thought this advice was just the condescending remarks you’d expect to hear from leadership to make you work harder, but overtime I realized that my dedication on site was getting noticed and opportunities and recognition came my way organically. So yes! Good things definitely are happening!”
What advice would you give to someone considering plumbing as a career?
“It’s not what you’d expect, there is a lot of technical knowledge you need to apply to what you are doing – it’s not just toilets and sinks – there is a lot of math, geometry and problem solving. It’s just like solving a puzzle with very little spare room. Cast iron is a form of art work, you really need to know code, it actually looks cool when you do it right!”
You developed your career fairly rapidly, what do you attribute your success to?
“I had great mentors starting out, and good teachers at trade school who knew their stuff. I focused more on showing up with a good attitude than I did worrying about getting a raise. I made a point to get along with others and to learn many ways to complete tasks.”
What is your biggest strength as a site leader?
“My attitude continues to be my biggest strength even now as a leader. Through my apprenticeship, I learnt how to leverage relationships to enhance efficiencies and work together – there is a fine line between being a leader on site while maintaining a good rapport and mutual respect with the people you work with. Also, I’m crazy organized, almost OCD.”
When you first started your apprenticeship, did you expect it would take your career to leadership?
“No – honestly not at all, I got into plumbing through the advice of family and didn’t intend to stick it out. But then I grew to love it and my career has been developing naturally ever since! I was never the type of guy who wanted to spend years in school, and I didn’t think I could ever have a desk job – so building a career, while working and earning a good living, AND having the satisfaction of producing something tangible each day has been the perfect fit for me!”
What’s the single most important takeaway for young apprentices pursing a career in the trade, and specifically those interested in leading sites?
“I have to give two takeaways, the first is:
BE A SPONGE FOR KNOWLEDGE! even when you don’t agree with means/methods applied – there are multiple ways of learning how to do things, learn them all! You never know when a circumstance may arise that is ideal for a method you’ve seen in the past, that may have been inappropriate in other applications.
And secondly, stick it through! Get your ticket – if you are being treated well by your employer, stick with them and be patient! You will more than double your income as an apprentice in a short 4 years, it’s worth it!”
Thank you to Robert for allowing us to interview him for this posting – and thanks for being such a positive role model in our organization – well done!
At Omega we foster development, encourage growth and seek continuous feedback from our staff. We have multiple goals and levels for Journeyman to reach for and the whole team supports them on that journey. We build better together, as a team. Want to be part of it? Check out open positions and apply online at: http://omegamechanical.ca/employment/