1. Tell us a bit about yourself
I’m an ambitious and driven leader within the construction industry. I’m the founder of The Construction Coach, a platform helping people build their career in construction via career intelligence and industry insight. I do that via many engaging mediums, and absolutely love growing my community and serving my clients. I value growth and achievement and am always looking for ways to have more of one to get me the other. I’m someone who is very logical, structured and analytical, but I love to feel and experience very deeply.
2. What was your first job and how did you get it?
Unlike my time during my bachelor degree, I was very engaged in the classes and coursework of my Master of Construction Management degree. I applied myself, took it seriously, and spoke up in class. You’ll see why this matters in a moment!
It was in the first year of the second semester that I had to partner up with someone else in the class for a presentation. It literally happened that we were standing outside in a group and I asked the person next to me if she wanted to work together. She was working for a small builder-developer at the time, who was hiring. I rejected the first offer to go in for an interview as I was going overseas at the end of the year. A few weeks later she told me to just go in for a chat, so I did and was offered a position. I vividly remember being up in the law library of the University of Melbourne when I got the call that I was being offered a salary-position. It was one of the rare times I had been speechless! So my first industry-based job was as a Project Coordinator. Onwards and upwards from thereon in.
3. How did you decide and get to your career today?
In year 12 (I’m not even going to tell you how long ago that was), I was very good at graphic design, and some may say art. This led me to try and get into industrial design straight out of university. Thankfully they rejected me. I had no idea what it was and oh boy, did that show in the interview. The other degree that kept on popping up was architecture. It looked interesting enough – a bit of design, a bit of history, let’s try this architecture thing. Plus, obviously, I will be the big shot designing all the buildings… in my dreams.
RMIT University rejected me, and I thought my career was over even before it started. Parallel to that I also had an application for the then Bachelor of Environments at the University of Melbourne. It was my 18th birthday, and I was in Israel, when I woke up, checked my emails and got an approval for my application. I was stoked, I was going to become an architect!
Let’s just say whilst I kept a well above average GPA during my degree, I was anything but a rising architecture star. I was always frustrated with the design process and never took joy in it. I was the student who came to class with a “conceptual” model that still had the glue drying and probably dripping. Trust me, it wasn't without effort or application, but there was little reward for me. Plus the students who seemed to do really well were those that had the most illogical, impractical designs generated by CAD. I never learned 3D anything, I had no ambition to. With those wild Revit designs that were doing so well, I always wondered how this could ever be built, who would even pay for it – the floor plates weren't even lined up!
I realized that my personality is far more logical, process orientated, and more curious to find out how this works. Plus I’m really big into planning and organizing (sometimes to my detriment), and I really like working with numbers not sketches. So I enrolled in a Master of Construction Management, taking a complete departure from architecture, having realized that I’m not suited to that discipline, and I would like to earn more than the minimum wage. In 2013, I started my Master of Construction Management at the University of Melbourne and my mind was opened up to the world of Construction Management. It was everything at once – too big to handle, captivating, logical, structured, overwhelming, and answered my questions as to how sh*t gets done. My career had begun.
4. What advice would you have given your younger self? Or what is the best career advice you have ever received?
The best career advice is that you must fulfill your working life with meaningful work. That can and will take many different forms. It’s going to be an organic, transient process to discover what that is. And what is meaningful and valuable is going to change.
I have so much to say to younger Elinor, but I will say this: that I am very proud of all the work, effort and sacrifice she put in then because, without that, I wouldn’t have achieved what I have to date and be able to be so in love with my life today. So thank you, younger me. She trusted the long-term game and kept on playing, I’m grateful for that.
5. In 5 years, where do you hope to be professionally and personally?
In five years I will be truly and deeply into being the highest and truest expression of myself, which involves a lot of personal growth and massive action. I will be living out my vision, my purpose and my passion, and above all continue serving others to do, be and have nothing less. I will be impacting millions of people and living out my very best life.
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