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Would you recommend field experience over office experience?

I was recently asked whether I want to go the superintendent route or the project manager route, and want to know what is best for my future. #construction

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Rachel’s Answer

You will need to focus on stress and time management. In order to manage stress you have to manage your time wisely. <span style="background-color: transparent;">You have to set a routine for yourself and stick to it for the most part. Once you get into the groove of a routine it will be much easier for you to manage your time and have enough time for everything you need to do (including relaxing). Make yourself to-do lists on a weekly basis, use Google calendar or a planner to keep track of events, deadlines, and due dates. In addition to setting a routine and sticking to it, plan out relaxing activities into your day. Or set aside a time, after everything is done for the day, that you can have "me" time. I have also personally found it essential to not only find time for myself but also make use of that time in a way that is best for me and my holistic wellness. I have found the HeadSpace app to be an essential tool in helping me relax and generally feel more relaxed throughout the day, Guided meditation, even if you have a busy schedule, will make you feel more at ease and relaxed throughout the day as a whole (not just when you have the time to relax and focus on that "me" time).</span>

<span style="background-color: transparent;">Set a routine.Use Google Calendar.Set aside Me TimeWrite weekly to-do lists and use a planner.Find a peaceful and restful activity that will help you feel relaxed.</span>



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Christine’s Answer

Hello,
I chose the project manager route for my career path. I found that I had a much easier time managing the challenges associated with the office than with the field. I think it would be great to get a shot at both. It's so hard to know what fits best with your personality until you get to know both. PMs spend the majority of their time writing and negotiating contracts and change orders, communicating job challenges with the Owner, managing many field issues along side the superintendent and ultimately managing the budget for the project. Superintendents must have all the same skills, but need to use them out in the field with the trades all day long. They are responsible for safety, quality control and most of all the schedule. There is constant negotiating with general foremen and superintendents from the subcontractors company's to get the work completed in line with the schedule. And as a superintendent 90% of your time is spent out in the field, whereas a PM spends 90% of their time in the office and in meetings. That difference alone can be what makes the decision for a person.
Best of luck!
Christine

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Zach’s Answer

IF you would like to be a superintendent field experience is a must. When you are the superintendent you are the "get it done" expert and the man responsible for health and safety. For a superintendent there is simple no replacement for field experience if you want to be good. On the other hand most people like to go the office route but it either takes a lot of confidence and field experience or a college degree in construction management or a related field.


From what i can see being a superintendent looks great. Its like being a captain of a ship (of sorts). I recommend going union (like operators engineer 302 union) -> crane operator -> assistant super -> super


Hope this helps and let me know if you would like to learn more,


Z

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