View Full Version : Opinions please: State job or family business

11-19-2008, 09:36 PM
Ok guy well hereís the deal. Iím 19 and have been working for Penndot since Oct 1st. Iím not considered a full timer but I work full time hours. I have to do this for about 6 months, usually right after winter is over they hire the ones they want to keep full time. So anyway thereís probably a pretty good chance Iíll get offered one of the full time spots. Canít say 100% but I think its pretty good chance.

But the thing is dirt is in my blood. Id be the 3rd generation and thatís what I want to do but with the way things are and my dad doesnít have much work lined up it makes me wonder. Would I be better off taking the state job with a pay thatís there every 2 weeks and benefits and pension or do what do the excavating and work with my dad. He seems to want me to go the state route. I donít know if he doesnít think I can handle the business or what. But I donít want to end up putting say 15 yrs in with the state then go and decide to go back to the dirt because id be halfway done with the state and could retire. Other wise I would only get a partial pension. Everyone iv talked to tells me to do the state since im young and can retire young but im just not sure. I know this is all about what make me happy and its my decision but I just wanted to hear what you guys have to say about it.


Dirt Digger2
11-19-2008, 09:40 PM
for what its worth.....i have known many guys that worked for PENNDOT here in the eastern part of the state and have never heard a single good thing

they have truck drivers holding flags, rookies "operating" equipment, guys that just get hired ranked above 10 years, etc...

but thats just what i have been told....along with the fact i bet it gets boring standing there with 5 other guys watching 1 person scrape a dead raccoon off the road

Junior M
11-19-2008, 09:44 PM
From seeing the state work here and all the bull crap they go through, and then just seeing how crappy they do work, and of course how little they do. I couldnt stand to work for them, just not my kind of thing, I hate standing around...

11-19-2008, 09:46 PM
as one of the other employees told me. "its pretty much a cartoon just with new characters" there are a lot of bad things you hear..

but it is a guaranteed job.

this job does make me feel lazy though. after work i go down to our shop even if its just to sweep up the shop or clean windows in the machines. i just need to do something.

11-19-2008, 09:51 PM
i don't know anything about penndot but it kind of reminds me of gravel rats threads. he has a gov't job instead of the dirt work. read a few of his threads and decide if the state job is still for you. there are many good sides to retiring early. it would take a lot of pressure off when starting your second career of dirt work.
good luck,

Junior M
11-19-2008, 09:52 PM
Why dont you stick with this and see how it goes through winter and by next spring see where dad is at with work, and if he has the work to give you a guaranteed job go with him if he doesnt then I guess go with the state job..

11-19-2008, 10:01 PM
I'd say take it for now and there's nothing stopping you from leaving. I have the opportunity to retire at 53 (30 years from now, haha) but it's earlier than most. That's still young enough to then take over my excavation business full time...that is if I don't decide to that before I retire. Why wouldn't you be able to do side jobs with your dad when it comes up?

11-19-2008, 10:01 PM
a pension is nice but you can set up a roth ira and retire a millionaire without letting the state suck the life out of you. Do what makes you happy and you will do a good job and not have any regrets later in life..

11-19-2008, 10:08 PM
well im definatly staying there till spring when they decide who there gonna keep and who there gonna lay off.

and as far as my dad giving me a guaranteed job thats not gonna happen. he doenst even work a full week that often anymore. hes starting to slow down now and i want to go full speed ahead lol.

11-19-2008, 10:12 PM
Well you might have to sacrifice working for someone or doing something you won't like 100% to eventually get to where you want. You're 19, that's a lot of wiggle room in life to move around between jobs. I did some stupid stuff, things that I wasn't totally interested in to get to where I am now. Like I said, I'd stay with the State, when you're dad has some jobs, help him out...and go from there. Maybe look into something else that would be more interesting than the State. Maybe another large busy excavation company.

RockSet N' Grade
11-19-2008, 10:13 PM
The state job may make alot of sense. Here is my take: take the state job and learn who the "higher-ups" are who let out the contracts to private sub contractors. Find out as much information as you can about that process and meet as many of those people as you can.......find out and learn about bonding, what jobs are coming up, what niche markets they are looking for subs to fill..........and feed this information to your dad or someone who does that kind of work. If you can help them get state or govt. contracts through the use of your job, you could easily transfer out and work with your dad or whoever. Look at it this way, you would be paid to do research and during the mean time it would be a steady paycheck until the other things "click". You don't have to sign on for life, but it may be a good thang for the time being....

Junior M
11-19-2008, 10:19 PM
There's not a even a chance of a steady paycheck come spring?

11-19-2008, 10:31 PM
If you want to be rich.... forget it.

RockSet N' Grade
11-19-2008, 11:48 PM
Lawnworks......that is an assinine statement with no real meat behind it. I know 3 teachers who are multi-millionaires off a teacher's salary. There is a chauffeur who made below average wages who became a multi-millionaire by following Rockefeller's formula for success. It does not matter how much you make or what you decide to do for a living that determines whether you are "rich monetarily" or not.

11-20-2008, 12:10 AM
It sounds like there's really no decision to be made now............you have work with the state and don't really have work with your dad. Earn a paycheck with the state. I don't think you have to decide on retirement just yet. The experience will no doubt help you out later in life, even if you only learn that you don't want to make a career working for the state. For now, make the best of it and give it a fair shake (and don't burn any bridges). That excess youthful energy you have now will fade away in about 25 years! Good luck.

Gravel Rat
11-20-2008, 12:16 AM
Ride the job out till spring then decide. A steady paycheck is better than no paycheck especially through the winter time.

I'am not too crazy about my job but I'am not stupid and quit a steady job when other people are getting laid off. Come december to january I'am working while a excavator operator or dump truck driver has lost their job and unsure if they will get it back. It really sucks that you can't afford to buy X-mas presents for your familly because your un-employed and broke.

11-20-2008, 02:06 AM
I'd hang tight with the state job for the time being. Nothing is stopping you from quitting later on down the road if it sucks. You know what you're capable of with the dirt biz, you can always go back to it down the road if you like. If you go the dirt route now, you may not have a shot at the state job again. Try something a little different, see if you like it, and if you don't just straight bail out and go back to what you know you'll like.

11-20-2008, 05:40 AM
go with the state put your time in

11-20-2008, 07:44 AM
Lawnworks......that is an assinine statement with no real meat behind it. I know 3 teachers who are multi-millionaires off a teacher's salary. There is a chauffeur who made below average wages who became a multi-millionaire by following Rockefeller's formula for success. It does not matter how much you make or what you decide to do for a living that determines whether you are "rich monetarily" or not.

It is not an assanine statement. Put it this way... you have a much better chance of making more money working for yourself than working for the gov't. Small business owners are the majority of America's millionaires... you cannot say the same for teachers or chauffeurs. I see what you are saying about being wise with your money, but the amount you can save and invest has a direct correlation with how much money you make... which for the state will not be much.

RockSet N' Grade
11-20-2008, 08:54 AM
Ok Lawnworks.......gotcha. Printed on a page is so two dimensional, it often does not represent to one as it does another. Your point is well taken....being in business for yourself puts your life in your hands directly vs. a steady check working for someone else.