When we’re kids there is no barrier to our freedom when we’re playing and exploring. This goes the same for the thoughts around what we want to do “when we grow up.” As the years go on, unknown circumstances hit us and they knock us off of a path. And, sometimes, we’re forced to do a particular path just the same. And, other times the path chooses us and fits so well that we keep on riding it.
Per our previous post, part one in this entrepreneurial series (you can read that here), when people declare that they “don’t want to go to college," these words can be very difficult to hear in most households. College and conventional university paths have been a “norm” so hearing anything other than these words at the end of a kid’s high school journey can push all the buttons.
We’d like to help people explore the trade paths. Bring more awareness to this especially now that we know what can survive when the world is “crumbling” (e.g.: the construction industry is known as “essential” at this time). People will always need to build and create, and the construction industry as an entire trade supports this human need.
Therefore, in these times, if you’re seeking something else, then now’s the time to possibly explore this industry (construction and contracting industry with all its varying working parts from roofs, to architectural design, to electricians, and so much more).
We don’t always intentionally choose the paths we walk, but rather the path chooses us.
Kevin Simpson, our GM/VP, says, “Honestly, I did not choose a path in construction, it chose me. I am a 3rd generation electrician and grew up around the construction industry, but I was planning on taking a different path. After High School I started working full time in the electrical field and I was attending the local junior college at night.”
Building things, creating things with your hands, envisioning things to build with the mind, there are so many ways to go in the industry that it’s truly endless in choosing a path within it.
And, let’s talk about costs. We touched on this in our last article, but the costs of the more traditional path (4-year college/university) are skyrocketing.
“My college tuition and books were going up every semester but so was my paycheck! Working in the electrical field I was earning while I was learning and I didn’t have to pay for tuition or books!” - Kevin Simpson
Here are 3 tips to start finding your own path in the construction industry, whether it’s in the electrical realm or not:
- Start taking stock of what you REALLY like. Start identifying if you’re a “maker” and want to be “out there” rather than behind a desk. Do you want to use your hands and BUILD and CREATE? Do you get bored easily when you’re stuck in an office atmosphere (you could also look at the way you liked the classroom)? These are some key questions to start asking.
- Are you a hard worker and want to put that hard work to the test? If you’re truly a hard worker, dedicated, and loyal, you could find a sweet spot in this industry. The construction industry has a labor shortage. It remains a massive problem in hiring and it’s said that over 80% of contractors that own companies in the industry are reporting they can’t find the skilled workers that they need (read more here on the Construction Productivity Blog).
- An honest evaluation of finances is important as well. Many that take on school loan debt do so and don’t often realize how long it will stick around. It can take a LONG time to pay off school loans. If you’re not ready for that type of debt, it would be very advantageous to look at a trade.
Per Kevin, “After about 2 years of struggling to work full time and go to college, I realized that, like my family before me, I had a knack for the electrical field. By that time, I was already starting to make enough money to live comfortably and I decided to dedicate my efforts to electrical construction. I would never say that I wasted the time that I did spend in college, and the way things are today, many of my friends struggle with college debt and job security!”
It’s always about choices and really evaluating options. In the third part in this series, we’re going to zero in on the path of the Electrical Journeyman to help you learn more.