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Insider insight: "I went in with an open-minded attitude about where my career could start."

Posted by Jim Fearon, Hays Canada VP, on Wednesday, Aug 17, 2016

Hays Construction blog: Jeff Logan interviewAre too many new construction grads focused on project management?

Turner Construction senior estimator Jeff Logan tells Hays about his path into the construction industry - and why moving to a general contractor was the right career move for him.

Tell us about your career path? Would you recommend your path to new estimators?

I knew I wanted to do something in construction but I didn’t know for certain what that was. I pursued my degree in Architectural Science at Ryerson, which provided a good base to launch my construction career. After graduation, I was honestly just looking for any type of work and I didn’t have a clear focus on what kind of role I was looking for. My first job out of school was with a Quantity Surveying firm, which isn’t the traditional entry role, and it certainly wasn’t what many of my peers were looking for. Most new graduates are very focused on becoming project managers or designers but I went in with an open-minded attitude about where my career could start.

In hindsight it was a great place to start because you get a wide exposure to all kinds of pre-construction work and a great understanding of different projects. I developed my conceptual estimating skills, worked with consultant teams, and got a detailed understanding of the progression of design and drawings, how they can change based on input from owners and other stakeholders.

How did you decide to move into a general contractor?

I wanted to widen my base of potential opportunities and start dealing with the risk management side of contracting. If I wanted to work in another province or abroad that would be easier with general contracting experience. There’s a smaller Quantity Surveying market in North America so developing those skills would provide other opportunities and open up a wider range of companies.

General contracting gave me a more detailed understanding of the tender process, and of the construction management and design-build process as I got to follow projects from the tender stage through to completion. It’s more of a team oriented environment where we drove the process forward from a design and construction partnership perspective.

I enjoy the general contracting side of the industry and that’s where I’ve been able to really progress. Once you figure out your best skill set, you want to focus on that. The challenges are consistent, there are a lot of problem solving skills required.

Hear Jeff's career advice for new graduates, and what he looks for when hiring. Request the Hays Construct newsletter.

Looking for your next construction opportunity? See jobs below or search roles in your region.

Job Title Location Job ID
Senior Estimator Calgary 1048951
Estimator Vancouver 1027417
 Site Superintendent  Toronto 1047676
Senior Project Manager  Winnipeg 1049265
Estimator  Ottawa 1050785
Senior Estimator Edmonton 1034473

 

Talk to Rowan O'Grady, Hays Canada President, on the Canadian labour market.

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