Outside Sales, Electric Supply Inc.
By Joe Nowlan
In a way, a career in electrical distribution is a family tradition for Javey Glass.
Both his grandfather and his father had long, fruitful careers in the electrical industry, Glass explained.
Glass (whose first name is pronounced “JAY-vee”) was in high school when he started working at an electrical distributor as a summer job.
“My father, being in the industry already, was my foot in the door,” Glass said. “So I started working at the counter and at the warehouse when I was 14 years old.”
Glass graduated high school and “knew that college was not for me,” he explained. He had already found what he was sure would be his career path.
“What really got me interested in the industry were the customers,” Glass explained. “I really enjoyed the day-to-day interaction with customers. I developed a relationship with a lot of these guys. That is the part that I think really drew me into the business. Developing good relationships with good people.”
In his first full time position with Electric Supply, Glass worked in the warehouse and wire room. The experience he accrued working summers and part time in high school—along with his considerable work ethic—earned him a promotion after only a few weeks.
“I went from working in the wire room there, to warehouse supervisor,” he said.
Sometimes a promotion results in someone having to supervise people that had only the week before been his peers, his equals. But, Glass explained, there was no such problem for him.
“Luckily there was no awkward transition when I became a supervisor,” he explained. “Once people learned that I had been doing this for a while, and they saw my work ethic and how I treated them with respect, it was not awkward.”
He currently works in outside sales for Electric Supply and sells primarily to commercial and residential contractors in the Tampa area. Business, and the contractor related economy, has been strong, Glass said.
“Things seem to be on a small boom [here],” he said. “There’s a lot of business coming to town. Those businesses bring residents, bring homes and remodeling of homes. There are a lot of apartment complexes going up. There are a lot of good things going on in Tampa Bay right now.”
Along with increased business come new product developments—and the ongoing training those new products require.
“If this is your first year in [electrical], or you have done it for 40 years, nobody knows everything. There is a vast amount of products out there… not to mention all the technology,” he said. “In learning how to market and sell those products, there is always new, improved and better ways to do things. Every day is a learning experience.”
For hobbies, Glass is an avid supporter of the Auburn University football team, unusual for Florida resident. (“War Eagle!” he laughed.)
He and his wife Callie also enjoy the Tampa area and its beaches and ocean.
“My favorite hobby is being out on the water, being on the boat, going fishing,” he explained. “I love going to the beach.”
Q. What advice do you have for other young professionals in the electrical industry?
A. The advice I would give to other young professionals in the industry [would be] three things: Keep a clean reputation. Work very hard every day. And practice patience. If you take care of those three things, great opportunities will come your way.
You want to work really hard and give it your all and advance. You want the next promotion sooner than later. You want to get a raise soon. You want to make it to the top. And you want to do it tomorrow. But this is not a sprint; it is a marathon. In our business, I feel that being patient is really the key to longevity and becoming truly successful in your corporation, in your business and in this industry.
Along with keeping a clean reputation and working your butt off, I really think all those things go hand in hand if you really want to make it to the top or whatever your goal is… If you want to be successful, you take care of those three things and chances are you will be.
Q. Why are you so passionate about the electrical industry?
A. I’m very passionate about this industry because it is where my heart is at. It is not just a job. And even the word “career” doesn’t describe what this is for me.
It is much more than that for me. My grandfather worked in this industry his entire life and retired in this industry. That is how my father got his foot in the door when he was 17 or 18 years old and working in the warehouse. And my father to this day works in this industry. He is successful and does very well. They both have very, very good reputations and have worked very hard in their careers. The reason I am so passionate is that I have a lot to live up to. I want to continue my grandfather’s and my father’s legacy in this industry of being the best we can, giving back to this industry… Just having a good reputation, treating people with respect. Taking care of your customers. Take care of your vendors, being friends. That for me, in a nutshell, is what it’s really about.
Joe Nowlan is a Boston-based freelance writer/editor and author. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.Tagged with tED