One way to get ahead is to be polite, hungry for knowledge, keep a neat personal appearance, keep asking for details that will feed your mind. Get a Benfield bending kit and you can outbend men who've done it for years. Study PLC's or go to work for a contractor who does energy management work and learn how to do the complicated stuff requiring a bunch of tiny wires, learn programming, learn motor control wiring, seek out the things that require brains, it is ok if you never spend all day pulling 8,000 pounds of 500 MCM copper, get a copy of Soares' Grounding Electrical Sys. for Safety, get really good at stuff most guys are not real sharp about. And when you get there, remind the non-thinkers that it is "Journeywomen", one who has skills and is able to journey from shop to shop to Master this stuff. Don't be afraid to speak up for yourself, I can barely handle a 1,000 foot spool of 12-3, can't imagine handeling say, 500' of 2/0, ask for help. Tell those crusty bas&%$#s who run that "I expect you to work as hard as the guys do" that's fine, but they wouldn't expect a skinny little dude to hoist more than he could SAFELY carry, nor should they put you in a position where you could hurt yourself. Lots of men can hoist the heavy burdens, yet can't troubleshoot a mis-wired 3 way switch. I would prefer technicians who are sharp with the technology and techniques and polite to the customers. Think how can I be of service here? Great Good Luck to you.