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How the robbing of Peter to pay Paul can leave your career in a rut

Each electrician/apprentice’s individual circumstances, time horizons & strengths allow for a personalised unique strategy allowing true joy from work. But how many electricians / apprentices chart out their own personalised job strategy? How many think strategically about their career?

Let me give you an example of someone who called, to take advantage of the free career guidance service electricianXchange provides. For privacy reasons I will call this person Craig.

 Craig called up our 1300 number to inquire and when I asked the question “what is it that you want to do and what’s prevented you from being able to do that?” his response was “I want to be doing rail signalling work but all I’ve been offered has been rolling stock work.” I probed further and found out that Craig had always been placed on rail projects through labour hire companies.

I conveyed to him that as he was going through a labour hire company, their clients would only pay the top dollar (including the labour hire commission) for someone already with signalling experience. Not someone who aspired to get rail signalling experience.

What labour hire companies did was to rob Peter to pay Paul i.e. head hunt talent from the client’s competitors to staff their client. But what that meant was that for Craig this would never be feasible.

Because if the labour hire company put forward Craig’s resume without that signalling experience, some other recruiter / labour hire company would provide someone with the rail signalling experience with the result that Craig would never progress into signalling.

So I suggested a short-term and a medium-term career strategy to Craig.

The short-term strategy I proposed was to try and get a direct job with rail organisations even if it meant within rolling stock. Then once incubated well within that organisation, Craig approach others within that same organisation within signalling to try and move sideways.

I further suggested that if that did not work, he approach his boss (after building enough credits) and ask if he could work a 4-day week. Any employer who has seen employee value, will do everything to hold on to good staff even if that means a 4-day week instead of a 5-day week. The extra day I then proposed to Craig, could then be used to actively locate a job in signalling within the rail industry elsewhere. After all, if he did not dedicate active time to do this himself – who would?

These sort of career strategies can be developed for anyone who calls electricianXchange as we currently have a free career guidance service with a free work profile availability listing on the platform through which employers can directly reach out to you. To do so go to to understand how electricianXchange works. Then register & log in at creating your work profile through which employers can locate you.

electricianXchange has many dedicated staff who are regularly communicating with employers suggesting they try out electricianXchange’s dedicated platform for this industry rather than use generalist job boards or labour hire intermediaries. And the tide is shifting. Employers see the value in paying for a job ad (which is the total extent of electricianXchange’s cost) to be introduced to the right electrician / apprentice via the platform.

So if you are an electrician or apprentice and you want to take control of your career, approach electricianXchange on 1300 353 364 or email us on get personalised career advice and charge ahead.

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