Last week, a participant in one of my fitness classes told me that her husband was having a difficult time finding work. She told me that since he had a heart attack a couple of years ago he was unable to return to the physical work as a carpenter. That what he did all his life.

“The good thing about it,” she said, “Is that the house has never been so clean. That’s all he does. He cleans.”

“When is he going to start looking for work?” I asked.

“Mike, he’s 64 years old.” She said. “All the younger people are taking all the jobs. He’s just getting brushed aside.”

“They used to say that when we were younger,” I said. “No experience; No job. That’s still the case today.  I think it’s a case of marketing. He’s home cleaning all day instead of marketing.”

“Well, he’s going to get help from an agency on Monday, but I don’t think it will happen.” She said.

I happen to know the guy. He is funny, knowledgeable about his trade as a carpenter, and personable. “With a good resume and a little knowledge of the labour market,” I told her, “He could be worth his weight in gold to the right employer.“

Then the class started, and since I was the instructor, all I could do at the time was pass off my “Spin Doctor Resume Service” card and tell her we could continue the topic next week.

His problem was going to be one of self-promotion and marketing. The agency will help him with his resume, but he will have to tell them to divert it away from carpentry. Those days are probably over for him because all they will find him jobs that will lead to more health problems.

There are several places where an experienced master carpenter can find work. He could, for example, apply for a position at Home Depot. I think his experience as a master carpenter would allow him to fit in like a dirty shirt in one of the big box stores like Home Hardware  or Home Depot.

He could also find a way to consult with do-it-yourselfers and their home improvement projects. I watched the Home and Garden Network and say several marble-headed experts install laminate flooring in a manner that would cause planks to pop up like a Whack-A -Mole game. I learned how to do it by hiring someone to start it and show me what to do.

 Better yet, he could speak to the producers at the Home and Garden Network  and be a celebrity and earn, at the tender age of 64, a PhD in carpentry.

He could be hired by material companies and do how-to demonstrations in big box retail stores.

He could be an inspector.

He could do anything but housework at home.

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .
He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.
He is an active ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”
He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.



  1. Sharon Says:

    Great suggestions for your carpenter friend. Let us know how it turns out.

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