New GG seeking career advice
Page 1 of 1

Author:  manyfaceted [ Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:31 pm ]
Post subject:  New GG seeking career advice

Hello all,

I'm hoping to get some career advice for the long-term, since I haven't worked in this industry before. My initial goal is to get some part-time retail work at a jewelry store, to get some experience. Beyond that, I don't really know what to do. I live in a very rural area — three jewelry stores in my COUNTY, none of them hiring. Just to find the above part-time work, I will be commuting 90 miles each way (which is not a deterrent, I drive that far to go to a decent bookstore, or a shopping mall.) Relocation is not an option right now.

The issue I'm having, is that I'm interested in several things: gemology, jewelry history (particularly ancient and medieval), goldsmithing (I've been making soldered jewelry for over a year now); possibly appraisal, and retail sales. They all seem related, and it seems like a career could be made out of them, but I don't know what that career would be...

My main debate is between gemology/retail and goldsmithing. I started out with my GIA coursework thinking I'd be a gemologist or an appraiser, working in a shop or independently, but at the time I had no idea how much I'd LOVE jewelry-making. Now I don't know what direction to go in. It seems like two separate career paths — you're either behind the counter, or at the bench. Can you do both? I'd like a career where the tasks are varied — not 100% this or 100% that. I don't think I'd want to be cooped up in a back room at a bench all day, every day, but neither would I want to never be at a bench. I've thought of just having goldsmithing be a hobby, but I think my passion for it exceeds a hobby-level interest. (I'd take every jewelry-making class I could get my hands on, if I had the time and the means.)

I don't know how the jewelry history works into all this, except that I'd love to learn old techniques (granulation, etc), and someday produce jewelry that is similar to or inspired by medieval and ancient pieces. (I'd like to make the stuff you can't have, because it's in a museum.) I'd also like to blog or write about jewelry (already something of a side hobby.)

I'm not opposed to appraisal, but I find the certifications and responsibilities highly intimidating.

As for retail, the initial job will help me determine that. I think I might like it; I enjoy working with people, and do that a lot with my current job, but my actual retail experience is limited.

So... that's my long story. :oops: I don't expect a full and complete answer to everything ("here is what to do with your life", lol), but can someone tell me, is there a career or a job title out there for a person like me? :?

Thanks for reading!

PS: I should add, I'm currently in a career I hate, and I'm desperate to transition out of it. Right now, ANYTHING in this industry sounds good to me, and that makes it hard for me to see clearly what I'd like to do the most, or which thing might be best. It doesn't help that there's so many options...

Author:  michael_e [ Mon Apr 21, 2014 6:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New GG seeking career advice

It's almost impossible to know exactly what you really want to do before you do it and so getting even a part time job in a retail jewelry shop will give you a good idea of what that's like. People tend to romanticize things before they actually get into it and then find out that it's not quite what they imagined. For instance in a small rural jewelry shop you might end up spending nearly as much time changing watch batteries as doing anything related to jewelry, (I'm speaking from experience on that).
If you decide to make jewelry and gain a few years of experience, you can then work nearly anywhere, though larger cities will provide more interesting work. Most bench workers that I've know don't want to talk to customers, so if you do and you're good at design, sketching, etc. you can easily talk most employers into "letting" you do custom work, (or even open your own place and do this for yourself). This is where things get fun and interesting. Doing appraisal or gemmology by itself seems to me to be something that would require living in a major population area in order to have a large enough volume of clients to make a living at it. I vote for making stuff if you have any sort of interest in doing that. Also try as hard as you can to stay away from doing watch batteries...horrible little things. ](*,)

Author:  Barbra Voltaire, FGG [ Mon Apr 21, 2014 6:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New GG seeking career advice

Agree on the watch batteries....a can of wormy liability.

A wise man once told me, "If a job was that good, they wouldn't have to pay you to do it."


Author:  manyfaceted [ Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New GG seeking career advice

Michael and Barbra, thanks for your input. :) I don't relish the thought of spending my life changing watch batteries, LOL.

Author:  Qld Barry [ Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New GG seeking career advice

Just go to the Appraisers Corner, in this site, and read LaShawn's answer, to yours, and others questions.
It's hard hitting, and totally relevant to your case.
As for your jewellery making career, just start making whatever you can afford, and see if you can find a market for your art.
Reflect on what LaShawn has to say about personal safety, once word gets out that you have gold, silver, and gems at your home.

Author:  manyfaceted [ Wed Apr 23, 2014 1:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New GG seeking career advice

Qld Barry wrote:
Just go to the Appraisers Corner, in this site, and read LaShawn's answer, to yours, and others questions.

Is this the one you mean? :? ... 10&t=19609

Author:  Qld Barry [ Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New GG seeking career advice

That's it!

Page 1 of 1 All times are UTC - 4 hours
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group