Yes, it is still possible to earn a good living without an MBA, as long as you are not afraid of heights, heat, cold, rain, dirt, snakes, ticks, bees or electricity.
Do yourself a favour and follow these 10 steps to give yourself a leg up on your peers when exploring and excelling at a any career.
1. Stay in school, kids…
The only way to get really good at climbing is by putting in the hours. Climbing lattice will come easy once you master wood.
Pay attention in class. Climbing is only half the job. You need to understand the fundamentals of the occupation when you get up there. Know your knots and rigging. It shows your instructors that you are serious about this career, and instructors are the people that you will ask for letters of recommendation.
2. Create a professional resume.
Perhaps this should be tied for number one. Fresh out of line school? Nobody expects you to offer a tremendous amount of experience. However, you should be able to highlight whatever skills and experience that you do have in an organized, coherent manner. Typos and poor grammar are certain to stymie your job search. If English was not your favourite class in high school, ask for help, or pay a professional.
Same goes for every cover letter. And yes, every resume needs to be sent with a cover letter.
3. Improve your LinkedIn presence.
If you are reading this, I assume that you own a LinkedIn account. Make it better. Add some relevant photos. Join industry related groups. Add peer contacts that regularly contribute posts and blogs.
Dr. Matthew Cordaro (Long Island Power Authority Trustee) is a veritable posting machine for news that is significant to the utility world. Murray Jones from Australia is a wealth of trade experience and very generous with answering questions. Andrew McClarey transitioned into linework at the age of 40 after a career in the military, and his LinkedIn blog (Apprentice Lineman Network) documents the struggles of finding and keeping a job for those new to the occupation.
Adding these guys to your network will allow you to get a free education on a wide variety of industry trends and news.
Above all, remember, LinkedIn is not Facebook. Don’t tarnish your professional reputation with nonsense.
4. Be Hungry.
Apply, apply, apply. It’s a numbers game. With no experience, you are looking to get your foot in the door. The more resume’s and applications that you have out, the better your odds for receiving a callback.
Be persistent and friendly with your follow-ups. Check on the status of your application weekly with every single company to which you apply, until the position has been filled.
Looking for work needs to be a full time job.
5. Prepare for the interview.
Persistence and determination always pay off. Always. Eventually, you will get a call to schedule an interview.
Don’t go in blind. Pre-interview research is time well spent. Glassdoor.com and Indeed.com are great resources that offer all kinds of information about prospective employers. Employee reviews published on these websites can also be a valuable tool, although, keep in mind that disgruntled employees are more apt to post than happy ones. Look for objective substance in these reviews, not just general rants.
Above all, do a lot of research on commonly asked interview questions. Don’t get caught blinking stupidly or ummmming and errrring when you are asked to describe successes, failures, or career goals. I speak from experience on this. I have never felt so foolish as when I blabbed out ridiculous, almost incoherent answers when caught off guard by very common interview questions.
Not only was I not offered a job, but I am sure that I have very effectively eliminated any chance of ever getting another interview with that company.
Going into an interview prepared will always set you apart from average candidates.
So you landed the job. It’s time to climb. Follow these five steps to really shine.
1. Don’t ask why…
…As in why do I have to do every crappy job that comes along. New guys have had to dig holes, clean equipment, and stock truck since the advent of line work. Bitching and complaining about performing the less glamorous tasks serves no purpose other than to give you a reputation as lazy whiner. If that is your goal, then go ahead… mope around and complain.
The good news is that being low on the totem pole doesn’t last forever.
Perform every assigned task with diligence and enthusiasm, and you will cement your reputation as a valuable member of the crew.
2. Ask how, where, and when.
As I mentioned earlier, Journeymen do not expect apprentices to know much beyond the basics. Don’t be a know-it-all. Not sure which knot to use? Ask. Not sure how to rig something? Ask. Not sure about a grounding sequence? Definitely ask.
Know-it-alls and cowboys get people hurt and ruin expensive equipment in this industry. Even the crustiest Journeyman would rather answer what might seem like a dumb question than pick up the pieces from an accident.
3. Always look for work.
Work is a team sport. As such, it can be easy to sit back and let others carry your load. Don’t be this guy. Nobody wants to work with a lazy colleague in this business, or any business for that matter.
It’s a truism that a lot of folks stop looking for work soon after they get a job. Don’t start your career coasting. Don’t finish it that way either.
4. Pay attention.
Line work is inherently dangerous, but it’s not rocket science. Involve yourself in every project, and forecast the needs of your crew members. Don’t make them ask for a screwdriver or wrench or bolt when it’s obvious that they will need it.
When a colleague holds out his hand, know what he needs and have it ready. You don’t need to be a mind reader to get good at this, as long as you pay attention. Always be on the lookout for ways to make life aloft easier.
5. Stay Alive.
Sure, policies and procedures can be bulky and cumbersome, and a not always seem necessary, but they are designed to keep both you and the company safe. Mishaps always happen when you least expect it.
Well, there you have it.
Follow these ten simple steps and, in the words of Zig Ziglar, “I will see you, and yes, I do mean you, at the top!”
Written by Todd Jones
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Wishing you a prosperous 2016 and all the success that you can handle …
From the Job Monster Team