Job Hunting: Adapting to the Need for Skills in Disaster Recovery

If you went to school to train for a career in an industry that is becoming obsolete, what do you do? In my line of business, which is helping entrepreneurs launch their business start ups, I see that the people willing to work with the trends in consumer demands are the ones that make it. The same thing goes for job hunting.

If I had to do something different right now, I would consider getting into the water damage restoration business. If you’ve been watching the news, you’ve seen the devastation that occurs after a home or business is flooded. I recently learned there is an entire industry devoted to cleaning up after a flood. Carpet cleaning technicians are in high demand at the moment, and it’s not because people have more pets than ever in the house leaving a mess on the floors.

What does a carpet cleaning technician do?

If you were going to apply for a job as a carpet cleaning technician you would need to attend a special course approved by the IICRC. There are certified schools that teach the program, because it involves more than going into a home with a carpet steamer and sucking up dirt.

You must have a practical knowledge of the different types of fibers used to manufacture carpets, and how these are affected by various chemicals for cleaning. You’ll be required to know how to safely handle chemicals. You need to be in good physical condition because you’ll be hauling heavy equipment and hosed up and down stairs in homes and commercial buildings.

You’ll also need to have good “people” skills because you’ll be working directly with home and business owners. Customer service and sales skills are essential. Depending on where you get hired, you may be expected to “upsell” or add other products and services to the initial order while you are in the “field.” Where there has been flooding and you are there to help restore a home to live-able conditions, you’ll require a working knowledge of water damage and removing mold and mildew.

It is unfortunate that disasters occur, but they do create opportunities for people and businesses that provide emergency services. You don’t have to look too far these days to see the evidence in the news of the after effects of hurricanes, tropical storms and floods. If you have been laid off your job, you may consider being trained for employment in the service industries that help people and businesses get back to normal after natural calamities occur.

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