Job search and the art of plumbing

This past weekend, I took an opportunity to flex my handyman skills. I attempted to replace my PRV (pressure reducing valve) on my main water line. This valve reduces the pressure of the incoming water from the street to an acceptable pressure that will not damage the plumbing inside my house. I realized that the valve failed after the water pressure inside my house suddenly increased.

After consulting with some professionals at a local plumbing supply store, I was convinced that I could replace the valve myself so I purchased a new PRV and was on my way. All I had to do was take out the failed PRV and install the new PRV. Sounds simple, right?  Not exactly.

I took the opportunity to do this work on Labor Day. After all, I was officially off from my work as a professional resume writer and career coach. I started the project by shutting off the main water valve and draining the line from inside the house. I removed the fitting from the inlet side of the valve and was halfway there. Then I tried to loosen the connection from the discharge side of the valve but it would not budge. I tried numerous ways to loosen the connection but I just could not get it to move.

So I made my “first” trip to the Lowes Home Improvement Store. The associate in plumbing suggested that I purchase a torch to heat up the connection in an attempt to loosen it. I followed this advice but to no avail. After realizing that I could not loosen the connection, I made my second trip to Lowes. Where I spoke to the same associate and he suggested that I cut the copper water pipe above the valve and purchase new fittings that I could use without having to do any solder work. Hopefully you can see where I am going here. After two more trips to Lowes and seven hours of frustration, I decided that this job was more than I could handle and I called in a professional plumber. Two hours and $320 later, I had a new PRV installed and the water was back on inside the house.

In hindsight, I should have called a professional from the very start. I actually have a mechanical engineering degree and although I have done some light plumbing work in my house, i.e., replacing faucets, repairing toilets, and unclogging drains, I am not a licensed plumber and I have never changed out a PRV. I assumed the job was a simple one, but the adage is correct: nothing is ever as simple as it seems.

So how does all of this apply to the job search? How many of you have taken the DIY (do-it-yourself) approach to looking for a job? After all, it can’t be that difficult right? How many of you  have written your own resume or even had a friend or colleague write it for you without any success? How many of you have jumped into the waters of the job search without any plan, any tools, or any support, thinking that you could just do it on your own? How many of you have wasted your valuable time in trying to manage the process of looking for a job on your own?

If I had it to do all over again, I definitely would have called a professional from the very beginning. I would have gotten the job completed much faster, I would have gotten my Labor Day back, and avoided frustration. Instead, I spent the better part of that day in my garage and in my car driving back and forth to Lowes trying to do the job myself.

If you are frustrated with your job search, maybe you should contact a resume writer and or a career coach. A resume writer is trained to write strong professional resumes that will attract attention and generate interviews. A career coach is trained to shorten the time it takes you to find and secure gainful employment. A career coach can also help you work through issues resulting from a job loss or career change.

So, don’t make the same mistake with your job search that I made with my repair project. Call a professional before you get in too deep. It will require an investment, but it will save you time and frustration.

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