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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Career Progression

It seems there is a natural progression to everyone's career and the electrical field is no different. We all start out as helpers and work our way up. Hopefully we pass the journeyman's exam, then on to the master's. Some will choose management in an established company while others will attempt a shot at ownership. But there are those who are quite content to be mechanics. These guys wear their tools everyday building America.  They continue on into their sixties twisting joints and bending pipe. Is it the satisfaction of doing a day's work for a day's pay or the fear they can't handle management responsibilities or fear their co-workers will no longer be friends with them that keeps them stalled out? Maybe they don't want to wear business attire or cut their hair in a more appropriate style. 

Are these the workers that companies want? They can't keep up with the younger guys, their break time and lunch time seem to stretch out more and more. However they do offer an enormous amount of knowledge they can pass along. How do they affect the bottom line? 

It's my opinion they become a drain on the company. Good electricians know 90% of what they are going to learn in the first 15 years, after that they will pick up a few things here and there to stay up with code or current with technology. These younger veterans are quite capable of passing along this information to the helpers. Most guys in their 50's and 60's are just too slow to be profitable. Their "don't hurry" attitude is infectious too. Everyone starts to get into the relaxed flow and production drops off. 

Construction is a hard life and ranks in the top ten most dangerous professions. If we don't set goals and achieve them, then we become a burden. Continue to learn the latest changes to tools, materials, methods and code. Strive to become a leader. Those with ambition tend to be better electricians and therefore more valuable to the company. Remember, in the rat race of life it is survival of the fittest.