- Ensure you know the hazardous energy associated with your equipment prior to doing any work on it.
- Ensure you know all the energy that could affect the task (electric, gravity, water, pneumatic, hydraulic, steam, etc.)
- Ensure you control the accidental release of the energy prior to working on the equipment through lockout,
tag out or alternative measures identified for your specific equipment.
- Test the energy after you believe it to be isolated . This is one of the most overlooked steps and probably the
most important. Employees may think they have isolated the energy at the source, but it isn’t for one reason or another.
- Lock out when possible. Tag out devices are warning devices and are easier to remove .
- Have written procedures for controlling hazardous energy sources.
- Do Not reach into moving equipment, In the blink of an eye you could have a life changing injury.
- Do Not remove a lock or tag unless you were the authorized installer of that lock or tag.
What does is take keep a job as an electrician, electrical trainee, or an electrician apprentice and make a rewarding well compensated career in the electrical industry? After being an electrical contractor for close to thirty years, I am always amazed at the missed opportunities in the electrical construction industry between the electrical contractor, foreman, and the electricians. I think much of this can be attributed to the lack of communication and mentoring in our industry. In all fairness, part of this can be attributed to the recession and the competitive atmosphere in the electrical industry. Fast paced projects and extremely competitive pricing can put mentoring, communication and training on the back burner. Not all of the blame can be placed on the electrical contractor and their foreman. Some burden can be placed on the electrician and part of Labor Resource Solutions’ mission is to help counsel and mentor the electrician, trainee and apprentice. The electrician has to understand how busy a contractor can be, and what it takes to secure a job in the electrical field.
Because an electrical contractor can be so busy chasing and managing electrical jobs and projects it is easy for an electrician to feel lost, unnoticed and under appreciated. I can tell you from experience the hard working dependable electrician trainees and apprentices do not go unnoticed. It also amazes me how many electricians whether a journeyman, trainee or apprentice assumes there is no career path or future with an electrical contractor and that a layoff after one job is the norm. The goal should be to transfer to another job with the same electrical contractor, leading to raises and promotions without having to leave. Here are some tips and observations that I believe will help the electrician secure a job that will allow for long term employment with promotions and raises.
To quote from the old T.V. series Kung Fu; “Patience Grasshopper”. As an electrical contractor, a couple of my biggest turn offs are electricians who don’t honor the employment terms, and electricians who want to negotiate raises after just a couple weeks. Conversely, nothing makes my heart soar more than a modest electrician who honors his commitment and diligently performs his job. Over the years I have learned to recognize these electricians and reward them with timely raises and promotions. I feel good when I can present an unsolicited raise or promotion to an electrical trainee or apprentice. I also think any quality electrical contractor does not have an issue with an electrician asking for a raise in a timely and professional manner.
But an electrician should wait six months before asking for a review or raise unless other arrangements were previously agreed to. An agreement like this is common when an electrician is hired, and to me is perfectly acceptable. An electrical trainee or apprentice may be able to ask for a review or raise in three months especially at the early entry stages of their careers.
There is proper way to ask for a raise, we suggest asking your supervisor for a review instead of directly asking for more money. Don’t worry, the electrical contractor will know what it is you are looking for. A little tact goes a long way. Find out who the proper supervisor is and contact that person professionally. A phone call is appropriate but an email is probably your best bet; it documents your request and it also gives the supervisor an opportunity to consider your request at his convenience, a phone call doesn’t always allow that. Give the electrical contractor time to respond. If you don’t hear anything within a week or two, another email or call would be appropriate. Texting is not recommended unless the electrical contractor is an avid texter.
Once a review is granted ask about your performance and be receptive to criticism before asking for a raise. Be polite, don’t dominate the conversation. Regardless of the result of your review a follow up email thanking the contractor for the review should be sent within a week. Be sure to keep Labor Resource Solutions informed and updated, copy us on the email correspondence so that we can document it for you as well.
At some point it may be necessary for the electrical contractor to leave the employment of an electrical contractor in order to advance his career. Remember, don’t burn bridges! The electrical construction industry is smaller than you think. It may not seem like it to the electrician but positive references and continuous employment histories are one of the first things the electrical contractor looks at when hiring for a job opening.
If you have decided to leave, give as much notice as possible, two weeks is the norm, but one week may suffice. Again, an email to the appropriate supervisor and cc: to Labor Resource Solutiopns is the preferred method. If you don’t get a response with in a 24 hour period a follow up phone call is recommended to confirm your notice was received. Be sure to thank the electrical contractor for your employment, it is not necessary to cite specific reasons or problems with the company or personnel within the company as to why you are leaving.
Call Labor Resource Solutions if you have questions or need direction, we are here to help.
How to get a job with a quality electrical contractor as a journeyman electrician, electrical trainee or electrician apprentice in Southern California
The first thing you need to do is contact Labor Resource Solutions and take advantage of the services we have to offer, including exposure to many Southern California Electrical Contractors looking to fill jobs with qualified dependable electricians, trainees and apprentices. Labor Resource Solutions doesn’t cost you anything and saves your time and gas not having to drive throughout Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties filling out applications and taking tests. Check out our web site to see all the advantages Labor Resource Solutions can offer the electrician.
Let’s get started with some tips on getting a job and finding long term employment.
First, be on time! It sounds obvious, but it needs to be said. Electrical Contractors are very busy and need to evaluate prospective electricians quickly. One of the simplest indicators is punctuality. No matter whether you are applying for employment as a foreman, journeyman trainee or apprentice, be on time! Being late can result in immediate elimination for consideration.
Second, don’t be a “no show” and don’t reschedule unless absolutely necessary. As a contractor I cannot tell you how many cars seem to break down the first day of work! Electrical contractors have all heard that excuse too many times. Being a “no show” almost guarantees your employment will be short lived. Be sure when you make a commitment there are no reasons that will make you a “no show”. But if an emergency truly does happen, call the electrical contractor as soon as you know. Call early, leave messages, and remember to call Labor Resource Solutions so we can document your call.
Labor Resource Solutions rates your employment performance; this includes the initial hiring process. “No shows” are a sure way to lower your dispatch rating for future jobs.
Third, dress appropriately and be prepared. While showing a lot of initiative, dressing in a business suit is not necessary for an electrical construction interview, but dressing “work ready” is. Clean pants, work boots and a collared shirt is what most Southern California Electrical Contractors expect to see when filling a job. T shirts and shirts with derogatory remarks should be avoided. Hats, shorts and flip-flops are not going to give the first impression an electrician wants to give when answering a help wanted ad. In addition bring what you need: a pen, social security card, drivers license, certifications, as well as resume information and job history information. Have the address and contact person information as well. Remember the electrical contractor is looking for clues as to what type of electrician the applicant will be. Not having these items conveys that you do not know how to plan in advance. Labor Resource Solutions can help you by providing the information you need.
Fourth, communicate effectively. Don’t dominate the conversation; don’t badmouth previous contractors or employers. Answer questions honestly and don’t be too general. If asked what kind of electrical work have you preformed? Do not answer “I’ve done it all!” A more appropriate answer might be “I have five years of tenant improvement, and two years of industrial electrical maintenance work”.
Ask about some of the specifics of the job and the company. You will want to confirm things like how far you will be driving and what type of work the job will entail. In this way, you will have the information you need to agree on a wage, and not have to renegotiate because you did not understand the requirements. It is ok to ask the electrical contractor when he will be making a decision.
Fifth, thank the contractor at the end of the interview. Sending an email thanking the electrical contractor for the opportunity is recommended, but not required. Keep Labor Resource Solutions informed, so that we can help position you as well.
Sixth, be sure when you make a commitment. Backing out of a job that meets all the parameters you agreed to before being dispatched will affect your dispatch rating as well as burning a bridge with a contractor. It is your right to determine how far you are willing to drive and what type of work you will be required to perform for a certain wage, but do this before you commit to a job.
Lastly, be wary of electrical contractors promising you higher wages to hire you away or keep you from leaving. If a contractor is desperate to finish a project he may overpay electricians and promise long term employment just until completion, and then lay off the electricians two weeks later when the job is finished. Also, consider your future with an electrical contractor who only gives you a raise once you give notice. Look for contractors who are willing to grant reviews and raises without the electrician having to threaten to leave.
Be positive and good luck. Don’t forget Labor Resource Solutions is here to help. Our goal is to help you build a successful career as an electrician in Southern California.
How LRS helps the career of Electricians, Electrical Trainees, and Electrical Apprentices in the Southern California construction workplace.
Labor Resource Solutions can help your career as an electrician, electrical trainee, or electrical apprentice. Unlike temporary agencies, Labor Resources can be your pathway to long term employment as an electrician with a quality electrical contractor. Let’s examine some of the benefits of your association with Labor Resource Solutions.
Today’s construction market, while recovering, is not what it was years ago. One electrical contractor may have job openings in Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. With today’s gas prices and congested freeways, it is not always practical for an electrician to travel across Southern California to accommodate an electrical contractors needs. This is especially true for entry level electrician apprentices and electrical trainees.
By using Labor Resource Solutions an electrician can quickly find a job in an area close to where the electrician lives. If a job comes to an end and an electrical contractor does not have another project close to the electrician’s home, the electrician can simply call Labor Resource Solutions and find a new job closer to home. Labor Resource Solutions can help the electrician make the transition from one electrical contractor to another without damaging the electrician’s relationship with the former electrical contractor.
The construction industry is a small one. Creating and maintaining healthy and professional relationships with as many electrical contractors as possible will open future career opportunities.
Tired of filling out job applications, taking tests, and spending money in fuel expenses every time you need to search for an electrical job? LRS allows the electrician to minimize the time and expense traveling from electrical contractor to electrical contractor searching for the right electrician position. One trip to Labor Resource Solutions and the electrician will have access to electrical contractors and electrician jobs all over Southern California. The electrician’s resume will be kept on file and updated with the electrician’s cooperation. A complete resume with a thorough work history will set an electrician in a desirable position when a contractor is searching to fill an electrical position.
Best of all there is no cost to the electrician, electrician trainee, or electrician apprentice.
Labor Resource Solutions has over 10 years experience specializing in pairing electricians and contractors. Contractors benefit from quality referrals possessing the knowledge, tools, and abilities to work with your team in completing your project on schedule and budget. Our referrals have scored at least 80% on our pre-employment tests guaranteeing you receive the most competent employees.