The Turning Point

There are moments in my life that I know, looking back, were turning points for me. Either I was at a crossroads, or in some cases feeling like I was at a dead end, and needed to figure out a way to forge ahead. The wake of some of these turning points rippled through a decade or more of knowing people, seeing places and experiencing things that I never would have otherwise.

They can all be traced back to one decision.

One major turning point in my life happened when I was working as a sales representative, almost 4 years into the job. I felt I had made the position as much as I could over my time with the company, including changing locations and helping bring things up to speed. I was beginning to get the itch to do something new, and knew I wanted to further my education in some way. I needed to decide if I wanted to continue on the same track and look at marketing or business school. Or, change things entirely.

The question was answered for me when a clue landed on my lap.

A digital shot clock that I had recently sold to a customer came back shortly after as the on/off switch had been broken. I called the supplier, and that was something he’d be able to fix. The biggest delay was the travel time. The clock would have to ship from Ontario to BC, get fixed and be sent back. With shipping time, we were looking at a three week turnaround.

Curious, I opened the clock and took a look at the innards. I’d covered some basic electrical in the Construction Technology course I took in high school, and this was a straightforward swap. I called the supplier back, and told him to ship me the switch instead, and I would fix it. He walked me through a couple details over the phone, and sent the replacement part out ASAP.

It was in my Mum’s kitchen, soldering the wires to the contacts of the new switch when I had my revelation: this is it! This is what I get excited about!

It wasn’t more than a few months later, when I was attending Mohawk College, taking their Mechanical Techniques: Electrical Monitoring & Systems course. I am now a fourth year electrical apprentice, and I will be licensed by the end of this year. In that time, I have met a lot of interesting people, attended talks and dinners for Women in Trades, posted on the Mohawk College Alumni blog, and generally advocate not just for women, but all people to explore trades careers.

What decisions in your life have had such a ripple effect? What opportunities presented or self-made could be your turning moment? Don’t wait, the best time is now.

Hollie CookHollie Cook
– Mechanical Techniques – Electrical Monitoring & Systems, 2014

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