June 14 2016
I was only out of post-secondary school for four months when I started working for Sonepar Canada as their Communications Coordinator. I can easily compare my transition into the electrical industry with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Entering the business was similar to falling down the rabbit hole; at first I was completely bewildered.
Initially, when I applied for the position I thought to myself, “Electrical Wholesale Distributor?” I had no idea what that meant, much less the industry in which Sonepar Canada operated within. However, being a new graduate one thing was as clear as day. I was going to chase all my opportunities in order to build a successful career. With that in mind I willingly walked through the looking glass and entered the mysterious world of — electrical distribution.
As a Millennial, the first thing I noticed as I began to integrate myself into the industry was the saturation of the Baby Boomer generation. This was simply an observation, not necessarily a flaw. It led me to think, “if this industry is thriving without the influence of my generation, I could only imagine its future potential with the succession of the Millennials.”
The next thing I knew, I was being asked to sit on EFC’s Young Professionals Network Committee. This invitation reinforced my outlook on of the industry. As Millennials we are the future of the electrical industry. It is our responsibility to implement new ideologies, and thus technologies, that will assist the electrical industry adapt to our digital age.
I’ve now been working for Sonepar Canada for nine months now and I’ve noticed that all my opinions and ideas are completely supported and even more so — encouraged. This is an industry where ambitious individuals will thrive.
With a BA in English and a post-grad diploma in Journalism, I knew that I was the right person for the job. Understanding the electrical industry on the other hand was a completely different story.
I will admit, learning this industry can be a steep learning curve. However, like Alice, I was greeted by incredible mentors to assist me along the way. These mentors will root for your success and teach you how to succeed.
Whether it’s with the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit or the grinning Cheshire Cat, these relationships are imperative to our future success. The knowledge that is learned from the experienced generation is invaluable. They are the individuals that have created the electrical industry that exists today. Therefore, their insight must be respected and even more so — coveted.
As a Millennial coming into the electrical industry (especially in ignorance) can be extremely intimidating. My advice to future Millennials is this: do not become discouraged by the generational gap that you may face.
Allow yourself to flourish in an industry that is actively embracing our disruption. We have creative and innovative ideas that can maintain and improve the perception of this industry to the rest of the world.
The electrical industry might be a business that many Millennials stumble into. Nevertheless, I encourage all Millennials to enjoy the ride, because it’s an adventure of a lifetime.
Shoynear Morrison is Communications Coordinator, Sonepar Canada; firstname.lastname@example.org.