In 250 Words: Working in the Trades

In the 250 Words series, one question is posed to the RU Student Life bloggers, who each provide their own perspective. 

Question 9: If you worked a trade (carpentry, baking, cobbler, etc.) what would it be and why?

Janine: Woven Threads to Tell a Story

When I was young, I’d always work with yarn or threads, from making friendship bracelets to crocheting a thick scarf for my friends. So, it comes as no surprise that the first thing that came to my mind was working in a rug-making factory. A product that’s made with a number of people and by hand creates a higher value: it makes it that much more special.

It’s fascinating to see the amount of detail put into rugs and since they’re homemade, no two rugs are ever the same, making each one is unique. It’s almost like the rug tells a story with the different characters and colours it’s made up of.

I’m Armenian and in our family once you invest in a carpet, it stays with the family for decades. It’s common in an Armenian household to have the traditional middle-eastern rugs throughout a home. No matter how much we grow up and families develop, the rug stays with us. It’s a reminder to stay grounded to our roots and remember where we came from.

It’s incredible to see how one rug can hold so much meaning and I’d love to be a part of that.

Zahra: Cooking and Career Day

It’s really a shame that trade work gets a bad rep in society. It’s a skill. Tangible talent is what does the real work.

My first option before starting university was to go to college and complete a diploma to be a cook. For a long time, I had “amazing knife skills” written on my resume… I did co-op at the Sheraton Hotel for a semester in grade eleven and was extremely happy with my experience to be able to slice two dozen mushrooms in under a minute. There is also a strange satisfaction in feeding people good food; weird, because it does not involve feeding yourself. I not only learned about new ingredients, but I thoroughly enjoyed creating under pressure and wearing the big white hat. I should also add that I won at the Career Day Fair, also because I bribed people with cookies to vote for me but that’s a story for a different blog.

In conclusion, like the stereotypical teenager, I took up a job at McDonalds and my relationship with food just has not been the same ever since.

Jess: Pen to Paper

I winced when I saw the word trade, not because I don’t appreciate the value of trades, but because working with my hands is not my idea of a good time so I typically avoid doing anything of the sort. I hated shop class, have no interest in electronics, and find basic car and bicycle maintenance so tedious that I’d rather leave it to someone else, even if it costs me money. My first thought was a chef, but I don’t think I’d be very happy as one. I’m a good cook, but unless the meal prep is occurring with someone else and over a glass or two of wine, I have no interest in labouring over anything more complex than baked chicken and boiled vegetables. Sometimes I’ll get ambitious and buy a bunch of ingredients for a soup or something, but my enthusiasm usually wears off quickly and I’ll let the stuff sit in the fridge until it rots.

If I had to choose a trade, it’d be as an interior decorator. I have a pretty good eye for interiors and am always rearranging furniture (much to the dismay of the people I live with). I used to watch hours of home-improvement television when I was younger and don’t mind getting my hands dirty when it comes to taking out a wall or putting on a fresh coat of paint. In the end, though, words are my trade and I prefer to keep it that way.


Are you studying a trade? Do you have a dream trade? Let us know @RUStudentLife or send us an email at or FB message of your own 250 Words.

Read more 250 Words questions and responses here.