Day in the life of
Construction Manager – David Sheppard
Between planning, hiring, haggling over budgets and contracts, inspecting new construction and a plethora of other jobs, a Construction’s manager’s day often begins way before the rest of the world starts out. We’re typically the early birds.
As a construction manager, getting a work-life balance is a delicate balance. More often than not, work-related challenges will creep into your me-time. Receiving a work-related call on a Sunday afternoon is nothing new in our lives. Since our work is extremely hands-on, we often have no option but to put on the helmet, jump in the truck, and head for the site.
My Typical Day
Typically, I’m at the site office by 06.00 Am. I have my breakfast on the go, or at the site office quite frequently. Arriving earlier than everybody else gives me the time to plan out the day, schedule meetings, appointments, and calls.
At around 07.00 AM, you will find me on the phone confirming supplies, and any new developments in the plan.
Once the rest of the site employees get in at eight, I meet with the personnel. Typically, we have to plan out everything about the construction for that day. We also have to set our goals clearly.
Once the mini-conference is done, I usually go back to the office to sign documents, reply to emails and take any new calls concerning the job. In between this drab paper-pishing, I also take breaks on the site. Normally, I do inspections on the progress of the construction between 09.00 and 1.00 pm.
After getting a short lunch break, I often have to hop onto a call with the client. Sometimes, the client visits the site to do a self-appraisal of the project. If not handling the client or any other site visitors, I will probably be filling out the bills, and issuing updates to the subcontractors regarding the invoices they submitted. Given the number of invoices, it may take me the whole afternoon to complete the task.
When the personnel leaves the site at 05.00, I do another round of inspection. Usually, I draft a daily review report on the progress undertaken within the day, and corrections that need to be done pronto on the following day. It takes me an hour or so to go around the whole site. After the inspection, I’m back at the site office to finalize the daily review and wind up any remaining tasks.
- I’m quite free to make my own decisions- Being a construction manager is a point of pride. It’s a position of leadership. Most clients give us free reigns of the project, so long as we deliver the intended results. This sort of independence is quite crucial for me.
- One on one client handling- Unlike other jobs within the industry, I relate with my clients on a personal basis. I meet them as often as they are available. This means that the job is in fact an opportunity to build more relationships
- A lot of space for growth
- There’s a lot of traveling if you’re up to or it.
- As a construction manager, I’m essentially self-employed.
- First, the job is highly stressful. Little wonder, therefore, that most of us are always on the edge. Some clients can be quite demanding.
- There’s little personal time on the job – In retrospect, I think that I’m always working. Due to the tight deadlines, construction-work rarely takes a break. This comes at the behest of spending time with my life or building on my hobbies.
- I can’t forget how detrimental being at a construction site can be to a person’s health. Even with all kinds of protections, it takes a toll on you at some point.
plan, direct, or coordinate, usually through subordinate supervisory personnel, activities concerned with the construction and maintenance of structures, facilities, and systems. Participate in the conceptual development of a construction project and oversee its organization, scheduling, budgeting, and implementation. Includes managers in specialized construction fields, such as carpentry or plumbing.