I was born/grew up in: St. John’s Newfoundland Canada
I now live in: St. John’s Newfoundland Canada
I completed my training/education at: College of the North Atlantic
Describe what you do at work.
Before the workday begins we always have toolbox talks. Toolbox talks are very important for your safety and the safety of your co-workers. It gives us the opportunity to discuss hazards, cautions or any events throughout the day that we need to be aware of. Our supervisor then assigns tasks for us to complete. Sometimes these tasks could take days or weeks to complete. If this is the case then after the toolbox meetings you just continue the work you have been assigned. Throughout the day your supervisor will check in on you to see if things are moving along smoothly.
For safety reasons a company usually pairs electricians together. Two heads are better than one, that’s why I found working along side someone else always produced better results. You are able to combine each other’s opinions to create one spectacular job. In this job math is a necessity. I use it for measuring distances, scaling from blueprints, calculating different equations for electrical components. I have to make sure that all electrical equipment is installed according to the Canadian Electrical Code.
When working on a jobsite I often have to consult with other trades like Carpenters, Plumbers, Welders, etc. to make sure my equipment does not interfere with their ability to perform their part of the construction. Sometimes electrical components fail and I have to troubleshoot the situation. This also requires me to use multi-meters and circuit testers. When performing electrical instillations, the customer might want something changed or you may suggest that the original design may not be suitable for the task at hand. For example, the plans might not call for enough lighting or heating for a particular room or you could be asked to move a device multiple times. This type of situation requires you to have strong communication skills. At the end of the day the customer hired you to make sure their needs are met and safety protocol has been followed.
When I was a student I enjoyed:
How does your job affect people’s lives?
When people walk into a room and flick the switch on the wall, the light comes on and most don’t give a second thought to how it happened until something goes wrong. Electricity is wonderful and dangerous all at the same time. My training allows me to provide electrical service to people in need. When you leave a job and the customer is satisfied, you have this over whelming feeling of being able to help someone make his or her home a safe and comfortable place to live.
What motivates you in your career?
I love my career. Everyday I get to help people construct buildings by providing electrical services. Being an electrician also gives me the opportunity to learn other skills from other trades. Everyday is different. Even though the laws of electricity don’t change, the environment does. Buildings differ, problems arise and the people change from job to job. It is a great way to meet new people.
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
Describe your career path to this career.
Honestly, I had no idea what career path I wanted to take. I found that the job I was able to find wasn’t rewarding to me so I set out to make a change. This is when I considered trying a trade. I completed a course called Camp Glow. This is a firefighting program provided by Women in Resource Development (WRDC). This course taught me about group learning, and helped me to build my confidence and leadership skills. Upon completing this program I pursued the electrical trade. The biggest challenges with trades are finding employment. Sometimes you have to travel for work but if you don’t give up on the employment opportunities that are out there you’ll find it very rewarding.
What activities do you like to do outside of work?
I like outdoor activities. In the winter months I enjoy Skating and Snowboarding. In the summer months I really enjoy hiking. I volunteer with The Office to Advance Women Apprentices (OAWA). It is an organization, which helps women find employment within their trade, build their résumés, and break down barriers.
What advice or encouragement would you give others seeking a similar career?
The trades are a very rewarding career choice. At times it can be very challenging but always enjoyable. No matter what you set out to achieve in life you can do it. If you struggle don’t hesitate to ask for help; there will always be someone who can get you the information you need to succeed.
Let’s Talk Science is grateful to Skills Canada Newfoundland and Labrador for connecting us with this individual.