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Career spotlight: The importance of nurturing your construction network

Posted on May 13, 2019

With time and experience, you can build a serious ladder to success in construction. The key is to develop your skills and network early on in your career. There are a number of construction associations across the US that not only offer networking opportunities but certification courses and upskilling seminars as well. We asked senior project managers and senior estimators how networking has helped them advance in their careers. Here are their responses.

In your opinion how important is networking in your industry?  

"Networking is incredibly important in this industry (and any industry). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve reached out to my network for career advice, references, or job leads. Whether you’re involved with formal networking organizations, such as Professional Women in Construction, or building on existing relationships within your current network, it is a critical piece to a successful career."

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

"Networking is crucial. New York is a big city, but everyone knows someone in the construction industry and the circle is a lot smaller than one would initially be led to believe. There are many ways to network through professional organizations, charity fundraising, cultural organizations—and I believe that only scratches the surface. When I look back at all the connections I have made, the majority have come from projects I’ve collaborated on, colleagues, former colleagues who moved to different companies, even personal social circles or sometimes a random acquaintance. Recently I was on a business trip and the passenger on the plane beside me was the Director of North America for a leading construction cost consultancy firm. You never know who you will meet in a New York minute."

– Stephen Ryan, Senior Estimator at The Vorea Group

"I’ve always maintained tight relationships with my subcontractors which has helped immensely. I’m able to pick up the phone to ask questions about products and lead times while working on design alternatives for my current project, before subcontracts have been awarded. The same applies to positive relationships that I’ve maintained with architects and engineers that I’ve worked with in the past."  

– Susan Fusi, Senior Project Manager at Vornado Realty Trust

"Communication is key in the construction industry to keep current. On many fronts such as safety, education and networking. As the construction industry begins to move at a faster pace with technological advancements it’s important to be involved in the spaces where new industry developments are taking place."

– 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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