The Test of Time

This past weekend, some friends and I took our first Brightline ride together from Boca to Miami to meet up with my husband for the weekend. Brightline was great, and the people who work there were super friendly and helpful. I’m hooked on the high-speed train as a viable mode of transportation, for sure. I love Miami—the buildings, the waterways, the cultural events, and the restaurants are world class.

I remember moving to Broward County in the early ’90s. My first time traveling to Miami for business was in the early ’90s. I remember how magnificent the buildings seemed, and when it came to conversation, everyone spoke of the Southeast Financial Center and the Cen Trust Towers at the time. Those buildings built in the ’80s, at 55 and 47 stories respectively, were stand-outs.

Flash forward to today, and the Panorama building at 85 floors, built in 2017, is the tallest. Construction is underway on the new 1,049-foot, 100-story Waldorf Astoria Hotel and Residences, set for completion in 2027. The list of the 103 Miami high-rises goes from the 1980s, from the courthouse, at 30 stories, to the completed Panorama Tower built in 2017 at 85 stories, yet touring Miami, some have stood the test of time, and you would not even know what year they were built. Others, well, not so well, with post-tension tendon pocket failure and balcony issues, and the materials chosen in design are a property manager’s constant upkeep cost suck and challenge.

Successful Construction Managers Can Stand the Test of Time

When it comes to construction managers and their careers, the test of time also applies. Just like when a building is constructed, an individual builds a foundation for their career. In my book, Happily Married to Your Employer, chapter two discusses the fact that “You Pay Your Dues Now or You Pay Them Later.” Just like a building, the foundation of your career can be built strategically from the start, or you can do a repair or addition to be shored with time. It can be challenging to shore your career foundation, yet it’s never too late. It is all about your willingness to identify, repair, and build on the areas that need attention to reach your career goals.

Here are three steps everyone can do to access their foundation for the ability to build on for the test of time:

1. Start with a Thought Check

“Skill can be taught, attitude and aptitude cannot.”


Take the workplace attitude assessment and see how you stack up.

If you Score below a 70, your score indicates a need for immediate attention! A positive or negative attitude affects how you approach your job, and attitudes can have a ripple effect on those around you. Remember, a positive attitude has a positive impact on productivity, while the reverse is also true. Learning more about you, your inclinations, and how to make minor changes that make major adjustments in attitude with time can change not only your career trajectory but also your overall life.

2. Improve Your Communication Skills

Do you know if your communication style and how communicating with others without coordinating your approach may be affecting your career growth? Does it make you feel uncomfortable when you have to communicate a change in the workplace or ask for what you need to do your job effectively or efficiently? If you were asked to go before an owner, the city council, or even executives within your own firm to present something, would you do so with poise and clarity?

Many tools can help you identify your communication hurdles and offer ways to improve. Here are three:

Career Coaching/Everything DiSC


Dale Carnegie

3. Identify Your Gap to Target

A gap evaluation in business is a method of assessing the performance of a business to determine whether business requirements or objectives are being met and, if not, what steps should be taken to meet them. It is sometimes referred to as a gap analysis, needs analysis, needs assessment, or need-gap analysis. The “gap” in the gap evaluation process refers to the space between “where the business is” in the present state and where the business leaders want to get to or the target or desired state of the business.

The same process applies to you as an individual. If your career goal is to move from project or field management over time to executive leadership, then the ability to identify the learning and improvements you need to address to not only be offered the opportunity but, more importantly, be able to succeed in the role is all based on your plan to shore the gap to target.

Shore Up Your Foundation for Career Advancement

It is disheartening when I see candidates given titles as the next step in their career when they are unprepared for the new role they asked for or received and are ultimately let go because their desire does not match their ability. We help many individuals identify the trade-offs they need to make today to shore up their foundation to go to the next-level future.

My first entry out of the field and into the staffing side of the business was in the 1990s. There are individuals I talked to back then who were starting out in their careers and others who were more advanced, as is the same daily, today, 26 years later. It is invigorating to see those who built on their foundations and are now leading projects and companies. Many are now hiring managers, and we are working with them to find top talent that fits their culture of quality.

Achieving Humble Confidence in Construction Management

Others, sadly, we call legends in their own mind. They meet with my team and me and try to sell us by saying things like “I’ve built it all” and “I can do it all.” Therefore, despite their age, they have failed the test of time with the inability to develop humble confidence and the ability to communicate their forthright experience and know that this industry is all about learning something new daily.

A construction manager is only as respectable as their ability to collaborate with the person who can do it, teach it, and get it done. At the end of the day, the test of time in construction is all tied to a schedule and budget and your reputation of delivering quality for your part in each project as you build on your own foundation of your career, which can be a choice from infrastructure to skyscraper and everything around and in between.

What heights do you want to go to in your career? Are you building on a foundation that is standing the test of time? Reach out if we can help you with sound career advice, especially if you are willing to work on the gap to target so we can help you get there!

To Standing the Test of Time,

Suzanne Breistol


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