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Topic Title: re-starting after a decade away
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Created On: 19 January 2016 05:55 PM
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 19 January 2016 05:55 PM
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dustydazzler

Posts: 1332
Joined: 19 January 2016

Dear all ,
I trained and worked as a sparks late 90s and worked in the industry till about mid/late 00's. various work from domestic rewires new builds extensions etc and some commercial work office re-fits etc.
i took time away and worked in sales/specification but now am considering getting back to the electrics. but at nearly 40 the thought of crawling around loft spaces is less appealing than when i was 21.
is there a suitable pathway back into the trade without having to start from scratch. any advice would be appreciated.
 19 January 2016 09:42 PM
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prophet

Posts: 338
Joined: 09 October 2011

How come you're considering changing? Was the sales and speccing in the electrical industry? Do you want to work for someone or be self employed?

Tom
 19 January 2016 10:27 PM
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dustydazzler

Posts: 1332
Joined: 19 January 2016

to cut a long(ish) story short , i ran my own business for around 6 or 7 years doing anything and everything electrical i could pick up (mainly domestic). i was a very enthusiastic young sparks following in my dads footsteps. around 08 i was offered a sales job in London which i took and did for a while. then spent some time caring for my dad which meant not working for a while. i could try to pick up where i left off but many of my previous contacts have retired , no longer in the building game etc. i guess my main question is has anyone taken an extended break from the tools and managed to find their feet again without too much trouble, i have spoken with one sparks i know but he uses a young lad half my age when he needs help bashing boxes in etc.
 20 January 2016 12:22 AM
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antric2

Posts: 1266
Joined: 20 October 2006

Evening Dusty,
You are only 40 years young.I did my electrics and electronics course start of 1980 then went into service engineer roles with major companies Konica\Oce Siemens
I still in all those years kept my finger in working with various sparks and keeping my regs qualifications to the current edition of the time and then at 43 years young in 2005 went self employed and was very rusty indeed..
NICEIC registered and it took good couple of years to build up business to living wage.
Very hard work but wouldnt change anything in last 10 years.

My mistakes;
Only problem I had was treating job as hobby...dont as you will never earn good money....it is a living not a hobby but I am not saying dont enjoy your work.
Keep your accounts in order on very regular basis along with certs and notifications.
Keep stock and van tidy or you will pay twice,three even four times for something you have already.

Anybody you dont know that works for you,check drivers license,electrical qualifications state of their tools and if they say they are registered then check.
Try to get to know one or two sparks in your area and offer to be their electricians mate and even pass on their number if you cant do a quote or the work and that way a co operative trust can develop.That way work comes from them as and when needed and vice versa so you narrow down the quotes some customers get.

Work out what you can live on and put some aside....I know I might be trying to tell you how to suck eggs but if you get a physical injury you dont work and you dont earn as I found out in December 2013 when I had unexpexted hip replaced due to irrepairable shattered cartlidge.....6 months off work and a good 12 months to get back the work flow.
What ever,I really wish you well and 99% of people on this forumn are absolute diamonds when it comes to advice.
Regards and good luck on your mission
Antric
 20 January 2016 08:44 AM
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dustydazzler

Posts: 1332
Joined: 19 January 2016

thanks for the replies, it does prove you can resume a trade after a prolonged period away. i guess i have just got more used to driving round doing quotes and shuffling catalogues and paper around my desk rather than running in 100s of metres of twin and earth and chopping boxes in etc. i sold 99% of my van stock off when i needed the money along with some of my tools that weren't being used and just collecting dust. i don't need the fall back of a fixed wage 12 months per year , so perhaps over the spring/summer i might look to pick up some small local work. i have kept an eye on the regs and followed the ho hah of partp etc. when i went to electrical college in the 90's you just got on with the job and issued the certs direct to the customer no need to notify the building inspector etc. if i am looking for some work with local sparks in my area is it ok to ask via this forum page?
 20 January 2016 11:07 AM
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tattyinengland

Posts: 984
Joined: 23 November 2006

Dustydazzler - depending on where you live, a short stint working for agencies in the maintenance sector (commercial offices especially, factories are much more difficult ) would be a great way to get back on the horse.

You are almost always part of a team, the pay is better than working as an installation spark (employed) and you are almost never rushed off your feet - you get time - and you tend to do the components part of the work rather than running boring old cable around. It'll get you thinking about electrical circuitry too.

Often you get a planned maintenace sheet where you just have to check existing wiring - again time is given - to just look at the wiring, tighten up the various bits and pieces and study what you see in front of you.

Mostly as part of a team - you have someone to ask if you dont understand; only the supervisor is expected to know everything.

Definitely get your 17th edition too; very important.

Good luck

Kind Regards

Tatty
 20 January 2016 11:53 AM
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3Wires

Posts: 149
Joined: 22 August 2014

great advice there (isnt it always on here). All the best with it Dusty, i am sure you will soon be rocking.
 20 January 2016 11:58 AM
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dustydazzler

Posts: 1332
Joined: 19 January 2016

again , thanks for the advice. i live surrey and hold c&g 2360 pt 1 and pt 2 which completed around 15 years ago we used the blue book at the time 16th ed i think. if anyone could recommend a good agency or perhaps even a electrical contractors i could contact in due course. as tattyinengland mentions a placement in planned maintenance could be a good option. i have done some subby working doing office refits but it was a long time ago so i would be rusty. many thanks
 20 January 2016 12:19 PM
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3Wires

Posts: 149
Joined: 22 August 2014

i think the best thing (assuming you still want domestic) - is to get registered with one of the third party bodies and get in touch with letting agencies, builders etc. if its just you - you dont need as much to fill your diary as a contractor with 10 vans on the road. just my 2 pence worth!
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