Chronograduphobia ; a term that a few of us came up with that puts a name to the feeling of anxiety at becoming an A Journeyman or “coming out of your time” as we call it as Electricians who’ve come up thru the apprenticeship.
When you step into day school on the first day of your 1st year, 5 years seems like well… half a decade away…and then it’s 11 days away and counting !?!
There are mixed feelings at reaching this point. There is accomplishment felt when you look back at all that you have learned on the job, in the classroom, the projects that you’ve had a hand in, and the hard work/ labor you put in to reach this goal. There is also that feeling of anxiety at not being too sure of what your next move is especially in this shaky economy.
Then you realize the freedom of having a trade being the solid anchor in the future you are beginning to form, backed by the stability of belonging to a Union. The paths start to open up in your mind. Some of us will hit the road to see what awaits us in signing the books to work in another local and all the knowledge and experience that brings. Some of us will stay home and continue to sharpen our craftsmanship by continuing to take classes and add to the strength of our Union by participating. Some will go foreword into leadership roles with their contractors.
It is an exciting time with newly emerging technology, there is a change in the direction of electrical work, and a new focus in alternative energy. The 5th year of apprenticeship, to me, is not an ending but an educated start.