“It kept coming back to electrical.”
Change is something that most of us crave periodically in our lives. Some changes can be more drastic than others, precisely what Stephanie Jang was searching for. She had been working in digital animation for years when she decided it was time to put the keyboard away and immerse herself into something completely new. At the time, Stephanie was unsure of what direction to take. For her first step in finding a new path, she had plenty of questions to ask her then-boyfriend, who worked as an electrician. “I interviewed him for about four hours at a coffee shop. I had a list of questions and picked his brain”. So far, the electrical trade was the only career choice jumping out at her. Still, Stephanie wanted to educate herself more on the different types of trades to see if there was a better fit. She then went to a trades center to ask more questions about the construction industry. Stephanie soon realized, the more people she talked to about entering the trades, the clearer it was that the electrical industry was the right fit for her.
“Something that stays consistent is the gratification of fixing things and helping people.”
Fast forward, and Stephanie is now a certified Red Seal electrician working for the city of Vancouver. Each morning she comes to work, jumps in the Freightliner (large bucket truck), and gets prepared to fix the city. “We call it “saving the city.” For the most part, we do maintenance in the city, driving around fixing streetlights, traffic signals, or any loose wires that are exposed. We receive calls about electrical poles being knocked down due to car accidents or people damaging our equipment. The city is often ripping up the roads, and they are unaware our electrical systems are there. They’ll rip it up and cut our conduits in the process.”
“If I can do it, anyone can do it.”
Immersing herself in the electrical trade did not come as easy to Stephanie as it does to some. Stephanie started her career off as a quiet, shy woman with a mild case of imposter syndrome. With hard work, dedication and determination, things began to click. She became more confident in her role as an electrician and continues to push herself to adapt and grow with this rapidly changing industry. “After you overcome the imposter syndrome, it feels incredible to be a part of this industry. I’m always looking for new opportunities, whether it be teaching, inspecting, or becoming a superintendent. I feel that if I’m not being challenged, I’m just being wasted.”
“The trades themselves have changed over the years.”
Throughout the years, Stephanie has been privileged to witness the growing diversification of the construction industry. With more cultures, age demographics, and a higher rate of women entering the trade than ever before. Being on multiple committees, Stephanie is an advocate and a huge support for her sisters and other under-represented groups entering and pursuing this booming electrical trade.
Written by: Savannah Davis, ClearWater Communications Co.