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October 19, 2012 at 5:24 am #48398
I been wanting a Job in the watch repair business. I kept begging and kept looking and 3 months ago my dream job came true. I found an old watch shop that does a lot of quartz watch repair jobs. I have taken Bob’s pocket watch repair dvd course,then took a class with NAWCC on “Basic pocket watch ” cleaning. I have been successful with about 4 pocket watches and 1 man’s wrist watch. Yesterday my boss tells me he wants me to do cleaning on pocket pocket watches that come in.Of course that would mean a raise to me but, I’m scared. What if I screw up a customers watch? What if I drop a part on the floor and not be able to find it?
Have any of ya’ll ever been there? What did you do to get over the fear of failure?
Thank you for your advice,PhilOctober 19, 2012 at 8:43 am #52323willofiamModerator
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Hey Phil, Congrats on the promotion, Do you think you would have gotten the promotion if your boss didnt think you were going to be good at it???? He must trust you and he likes what your doing . Of coarse, at any job there is the fear of messing up and it is my opinion that having some of that fear is good (at least for me) because it can drive you towards being better at what you do. But, as we all know, things happen and we have to learn our lessons 🙄 and correct any mistakes remembering that it is not the end of the world. instead of saying “I hope I dont ruin something” try saying to yourself “I will do the best job I can for this customer” stay calm, take your time, concentrate, stop if your not sure, keep learning, ask lots of questions and have fun . So, in the end, yes, I do get that fear on everything I work on (especially something that parts are not available) but I try and harness that fear by concentrating and thinking positive. I recently started to work on the pocket watch and have a few of my own to start with, 1st one I took apart, the collet on the hairspring broke 😯 at the point it was pinned, I didnt like the idea of that happening 🙄 . Now I guess the only way to think about it for me is that I am going to learn how to solve that issue, now if that would never happen how would I ever learn to do it?????? Be good, have fun, stop worrying. WilliamOctober 19, 2012 at 9:43 am #52324Bob TascioneModerator
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Congratulation on finding that job!
These are important concerns that all beginning watchmakers should and usually do have.
If the following conditions are already in place then you’ve got the perfect opportunity.
I’m going to answer these questions indirectly. What I’m about to write is meant to protect you and in no way to discourage you from moving forward towards a watchmaking career.
The first thing I would stress here if you haven’t already done so is; you MUST tell your employer exactly what you’ve mentioned here about your experience. Having successfully completed 5 watches is a good start but still places you at the beginners level. It’s very important that your employer understands this before HE takes on the risk of having you repair all pocket watches that come in. From what you wrote it’s not clear whether the shop already takes in mechanical watches and whether or not your boss has experience with mechanical watches and can cover for you when problems beyond your proficiency level arise or if he will be depending entirely on you to take on the task. You did mention that it’s an old shop so if he’s the original owner then mechanical watch repair is most likely already a part of the business. Again it’s not too clear to me.
In most cases people starting out who find employment in the field do so with people who can offer support when problems occur. If this isn’t the case and help isn’t available when needed then this endeavor is something you should approach with caution and possibly re-consider.
If all of the above is covered ie: your boss is experienced and can cover for you when needed and he fully understands your experience level then he is well aware of your concerns and has already factored them into the offer made to you.
Also you mentioned that he wants you to clean all pocket watches which may mean that he does the actual repairs if necessary. If that’s the case then he’s most likely an experienced watchmaker and needs you to help him with his repairs so absolutely GO FOR IT!
Most people doing pocket watch repair for the public start out very slowly. An example would be some of the clocksmiths up here on the forum who are now also moving into watch repair. They generally are very careful about telling their prospective customer that they are just starting out with pocket watches, leaving the decision to the customer whether or not to go on with the repair. They also let the customer know if it’s beyond their level of expertise and that it would be best to either find someone else with more experience or to wait a while until they have acquired more experience.
Again I don’t want to discourage you from learning and earning but I certainly don’t want to see you get into trouble or be in a high pressure situation due to a lack of understanding between you and your boss and from your post it isn’t clear to me what the situation is.
If he’s experienced and the above conditions are already covered then you can relax, knowing that he already is aware of your concerns and expects parts to go flying or occasional problems to come up.
I hope these conditions are already in place as this is the perfect dreamed for opportunity! If so then CONGRATULATIONS!
Let us know Phil,
BobOctober 21, 2012 at 4:00 am #52325
I would like to thank those who have responded to my post. I meet with my boss Wednesday before we open the store to discuss this new oppertunity . Taken the advice from you guys I think I will be sure to tell my boss I am a beginger and ask if he will sponsor me in some on going classes. I will also ask to talk to the customer and explain that I am a beginger and I would love to ” see” if I can help them and thank them for the oppertunity and their patients .
Again, thank you friends for your comments and please keep them coming, I have till Wednesday to have my game plan
Thank You, Phil
PS: my boss has no pocket watch experience but has done click repairOctober 21, 2012 at 8:20 am #52326willofiamModerator
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Hey Phil, “make war with the counsel of many” I was coming from the idea of working for myself, and am not afraid to tell people where I am at with working on pocket watches, the response has been great as they appreciate the honesty and are willing to wait and call sometime down the road. Bob, as always, brings up a good point 🙄 !! If your boss was to expect you to do all that comes in the door, then you may end up way over your head. 🙄 Its nice to have advice from others experience, if we listen we can avoid many pitfalls, BUT like usual I can pull out the shovel and make my own hole anyway 🙄 So, good for you in talking it thru regardless of the wage issue, I think it will all benefit you in the end!!! Have a terrific day, WilliamOctober 22, 2012 at 8:35 am #52327Bob TascioneModerator
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I think that’s a good move. I’m betting that you will be able to work out a good plan that will help you avoid a lot of pressure in the future. It’s just no fun once that pressure starts.
Got to have fun!
Enjoy and please let us know what you come up with!
BobOctober 24, 2012 at 12:20 pm #52328
Thank you guys that replied to my new career post and because you wanted to know the out come of my meeting today I’m letting you know….
Ok, I had 30 min’s to talk to my bosses (2). I told them I was new at this and that I have only done 4 pocket watches and 1 wrist watch. I told them I have alot more to learn and I wanted to take more classes. I said I was VERY interested in the opportunity and that I needed some time togather some parts, ( pratice) . I also asked if they would be ok if I took apart some of my pocket watches when things where slow at work. I let them know I was not sure how to work the ultrasonic watch cleaner they had in the shop. These folks where good with all that and said they would be patience with me..
I would love to find a watch maker that would spend some time with me,that would answer questions that I’m sure will come up,but so far every watch person I have met was not willing to share his experiance with me. Looks like I’m on my own here..But still, I just can’t turn this down.
If any of you have any suggesttion for me on how to be friends with someone I can run to now and then,please let me know.Thank you guys for your interest in my new job,old career
PhilOctober 24, 2012 at 1:51 pm #52329david pierceParticipant
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One sugestion might be to go back and read the old posts. There are numerous blogs in there written by people who were confronted by repair problems and worked through them.
DavidOctober 24, 2012 at 3:23 pm #52330
Thank you David. Good suggestion
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