I was born/grew up in: I was born in Kimberley, BC – grew up in the East Kootenay
I now live in: Kelowna, BC
I have also taken many other continuing education courses; many related to Project Management to learn more and to keep up to date with changes in this area.
What I do at work
My workday filled with a lot of communication. Project managing is really the art of communication and bringing all the pieces together at every step.
In the early days of my career, I was on the technical and production side of designing. I used computer software programs to assist with the preparation of design packages. Checking in with the engineers or architects regularly was required so I could get their feedback on the design criteria and intent of the design. Interpreting what they said or provided required careful attention to detail.
Software has advanced in significant ways over the course of my career. Using these tools to the best of my ability has allowed me to keep current. I expect the impact of technology in design will only increase in the coming years.
My career path is
I had no idea of where I was going when I was high school age. The country was in the middle of a downturn in the economy and there was no/little money for student education. I decided to pursue construction technology because I enjoyed drafting in high school. I completed a 2-year diploma program in Building Technology at BCIT. This has been the foundation of my learning and my career. I continued to take courses throughout my career to keep my learning up to date and to take on new roles and responsibilities.
I have worked in private consulting, public employee for a City, and a part-time post-secondary instructor at a college. I did this while raising my family. In addition, I have sat on a provincial board of my professions association and volunteered at many opportunities. I have also chaired two committees, and am past president of the Northern Technology and Engineering Society.
Each role I have taken on has been a twist or turn for me. During my career, I have never written myself into a specific role. I have adapted with what is at hand and made this career what it is. I would describe myself as a generalist, willing to learn and adapt to the current situation.
I have had many role models in my career. The people that have influenced me the most are the ones that I have learned from their actions and professionalism. Some of my biggest challenges have been significant growth moments for me.
I am motivated by
I enjoy the process of bringing a team together to work on a project! Then I like following that project through the steps to deliver an outcome to the client’s satisfaction. It is rewarding to understand the complexities in providing community infrastructure services and systems to allow us to have the kind lives we live in our communities.
How I affect people’s lives
Every project we work on has a benefit to the public. Sometimes, the outcome is an improvement on an existing piece of infrastructure. At other times, it is planning to improve or find a better a way of providing services to the public. This includes providing clean water, managing wastewater, providing environmental improvements, improving transportation facilities, etc.
Outside of work I
I have volunteered in many capacities over the past 40 years. Some of these roles relate to my professional life (e.g., sitting on an association boards or being a member of a committee), attending career fairs and volunteering at trade shows. In my personal life, I have been a soccer coach and team manager, cross country skiing timekeeper, science fair judge, and of course, school fundraiser.
My advice to others
I recommend keeping current with technology and seek out information for what you do not know. Always, push a little harder to get you through a challenge; you can and will do it. Also, develop a keen sense of trusting your instinct, which will help for decision-making.
If you feel your confidence waiver, seek a resource (trusted colleague, friend, family or other) to work through that and reset.