Hey everyone, I've been 16 years old for a few months now and I just got a car last week. I need to find a way to pay for gas and whatever else I might need (or want), and I figured it's time to get my first job.

I've got my eyes set on a local vintage motorcycle repair/restoration shop. Maybe intern there or something? I love motorcycles, but my parents won't let me buy one, so I figured I could learn to fix them up and do that through high school.

I know, who'd wanna hire a kid who knows nothing about motorcycles, to work in a motorcycle shop? Well, I'd like to at least try. The worst he could say is no...

How would I go about contacting this guy? Would an email be sufficient, should I call, or should I just waltz into the garage and ask him in person? Should I take a crash course in the basics of motorcycle repair, beforehand (which I'll probably do anyways)? What do you guys think would be the best way to go about this?

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If I were in your position I'd get to know what I'm dealing with first so take that crash course in motorcycle repair. You already have no experience so it'll make him much less inclined to hire you if you know barely anything as well!

After you've learnt a bit I say you go and talk to him in person, maybe offer to do a free trial day/week so he can see your ability and you can try to prove you really want the job and show an interest by working for free.

Don't be disheartened by the fact you have no experience though, I've been in the same boat and it is very possible to get the work you want, best of luck to you and let me know how you get on!

I agree with Mr Longden, also stress your willingness to learn an perhaps an aptitude towards picking up on things quick. Tell him yer willing to start out sweepin floors n cleanin up, that sorta work.

This

start out sweepin floors n cleanin up, that sorta work.

Is how my uncle started at a machine shop when he was a kid. Or is it young man?

Prior to being drafted during the Vietnam war so prior to 1968. Just don't expect $20 an hour, paid time off (or unpaid time off), or any other benefits.

Thanks guys! Grant, great advice! 

I have had a similar desire to work in stone masonry.

Good or bad my plan is simply to offer to work/learn for one or two weeks for free and impress them with my motivation and ability to lift heavy things.  Even if they do not want me at the end I would know more and be able to use what I learned on my own projects. 

As an employer I have often appreciated motivation and desire to learn over a resume that claims that they know something. 

The worst he could say is no...

.... Oh how I hate this statement.

Anyway.

You want to send a bike mechanic an email?  Try this:

Walk in to the shop and say, "I want to work for you.  I want to learn."  He'll give you a lot of shit.  I mean a lot of shit.  If you're lucky, the best thing he'll say is "no".  Stand by  your statement.  You want to work for him, you want to learn.  He'll tell you to fuck off.  Go away before you get hit in the head with a wrench.  Return the next day.  He won't give you a job.  Grab the broom out of the corner and sweep.  Return the next day and sweep again.  And the next.  After weeks of sweeping the floor for no pay he will tell you to grab a 1/2" box wrench out of the cabinet.  You better fucking know what it is.  When you deliver the wrench, if he tells you to look, if he begins speaking as he works, if he does not immediately shoo you away, you are in.

Thanks again, guys. I'll probably stop by the shop tomorrow after school (they aren't open on Mondays) and put this advice to practice.

Well gents... The expected happened, I got rejected. He said had I come to him a month earlier he would've gladly taken me in. But he got in a motorcycle accident so he was working from home, and blah blah blah...

I then thought since I was out and about I'd try one more place. A classic car restoration garage. They told me unless I have experience in body work or painting, the didn't need me.

I'm out of ideas. I don't really want to settle for a bag-boy at a grocery store. I'd prefer something a bit more... blue-collar? Maybe that's not the right word. Something that requires me to roll up my sleeves and get my hands dirty. Any ideas?

Unlucky there Caleb, did you offer to work for free, just for the experience?

Do you also plan to chase him up about it, although he said no this time, he also said if you had came a month earlier he'd have taken you in. So make yourself known by popping in every week or so and just refreshing his memory.

Just come in and ask "Anything I can do? Sweep the floors or something?". He may just be a man short that day and the shop needs tidying up then if you show a positive attitude he may tell you to come back the next day/week.

Don't give up on him because he said no once, if you want this job it sure as sh*t isn't going to just fall in your lap. 

Way I would pursue this would be to make myself known to him, learn what he does in all my spare time and offer to do as much running around/manual tasks as possible for him when I stop by because those low end jobs are time consuming but make worlds of difference for the business, like keeping the workshop clean.

Best of luck again!

construction

I hadn't thought of that. My Dad has quite a few connections, he used to own a construction company. I'll see what I can do with that!

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