Researching First Company - Need Advice

Topic 28258 | Page 1

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Alaska's Comment
member avatar

Hello everyone,

I currently live in the middle of nowhere, not a lot of good jobs or really anything for that matter. I've been researching various companies for a long time but I just wanted to hopefully get a little advice.

What kind of job gaps are usually considered acceptable by companies? I've had quite a few ranging from personal health issues, specifically an appendix that went unnoticed for a couple of years that caused me all kinds of problems, taking care of my father when his health took a turn for quite some time, followed by jumping jobs for better paying opportunities in a town with more cattle than people. I understand that some of these, especially the job jumping can be considered high risk, but being in such a small place I had to take better opportunities as they arose or settle for making minimum wage. My newest job gap is for a company doing fire operations and come October, I'll be laid off again.

What would be the best way to try and show companies I'm considering applying to that I'm not as high risk as it may appear when it comes to employment gaps? My boss is very encouraging when it comes to getting my CDL due to the things I'll not only be able to do with it related to fire, but just being able to have a better opportunity than he can provide. I've got great references from him, my regional manager, as well as some of the previous leads that I've worked under. I love fire, especially the side that I work, but I want something long term, year-round. I just feel as though my prior work history might hold me back in the long run even though I've had justified reasons to do so, be it my father, or actually getting enough hours to make ends meet.

I totally understand why they look at employment history, I just want to know how I may if possible, increase my chances of showing them that I'm not an employment risk, mainly a risk due to not having my CDL. Aside from my employment history, I have a spotless driving record, criminal record is the same, my health issues are 100% sorted out (I even kicked cigarettes!), my father is back in a good place with his health and has more resources now for care should he get sick. The only thing right this very moment holding me back is the fact that I have a prior obligation to fire until October, while it's not under contract I'm just not alright with leaving it early. I work on the retardant side of aviation operations in a place that finding any staff is hard due to federal restrictions on something recently legalized in my state running on the bare minimums for staffing as it is. I couldn't morally just leave with or without notice knowing that I'm 100% needed. That's why I'm going to take my time during fire season researching whenever possible on things I can do to hopefully increase my chances of getting on with a good company when I go to start applying come the beginning of October.

Thank you for your time and I really look forward to any words of advice you may have for me. Should things blow up all at once with my current job it may be a couple of days before I can respond.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Welcome to the forum. First of all thank you for your service.

Living in rural areas present challenges. With your employment history all you can do is be accurate on applications and state your reason for leaving. Some companies may pass on you, but others will be willing to give you a shot.

Seasonal work in the fire service will say alot on its own. As a small employeer I look at the whole picture of a person to give me an idea of their character and commitment.

Changing jobs to better yourself is far different than just jumping around willy nilly. Gaps will have to be identified and the reason why. Caring for a ill father is pretty understandable. You will probably just need a few letters from people familiar with what your situation was to verify it.

Another factor is what amount of freight does company x have to get you home?? If your in a very remote area that may be your biggest challenge.

Stay safe out there and I wish you the best in your search. Keep is posted how it goes.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

I'd recommend using this application to Apply For Paid CDL Training. Fill out 1 application and it will send your information to numerous carriers. You will likely hear some companies tell you no but it may not be due to the work history. After you have a couple offers start comparing them to see which offer fits you best in regards to hometime, rider/pet policies or any other criteria thats important to you. What state do you reside?

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Alaska's Comment
member avatar

Thank you so much for the replies.

What kind of letters would you recommend? Like, should they be notarized with a brief explanation?

I'm at a point where I just want to get started with something longer term than seasonal firefighting, thankfully my family has gotten used to me being gone for long periods of time, they understand it sucks but in order to keep things going in a small town like this, it's what I've gotta do and they're very grateful for that, well, except for the dog of course. I wouldn't mind having a pet/rider policy but it definitely isn't a deal-breaker. The way we look at it is, with my CDL they would be able to hear from me more often and see them more often than I sometimes get to with fire and we *hopefully* wouldn't be so worried about keeping things afloat in the process since I wouldn't be restricted by the season.

I plan on using the application process here more towards the mid/end of the season so I don't get called out on a fire and totally miss the opportunity. Just trying to make sure I do some research on companies and figure out what I can do to give myself better chances. Trying to stay away from the reviews since it seems like all of the disgruntled ex-employees are the ones leaving reviews and a few happy employees here and there. I also can't exactly justify doing an application now and then wasting a recruiter's time when I may not be able to respond for a length of time.

As long as I'm able to avoid teams other than during training, I'll be happy. I honestly hope its just as much of a learning experience as fire has been. Also, just to answer Robs question, I reside in Oregon.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
PJ's Comment
member avatar

When I had to get letters the company wanted 3 and notorized. I don’t know if that is a standard or not, but the company will tell you what they need.

I’m not familiar with the left coast and what is available out there. Sending the app from this site when you are ready will send it to many companies at once and the interested ones will contact you. You should be ready to go within 30 days once you do apply.

Your smart to stay away from the internet reviews. You see them for what they are.

Keep us updated how it goes.

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