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I stumbled upon a youtube video interview with Tony Robbins the other day; the premise was that he was giving the young interviewer advice on how to approach finding that first big job.

Smiling electrician

Mr. Robbins had a lot of interesting things to share (I think he always has something interesting to say) but the thing that really caught my attention was when he told the young man not to “fall in love with product”. Product changes. You should be open and willing to move with that change. Fall in love with your customers.

I couldn’t agree more.

The other point he made was that the times we live in call for ”brains over brawn”.

I agree with this also- and it especially resonated with me because I work in and for the electrical trade, and I am sensitive to the fact that many people still harbor the misconception that electricians are brawn and not brain.

On a daily basis, electricians are using more math than the rest of us use in a year. People in electrical work, especially while pursuing their Journeyman’s License and in the first few years on the job, will certainly have to handle physical work. Make no mistake, they are problem solving mathematical animals. They are process driven. Brawn without brain in electrical work would not only be dangerous it would be useless.

Electricians must determine the truth or fiction of the blueprints they may be working from, make quick decisions based on what confronts them on a jobsite, adapt and overcome. They are running calculations and predicting outcomes for today and through the end of the job. If they make a mistake someone is going to get hurt.

I’ve often said that trades don’t garner the respect they should have because they aren’t very good at telling their own stories. Well, I’ve worked with electricians for over 30 years and I am happy to tell you that they fit Mr. Robbins tenants.

Electricians are very smart, constantly learning about/ adapting to new technologies, and they embrace their customers. In our industry we need to care about what the client wants, understand what outcome they expect, help them define that, and eventually deliver it.

The next time you see an electrician at work think “brain over brawn”.

Because that’s what they are.

Jenny Boone
Business Development,  IEC Chesapeake/IECC