10 things electricians can do today to be more valuable employees (no talent required)

10 things electricians can do today to be more valuable employees (no talent required)

Every morning when I arrived at my jobsite when I was building the Apple headquarters in Cupertino, I would see the list of “10 things that require zero talent” written on my superintendent’s whiteboard. #1 was being on time and it was common for him to point to it when his field supervisors showed up late.

I’ve seen numerous articles written about these 10 things, and the implication is always that they’re not hard to do. But as a reformed late person myself (who was reformed by my always-early wife), I’m here to tell you that these 10 things might require zero talent, but they do require a conscious effort to change.

We’ve re-written this list specifically for electricians with tips on how to make them a habit literally tomorrow. There are a lot of tips here, so try implementing just one per day so you can really focus on nailing that one. Over time, they will start to just come naturally.

#1 Be on time

If you plan out your morning to be there 20 minutes early, you will be surprised how many times you show up just on time, not early at all. Stuff happens: traffic, you can’t find a parking spot, you forgot you need gas. If you plan to be at the jobsite on time and then there’s one variable you didn’t plan on, boom, you’re late. If your job starts at 7AM, plan to leave your house with your GPS telling you will get there at 6:40AM. If you’re early, then you’re going to impress the boss. If one of those variables does come up and you’re just on time, then at least you’re still meeting expectations. You will also see just how much more zen your morning is when you’re in the far right lane going the speed limit instead of having to weave in and out of traffic to make up time. Here are some tips for being on time:

#2 Make an effort

It’s tempting to skip this one or write it off by thinking, “of course I’m already making an effort,” but really think about it. If you work on a team, do you always leave a specific task to other electricians because you don’t enjoy doing it? If you work by yourself and encounter a problem that you don’t know how to solve, have you ever covered it up or left it for someone else to solve later? Here are a few tips for how you can make more of an effort on the jobsite:

#3 Be high energy

Despite what the others on the jobsite might say, slamming a Monster on your drive in isn’t the solution to getting you energized for the day. Eventually you’re going to crash, plus you already know all that sugar is contributing to that belly you’re working on. Here are some healthier (not to mention cheaper) ways to stay energized throughout the day:

#4 Have a positive attitude

I’ll be honest. This can be a real challenge on many jobsites, especially when a job gets behind schedule or over budget. Morale drops off and everyone is pissed. But have you ever had someone on your jobsite who seems like they’re always positive? If so, they really stand out in your mind because they can completely transform the morale on the entire site. Here are a few ways you can be that stand-out positive person:

#5 Be passionate about your work

If you’re not naturally passionate about your work, it can be hard to just suddenly become passionate. But remember that you are essential to this country. You should be proud that you are part of the tradespeople building America. Building projects to code safely and efficiently also helps to protect others’ safety and their property. Here are a few tips for ways you can become more passionate about your work:

#6 Use good body language

The biggest thing to remember here is to not be distracted by devices. When you’re talking to others on the jobsite, don’t check your phone or glance at your Apple watch (or any other watch for that matter). This applies to conversations with the boss, your peers, and the helpers & apprentices. If you get a call, call them back after your conversation. Silence your notifications for text messages so you’re not tempted to look when you’re having a conversation.

Your body language and how your conduct yourself outside of conversations matters too. If others see you screwing around or walking slowly from task to task, it’s easy to get the impression that you don’t care about your work. Here are a couple of ways you can communicate better body language on the jobsite:

#7 Be coachable

Being coachable is one of the most valuable traits an employee can have because if you’re open to feedback and can change quickly, then your supervisor knows they can complete a job efficiently with you onsite. It’s also to your benefit because you will gain new skills much more quickly than everyone else if boss knows you’ll take their feedback seriously. Try these tips to be more coachable:

#8 Do a little extra

Don’t be the guy in this TikTok. This is probably one of the hardest things on this list because you will see so many others on the jobsite putting in 75% effort and getting away with it, making the same amount of money you are. So what’s the inventive to go above and beyond, especially when no one is looking? I promise you that over the long run, the super is going to realize that you’re the one they can put on the job and it actually gets done without them having to ask you to keep working. That will matter when it comes to raises and promotions. Here are some tangible steps you can take to do a little extra around the jobsite:

#9 Be prepared

Think about what jobs you have tomorrow. What tools might be required that you don’t normally have? If you’re on the same job for multiple days, what were you missing the day before that you could use tomorrow or what were you almost out of? What electrical code can you review today to help you overcome a task tomorrow? Try out these tips to be more prepared on the jobsite each day:

#10 Have strong work ethic

Everyone has heard “work hard, play hard.” But I think that’s missing something. You’re got to work hard, play hard, rest hard. You can’t show up to work every day and work hard when you’re not well-rested. Here are a couple of tips for strengthening your work ethic: