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  • Writer's pictureZara Jones

#AskLadyProJones: Career Advice

Have you had a chance to meet #LadyProJones? That's the superhero name given to our very own Chief Operating Officer, Construction Manager and Co-Founder of Electrician On Call Irum Jones! Irum's super passionate about helping students and the community-at-large learn about the many opportunities in the Construction & Home Services industry and why the role of a professional in this field is so important!

This page is going to give you a insight into an industry that doesn't get as much attention as it should. #LadyProJones is going to debunk myths, set the record straight and give you advice on how to navigate through one of the most important, fulfilling and lucrative careers on the planet.

Step 1: Watch This Videos - (TURN UP YOUR VOLUME)

Step 2: Read the Q&A with #LadyProJones on the Top Questions Asked by Students

Step 3: Send Irum an Email to #LadyProJones of Your Questions

Step 2: Questions & Answers with #LadyProJones

Question 1: What is a common misconception about your industry?

#LadyProJones: Most people assume we don't have formal training, or any education beyond the point of high school, when actually we're required to have a minimum of 5,000 - 8,000 hours of training on the field and deep knowledge of the theory we're practicing. For example, an electrician from the 1950s only needed to focus on electrical theory, but as technology evolved and new innovative solutions like WiFi enabled devices, low voltage and high voltage solutions became more accessible for homeowners, electricians from the past decade have multiple electrical, telecommunications and software skills they need to deeply understand. That's why you should always hire a licensed electrician. We never stop learning.

Question 2: What is a 'Blue Collar' job, and why is it not as good as having a 'White Collar' job?

#LadyProJones: Actually those terms are pretty decisive. All role, all occupations, all jobs are important. Terms like 'Blue Collar' and 'White Collar' aren't widely used anymore in the field since they are used to describe social classes. Here's how it's defined by Investopedia:

"Blue-collar" and "white-collar" are terms in the English language that evoke different images. The blue-collar worker is perceived to make less than the white-collar worker. The white-collar worker might work behind a desk in the service industry, while the blue-collar worker gets their hands dirty doing manual labor or working in a division of manufacturing.
Perhaps the white-collar worker has a more well-rounded education than the blue-collar worker. The distinguishing characteristics between the two types of employees go on, and yet no dictionary definition can offer more succinct language as to what the phrases signify other than to suggest, in imprecise terms, the differences in class.
Another way to define these two phrases is the white-collar worker not only makes more money than the blue-collar worker, but they also belong to a different social class. Yet, to state white-collar workers exist in a different social class from blue-collar workers still does not explain quantitative differences of annual income, the number of years of post-secondary schooling each has, or the skills each worker possesses.

The way to transparently describe our industry and the representation of our roles is "Essential". Think about it. Is electricity essential? Is air conditioning in your home during the summer hot months essential? Is clean indoor air important to living healthy? Yes! So, really our roles are probably the most important roles out there because without the service and skills we have to offer, our society, our communities and our nation cannot function. From a payrate standpoint, we have a smaller gender gap and our starting pay averages $55,000 a year with plenty of opportunity for overtime. You have a lot more earning potential if you know how to navigate through the industry.

Question 3: Do you have to be physically fit in order to be successful in your role?

#LadyProJones: Actually, there are hundreds of hidden careers in the industry. If you're a Skilled Laborer, being in optimal physical shape plays a big part in our ability to complete work, but the focus should be to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Laborers or Field Technicians are normally mistaken as athletes, first responders, or physical trainers because of the stamina and endurance required to do the job. Healthy eating, adequate sleep, stress management, ability to focus for long periods of time are all important physical attributes for laborers, however there are administrative and supportive roles too which are in the Construction Industry, that never go into the field. These roles are vital because they provide the organization, planning, and maintenance.

Question 4: As women, is it safe to work in this industry?

#LadyProJones: Organizations like LadyPros, National Women in Construction, Women in HVAC, and Dallas Professional Women are all organizations that help advocate, support and empower women. There are thousands of women in the construction industry! With efforts in the last few years pushing for equality, equity, diversity and inclusion, I'm confident that there will always be many seats at the table for women in construction!

Step 3: Send Irum an Email to #LadyProJones of Any Career Questions and she'll get back to you!

(214) 235 - 7251 Subject: #LadyProJones

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