Construction. The people side.

Whether your planning your own career or trying to hire the best candidates, some thinking around the people part of the industry.

METRIK Management inc.

PV Aug 2007 close_edited.jpg

Words I don’t like: “Join the conversation”

When I hear new anchors and hosts inviting us to "join the conversation," it's a naive comment made by sophomoric minds. Online comments and feedback bring out the worst in us. Like Garth Turner says, "online, everybody is Chuck Norris."


Online "conversations" are a lot like like grade 5 math class. The loudest, most obnoxious kids, not always the brightest, dominated the conversation. Additionally it implies together we can come to a higher understanding. Adding more people to anything doesn't have a history of making smarter solutions. Einstein didn't work in a group. History would seem to indicate otherwise. The more people you add, the dumber the solutions. You may create buy-in or political support, but you won't create quality.




Updated: Oct 28

(There is no demand for self taught dentists.)

As part of your career value, “contract” years are discounted because they lack accountability, development, discipline, scope, size of project and more skills than I can list here. 10 years subcontracting for is not the same as 10 years on payroll with Kiewit or Flatiron.


There is no demand for self taught dentists.

The best career track is always find the work you love, stay with it year after year, and move into larger projects as you can. Don’t look left or right, just up.


There's another point here. Construction is one industry that pays disproportionately high compared to any other. You don't have to go into your own business and assume all the risks.


I've had 28 year old Project Managers managing 150 people on a site in Kitimat for $220k. How is that possible? The average family doctor in Vancouver earns about $200k. The young guy in Kitimat took a BCIT construction course, night school - that's all. A heads up, these young guys who go far in construction tend to be cut from the same cloth. Fairly smart but extremely high levels of emotional maturity. When speaking to them, they have an "old soul" or life awareness more often found in 50 year olds. I don't want to take anything away from them, they are very, very capable but compared to other industries, (teaching, insurance, auto mechanic, physiotherapy), you can be as mature as Gandhi, you'll never earn $220k on payroll.


Some thoughts,

  • In construction, you should work for a great company. There is no need to go into your own business. You will be successful financially.

  • Intelligence is not as useful as EQ, Emotional maturity is everything. If you understand people you'll go far.

  • Construction people work hard. Nothing wrong with sick days, mat leave, sabbaticals, professional development days, it's just not top of their list. They are self reliant and living their lives.

  • Construction people build stuff. They Like matching RSPs, bonuses for successful projects, a truck and a gas card, good benefits and 3-4 weeks off a year.

  • Construction people make money. A lot of it. Self reliance pays well.

  • Construction rewards competence with a straight line to the top. You want a career, be very dedicated, give your whole heart, and work hard. You will get to the top. If your current employer can't figure you out, another company will.

  • Construction people (the successful ones) tend to love construction and nothing else. They do not switch professions or industry.

If you think you want to work on your own, you need to look around. Context helps. Stay employed.




I like the word journey as applied to human striving or evolving. The problem is, not much separates “journey” from “not knowing what you’re doing.” Being lost is a journey every time.


I’m not saying they’re the same thing, but I wish there was less overlap. Now you know what I’m thinking should I ever interview you and you relate some story about your "journey" through hardship.

It's Friday, the week has been a journey.

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