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Career spotlight: Breaking through barriers in construction

Posted on May 13, 2019

Job security, competitive pay, and creating a difference in the community are some of the reasons why many people choose a career in construction. Although a career in construction can be very rewarding, it does come with challenges. We asked experienced estimators and project managers in this industry what their career struggles were and how they overcame them. Here are their answers.

How have you overcome any challenges in your career?

"In 2008, I had just moved to New York to start my dream job when the recession hit. I was one of the first employees to be let go, and I took it very hard. I had very few contacts in the New York area and spent the next six months going to interview after interview with very few offers. Eventually, I realized it was okay to take a step back and reset my career. I ended up taking a position with a small sub-contractor for a year. I was able to see construction from a different perspective and met great contacts that I keep in touch with to this day."

– Christa Forte, Senior Project Manager at Shawmut Design & Construction

"New York is a unique city with endless opportunities. But it's also non-stop. And to succeed, you must perform better than the next person. For myself, learning how to switch off was incredibly important. Juggling many projects and deadlines in the fast-paced construction industry can burn you out if you don't learn how to re-charge. Learning this early on has made a significant difference in my performance and well-being. Taking a weekend trip outside the city, being in nature, and exercise are some of the ways that I keep the work-life balance in check which I believe is very important."

– Stephen Ryan, Senior Estimator at The Vorea Group

"I think taking time for yourself each day to rest and recharge is crucial to success. Early on, I realized that I would be pulled in 100 different directions every day and have minimal time for myself and my required tasks. To counter this, I started getting to work earlier than the subcontractors and my staff to have a minimum of 30 quiet minutes each morning."

– Susan Fusi, Senior Project Manager at Vornado Realty Trust

"As a single father of two children, it's always a challenge to find work-life balance. Luckily, I’ve always worked at companies with strong family values, which made it easier for me to excel in my various roles throughout my career. Always try to find out as much about a company’s culture as well as the professional growth opportunities before taking that next jump."

– Angel Menendez, Site Superintendant at Racanelli Construction

There are also many ways to advance your career in construction. The infographic below shows the different career paths you could take.

 

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