New Day, New Lesson

magnify glassThere are many aspects of my job that involve skills other than that surrounding electrical knowledge. In many cases, when I go to a service call, I wear the hat of a detective.

“What was going on when you started having problems? How long has this been going on for? Can you show me what you had plugged in and turned on when this happened?”

Part of fixing the problem is finding one. But what do you do when there is no problem to find? Continue Reading

It’s All A Learning Experience

lightbulbIn the next stage of my apprenticeship, I’ve made the move to being the person who answers calls and questions versus being the one who asks. Don’t get me wrong, I still ask questions of my boss and colleagues, but I’m now responsible for newer apprentices. How you help shape an apprentice when they’re starting out can impact them throughout the rest of their training and career.

I’ve learned there are a lot of teachable moments, show and tell, encouragement and at times constructive criticism. For example if I have to repeat the same instructions for the third time, something is wrong here. There are days I feel like a crisis counselor, talking someone down when they’re mad about a job or co-worker, but still recognizing personalities will come into play in every workplace. Continue Reading

I’m Smart Enough For The Trades

female electricianI’m amazed by how little the average person knows about the trades industry.  And how could they know? In my experience, our educational culture pushes university and college as education options. Trades being for those not smart enough for college or university is a harsh stigma that I’ve witnessed. This misconception frustrates me.

I’ve heard, “you’re so smart, why did you get into the trades instead of going to university?” Trades school is a condensed set number of weeks where you’re expected to retain a lot of information. The theory component is just as important as the physical work. You have to stay on top of the assignments, and tests. There is no slacking your way through. You either know it or you don’t. Continue Reading