Our guest today is Elinor Moshe, The Construction Coach founder and author of the best sellers Constructing Your Career, Leadership in Construction, and Young Guns.
Elinor is guiding, inspiring, and directing industry professionals and future leaders in the construction industry.
Today she is here to inspire you with her career journey and discuss how to build a career in construction.
From navigating the tumultuous tides of a career shift to becoming a published author and an influential figure in construction, we explore the various elements of Elinor's journey and the indispensable lessons she learned along the way.
As the conversation unfolds, Elinor provides an insider's guide on how to strategically carve out a career in the construction industry, underscoring the power of networking and creating a positive ripple effect.
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Hello and welcome to the Career Changers podcast. I'm Elisa Martiniig and I'm the founder and editor-in-chief of the Career Changers. I'm definitely one of them. I learned from my experience that following our dreams requires courage, self-awareness and a lot of inner work. I love to discover stories of career change and share them with the world as a source of inspiration for all those who are still searching. Career changes are not straightforward chronology written in our CVs, but the sum-up of our dreams, ambitions, failures and successes. The Career Changers is an online community that aims to inspire thousands of people during their journey to self-realization. We discover and share inspirational real-life stories of career change. We inspire people that are thinking to change career. We support people that want or need to change career but feel stuck or lack in confidence and clarity. We connect and collaborate with organizations that support career change across different industries. I believe that thinking to have only one job or career in our life is a limiting belief unless the job or that career make us happy. Life is a journey and we one-third of our lives spent working. It would be unimaginable to not have a desire to explore new avenues. Welcome to the Career Changers podcast. Hello and welcome to a new episode of the Career Changers. Our guest today is Elinor Moshe, founder of the construction coach and author of the best sellers constructing your career, leadership in construction and young guns. Today she's here to inspire you with her career journey and discuss how to build a career in construction. Hi, elinor, thank you so much for joining us.Speaker 2:
It's a pleasure to be here and thank you for having me on your show all the same.Speaker 1:
Thank you. I'm really excited because we're going to talk about a topic that we never covered before. That is related to how to build a career in construction. But let's start from your background. How did you start your professional life, or better, what was your first job?Speaker 2:
My first, first job was in hospitality, I think, like many 15-year-olds who end up serving fast food or working for a mere five, six dollars an hour, which back then, when you see a paycheck for $50 after two weeks, seems like a lot. But fast forward, from that I thought I would become the grandiose architect, the one that would have their name on buildings and roll up and make big design changes. I really fell into that narrative. But I only realized that I am a creative, but not in that conventional sense, and the world should be grateful. I did not end up as an architect and when I thought about I wanted to have a career in the built environment but I wasn't keen on being the design professional and going through then the course guides, it was construction that stood out to me, as it felt that then it answered my questions of well, how do buildings actually get built? It felt like this marriage between the creative right brain thinking and then it married the logic left brain thinking of concrete no pun intended facts and processes which I am inclined towards, of bringing a building to life. So I started working in commercial corporate construction and I was there for around eight years before I decided to experience other dimensions within the industry as well. So most of my corporate career was spent working on conventional project delivery front end and I worked on, I think, around $250 million in delivery over my time.Speaker 1:
So what was your dream job when you were a child? Was it something different?Speaker 2:
I have Jewish parents. It's a very traditional and I was pushed towards law in a way, because my dad has this backgammon set and it comes in a beautiful velvet case and my mum always said that I look great holding a briefcase. So I'm glad that I didn't make my career decisions on that. Primarily, however, I did not really see that as being suitable for me. You know, when you experience a subject in year 10, it was dry and it was not really what I desired. One thing that I probably didn't realize was an aspiration as a young age was to become an author. When I was in school, I loved reading and writing, as I still do. I could immerse myself in that world all day, every day, and in schools I would make books, and I actually found one of my books and I read this along with the illustrations and I still thought you know what? This is damn good. I did a great job as a 10 or a 12 year old. So I think authorship was something which was always in me and it did manifest in my career, but it's not. You know, when the career counselor sits you down and says what would you like to be Author, doesn't even come up in the guide. It's not seen as a career onto itself, so authorship was probably under there and lucky I did not also become a lawyer.Speaker 1:
What is your educational background?Speaker 2:
I have a bachelor in architecture and a master in construction management.Speaker 1:
So you mentioned before that you spent 18 years, if I'm correct, in construction. Eight, yes, yes. And how did you progress then your career, before becoming a construction coach and then also becoming a published author of three bestselling books?Speaker 2:
I have to say that my mess became my message. I got many things wrong in my career. I approached the industry with naivety and thinking that if I just work hard and I just do my best, that that is what is going to get me rewarded. And when I realized that that is not how the game is played, that really became my message and I learned the hard way. And also at the year 67 mark. Some people have the disillusionment shattered for them a lot earlier, but for me it came quite late and the pillars which I thought society will reward you on that I thought were progressive were completely wrong. I didn't know how to play the game and that led to me not knowing how to handle certain situations, capitalize on opportunities at the time and make real moves in my career. I played it far too safe and I learned the hard way that corporate is much about politics and the skill set associated with politics.Speaker 1:
Is there been anyone or anything that has been a major source of inspiration during your career journey?Speaker 2:
I have been extremely fortunate to have the right mentor at the right time. Throughout the crux of my corporate career, I was fortunate to have a mentor and they opened pathways and they allowed me to experience certain things at a young age in terms of achievements that I may have not done for myself on my own merit and, of course, people are with you for either a reason, a season or a lifetime and when that mentoring relationship expired, it really forced me to think well, what is it that I actually want? Because they were trying to get me to fit into a box which had nothing to do with me, and that was really such a positive experience in retrospect as it made me think about what is it that I want out of my career, because to build someone else's dream simply didn't make sense to me anymore. And then, in continuity, the mentor that I'm privileged to have today, ron Melhotra, has also been a major source of inspiration and someone who showed me possibility in my career that I didn't even dream of and then gave me the pathway in order to make that happen for me, and more In such a short period of time. So I definitely take inspiration from mentors and also generally from people who have defied the status quo. It's, you know, leaving corporate is the modern day Robin Hood story, and of course, it may seem bastardized on Instagram and social media where people are saying you can do it too. You can. It is hard, but so is working for 40 years with no inspiration and no passion. So I'm always, you know, hats off to people who choose to defy the status quo and forge their own path.Speaker 1:
I definitely agree with what you said. It's hard, yes, 20, 40 years without inspiration. So and this is why we are here, to inspire people that are listening to us. So how and when did you find your inspiration to write your first book? I guess that was constructing your career.Speaker 2:
Yes, it's surreal that I wrote that at this point three years ago. How time flies since you conceived your first book. When I started on my thought leadership journey, authorship was a key dream, and I remember reading my vision to my mentor, ron Melhotra, and I thought that I would publish a book when I'm 60 and retired, and then I would have something to say. And then, in August 2020, I released Constructing your Career and what I realized in the industry, and it is still very much today the case that individuals are not constructing their own career right. It's your career, meaning you are the one that needs to be in the driver's seat doing exactly that driving your own career and, like a construction project, has to happen from the design and foundations and so on, so forth. That, of course, was not a perfect sequence. That is the same principles in which you must construct your career. Without knowing the vision, which is the design. What exactly are we going to end up with? If we don't have the right consultants on board, which are mentors, coaches, healers, whoever it is that you need on your team, then how are you going to really enable such complexity to come into fruition in your life and still achieve from that as well. There are all the unseen aspects of a building. For example, I can't see electricity. So that's the services. And much in our career there are great and powerful unseen forces which have huge influence on our career and on our trajectory. So the same merit that we construct a building. Individuals in the construction industry are still following conventional career paths that were established by who knows who once upon a time. That didn't even have you in mind, didn't have me in mind and it definitely didn't have anyone else in mind. But people are blindly following each other, going nowhere, and that is the harsh reality. But those who say I've had enough and I'm finally going to take responsibility and ownership for my own career is how they start to enable themselves and equip themselves with the powerhouse mindset and the high income skill set that is required to construct your own career. Because no one in the morning wakes up and says I'm going to construct Eleanor's career and no one wakes up and says I'm going to construct Eleanor's career. No one thinks of that. And if you are not thinking of that for yourself, then you are going to be falsely misled and that disillusionment will come to an end if you think that your bosses or your managers around you are going to go out of their way to build your career for you, and that was the driving impetus to put this in a book, because people are being misled, not just in construction, but in careers generally, following paths and being the passenger Some people aren't even in the passenger seat, some people aren't even in the car of their own career. So it's essential to reclaim your own agency over your own career, which is the purpose of this book.Speaker 1:
I definitely agree with everything you said. We need to take charge of our own career, find which is the destination, where we want to go to, and sometimes it's a long journey and it starts with looking for inspiration and listening to other stories like yours. So we cannot talk about how to build a career in construction. That is something I find particularly interesting because it's not one of the most common topics that is discussed when talking about careers, and I think it can provide inspiration for new graduates that come out of university, but also people that maybe are finding they want to. As you say, you had your own journey of mixing creativity with a passion for buildings and so understanding how that word work. So, first of all, if someone would like to, someone would like or is thinking about a career in construction, what should be their mission, what they should really want in their career?Speaker 2:
Most people enter into the industry thinking that they're going to make a lot of money quick. There is a perception that it's a lucrative industry. Now, it is a higher paying industry than average if you say compared to hospitality, but that is in proportion to the risk and the responsibility that an individual takes on. There are graduates who earn 90 to 100k, but they also work six days a week full-time. So if that is the kind of life that you want to have and you're willing to put in those hours in order to get the big numbers, then that's fine. But people think they have a common misconception that they're just going to earn lots of money, drive the fancy cars and not, you know, have a cushy nine to five job. That's the wrong reason to enter into the industry. Whatever it is that you do, the baseline needs to come from passion, and if someone isn't passionate about any aspect of the built environment, whether it's the financials of the built environment or the architecture of the built environment or the construction methodology and the build process itself, if that is not your point of entry of passion and that eagerness and curiosity to learn, any other point is only going to allow people to have a diminishing rate of return and to eventually look around and say what am I doing here? I came in for the wrong reasons and now I'm stuck for the wrong reasons as well.Speaker 1:
Yeah, and that's something we don't want to. Exactly so, regarding education qualification, I think you know you're based in Australia. I found not wrong. Yes, I think our program is listen worldwide, so can we talk about it a bit? What can be the standard education or qualification needed to have a career in construction?Speaker 2:
Surprisingly, none per se. There's a commonality in the and I'll qualify that. There's a commonality in the industry that as soon as you start working on site, forget everything that you have learnt and now the real learning begins, because what happens on site and the skills that are valued in the workplace have not truly come through the academic system, and there is only so much that can be taught in in a lecture. There is only so much that can be taught from a skill set perspective without real life application. There are universities who are really doing great things in collapsing the, the separation between academia and and the industry, and giving students that mentality and the principles that will actually serve them when they go out into industry. But I never used my degree for a day. It was only because I started working that my degree was made easier, because now it finally made sense. So it's not about the. There's no prerequisites per se. Of course, when you are in the industry, there are specialist skill sets such as safety, or it could be quality or even certain project management type programs which can offer people an opportunity to upskill outside of their nine to five. But I think that's really what the model should be like, is people need to identify is this where I want to be? And then think, what mindset do I have? And then identify the skill set. What happens in the academic world? As people spend three, four years building a skill set, they don't know what mindset they have and they don't know where they want to be. So it isn't a necessarily long academic path and it is certainly not the type of industry which you know people should be spending eighty, ninety thousand dollars in debt only to find that they don't even like being at six am on site pouring concrete, watching the concrete happen. So controversial perspective, but it's important for people to realize there's more than one way to approach this career.Speaker 1:
Well, and we want to know, then, which is the way to approach that career, which is the way. How to get started.Speaker 2:
I think it's important to talk to people who are in the industry, but not take one person's experience as the truth. I have a lot of mentees who say I spoke to this person and they said I should do this and should do that, and should do this and should do that. And that is exactly what you should not do. My path has served me and that does not mean that it is going to serve you all the same. Unless you want someone's results precisely, you're not going to follow their advice. Of course, professionals are going to vouch that their decisions and what they're working in is the best, but it's about understanding your career construction from the inside out. What are your passions? What excites you? What functions would you like to carry out in the industry? If you say like a hybrid between numbers and design, design management may be for you rather than someone telling you you must come a developer, you must become a project manager. So people need to get a taste for what it's like in the industry through talking to as many people. Volunteering through different non-for-profit associations and those professional types of bodies are fantastic Only for them to realize where is it that I would like to be in the industry, rather than allowing the industry to tell you where you should be.Speaker 1:
So you just mentioned talking to as many people. So what is the importance of networking? What type of networking should someone do to build a career in construction or to find the right opportunities to develop their career in this sector?Speaker 2:
Don't go to networking for the sole reason of wanting a job. Your network is sort of like current money in a bank you want to be able to have it there when you need to make a withdrawal, but if you're not making deposits on a daily, weekly basis, then your equity financial or relationship wise is not going to grow. The industry is actually quite insular and it's an industry where everyone just about knows everyone. Names proceed, names proceed and personalities proceed more than anything else. Really, when people want opportunity within their career, where does it come from? It comes from people, and if no one knows you and no one knows who you are, then that network is absolutely rendered irrelevant. And it's not just about having connections on LinkedIn. The key aspect is do people know you, trust you, potentially like you, and then want to do business with you? That is the marker of a network, because there are no businesses, there are no careers that are truly built in in a silo and where people get stuck or they don't place. The importance on networking is that there's no immediate results. I can't go to one event and expect an outcome, but I do need to go for a few years before I can actually say I have equity in this network. It is truly one of the most valuable types of equity that you can have, if not more than financial equity, so the importance of consistency and continuous presence.Speaker 1:
So we are approaching the last section of our episodes and we would like to know a little bit about you in terms of how each of us, with our choices, can have a positive impact on the world. How do you feel you're making the world a better place through your work?Speaker 2:
You can only be an inspiration if you have taken massive and immediate action and defy the status quo. One isn't an inspiration because they have done what everyone else is doing. A key part of what I have always done is to seek to defy the status quo, and I know that in my heart of hearts. What I am here to do is to enable humanity to be in a higher expression of themselves, because when an individual is under so many layers of conditioning that do not belong to them, that do not allow them to be in control of their own career, of their own life, people become diminished. And to be crushed and diminished because someone doesn't have the backbone and confidence to make really good decisions for themselves is something that I can only reverse, number one, by doing that myself and constantly leading by example. I know that people have heard that often, but I won't be able to say, hey, construct your own career if I didn't go and create my own niche where there was none before, in order to have the life and lifestyle that I want to see for myself. So that is a key part, and also by sending people away from societal constructs, away from what society is telling you, and getting them to look into the place where they don't want to look the most, and that is, of course, inside themselves to find answers to what they want to know, and that's why it's constructing your career. It's in my podcast is called Constructing you, young Gun, is all about giving the power back to young guns, because we do not need more social editors, people telling people you're being too ambitious to this, to that. They're irrelevant.Speaker 1:
What type of advice would you give to anyone during their journey to self-realization?Speaker 2:
As a quote by Buddha, if I'm not mistaken, there's only two mistakes you make on the path. Number one is to not get on the path and number two if you are on the path, to stop. So I can only say they're really the two fundamental mistakes. If you haven't started the journey, then you are living with so much head trash and conditioning that you're robotic to this point and I was that person and that's why I say it. But then the path is challenging. You get to the tight night of the soul, you go through awakenings, and I know this is foreign terminology to a certain extent, but it is not easy. It is a turbulent pathway and people stop, so do not stop either.Speaker 1:
And really now the last question if you could give yourself a piece of advice, what would you say to your younger self?Speaker 2:
To the best of her ability, then is to be all of who you are. That is the core, that is the source of everything that is good in this world. If that is the greatest gift we could give ourselves, that is the highest expression of creativity and love. And even if Eleanor back then did not know what self did look like then, to at least not live in the shadows or boxes or tiny tiny pathways of what has been said around you.Speaker 1:
Well, thank you, eleanor, for joining us today and sharing your inspirational story and wisdom with our listeners and for our listeners. Last message don't forget to subscribe to our channel and tune in next week for a new inspirational episode of the Career Changes. Thank you, grazie, pramega.