Kehinde Mosugu is a member of the ProjectManagers.Org community. He shares his story on why he became a Construction Project Manager in the following interview:
Why did you become a Construction Project Manager?
In everything one undertakes in life there must be a strong alignment between our goals and our opportunities to get the job done. In essence, my drive was to do something that will give me the greatest satisfaction and fulfillment. Residential construction undertaken in a built environment for me, provided an opportunity to engage in what gave me the greatest joy the most. It was what led me into taking up the role of a Project Manager full time by resigning my previous banking job.
What work were you doing previously?
I used to work as a project monitoring and control officer with a bank back then. The role entailed property management on the properties owned by the bank and for me, the state of workmanship in the development of the properties was not good enough. This was evident in the barrage of complaint given by occupants of the properties about various problems they faced in their individual apartments. From then on I thought of doing something better if given the opportunity to supervise a typical building construction project.
What are you doing now?
Presently I work as a Project Manager in a building construction project.
When was the moment you decided to make the change?
There was need to properly align my goals with what gave me the most satisfaction and fulfillment whilst giving value to others in my work and back then, the banking job was not doing that. I then carefully analysed my options of whether to remain or to do something that would give me an opportunity to provide value for others rather than working to earn my next pay-package. It was a difficult but great decision that eventually paid off for me.
Are you happy with the change?
The joy of doing what I actually loved doing cannot be overemphasized. The joy of picking up a design drawing and translating it into reality (a building) and also overcoming every challenge associated with the work always gave me the needed motivation to do a great job of making my client happy and satisfied.
What do you miss and what don’t you miss?
Whenever there was no building construction project to undertake for me, that is always a miss.I believe doing construction work always afford me the opportunity to give it my best by providing value to those involved in the project in one way or the other. While what I do not miss is basically when I am not doing my passion-managing site work.
How did you go about making this career move?
Just like reiterated earlier, there was urgent need to do what I true loved rather than what I did just to get by. So, while working with the bank I made sure I gave myself timeline within which to make my transition so that I do not get unnecessary surprises when it was time. I had to face the period of having to create prospects who have actually determined to engage project manager to handle their work. Upon getting some serious client I resigned my job and started work on building construction.
What didn’t go well? What ‘wrong turns’ did you take?
For me, what went wrong was the timing of my decision to leave the bank then as the bank was in the middle of a major project it planned to use as a launch pad into the real estate market in that city back then. As result, my immediate boss and MD did not like the idea of having to lose my role then and so delayed my resignation from the bank. They felt I was insensitive to the organisation by presenting my resignation in the middle of such important project. I had to plead with them and let them know what internal crisis I was facing within me and that I just needed to leave. I then proposed working part time as consultant to help them monitor the project, which I did from initiation to completion. As for what wrong turns I took, I believe the idea of not carrying my immediate boss along on my proposed plan to leave the bank made him feel bad because he believed so much in my ability to do great job and always encouraged me.
How did you handle your finances to make your change possible?
As for that, I simply planned towards it by dedicating some amount for registering my company to do building construction work and getting a registered office to operate from. I made sure that I paid all the statutory fees to enable me do my business seamlessly. So, we were fortunate to get a job with the bank on a part time basis which helped to foot so many bills back then.
What was the most difficult thing about changing?
The security of the regular monthly salary payment which was going to be replaced with period of uncertainty in inflow of funds as a result of unavailability of businesses for the company at some time in the life of the business.
What were other difficulties and how did you overcome them?
As the chief executive of my company, I needed to channel my energy into marketing and prospecting for client so that the business can be live and kicking. Marketing was not my specialty and so I had to soak myself into knowing and applying the tenets of successful prospecting in sales as it relates with my profession.
What help did you get?
The most viable help for me was to read and engage in training in marketing in all its entirety. I did both webinar and physical classroom training so as to be abreast with all I need to arm myself with.
What have you learnt in the process?
I learnt that for any successful prospecting to be done in any business you need some key skills which include the following: (1) researching skills (2) organisation skills(3) listening skills (4) effective communication skills (5) problem solving skills (6) self motivation skills (7) perseverance.
What do you wish you’d done differently?
I wish I had started my career in project management much earlier.
What would you advise others to do in the same situation?
Always stick to your goals and passion because in the long run it will give the greatest joy and satisfaction in any job we desire to do well.