The Construction Veteran Podcast

The Most Important Skill in the Construction

October 16, 2023 The Construction Veteran
The Construction Veteran Podcast
The Most Important Skill in the Construction
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Show Notes Transcript

Have you ever considered the impact of poor work-life balance on your professional and personal life? Trying to juggle responsibilities can often lead to burnout, and I found this out the hard way. After a month-long hiatus from podcasting, I return to share my experiences and insights in setting boundaries between work and home life. The struggles I faced, and how a much-needed family vacation helped me refocus and rejuvenate, is a journey I share in depth.

In this chat, I walk you through the importance of devoting time to what truly matters to you, be it a hobby, family, personal goals, and how these contribute significantly to your mental health. Reflecting on my personal journey, I underscore how setting clear boundaries and standing my ground, despite potential backlash, has made me a more effective leader in work and personal life. I also delve into how aligning your values with your potential employer's values during the interview process can lead to a more fulfilling career. Tune in for insightful advice on managing work-life balance in the construction industry, and learn to cherish the time you have with loved ones.

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Speaker 1:

Welcome back to the Construction Veteran. I'm Scott Friend and today I want to talk to you guys about one of, if not the most essential skill to make you successful in this industry. Let's dig into it Music. So some of you that have been following me for a while might have noticed that I was off for about a month for posting any kind of contact. There's a reason for that, because today we're going to talk about boundaries. I don't mean your left and right lateral limits, I mean how do you separate your work life from your home life? Everybody talks about this work life balance. Right, but they're intertwined. Really, you get the whole person, whether you're at home or at the job site. Let me give you guys a real world example.

Speaker 1:

So years ago I had a rental home and I had a roof that we had to replace and I just didn't have the money to do it. Well, obviously that was weighing heavily on me. I was a field superintendent at the time and I went and told the project superintendent hey, man, here's what's going on. I'm probably not going to be myself today Pretty upset about it, don't know what to do. His response Well, that's home stuff, we don't care about that here. Man, what a wrong thing to say. On the flip side of it, I had a really crappy day at work about a month or so ago and I came home and, man, I know married couples tend to have the little tiffs now and again but man, me and my wife really got into it. But it was me. I had a lot of anger and I had a lot of issues that I needed to overcome, but I was carrying it over from the job site. So back to why I took so much time off. So I'll show you guys a couple pictures. I took a family vacation. We went down to the coast of Texas, got some good fishing in, got some good time in the RV, really just hung out and re-centered myself and had that rest.

Speaker 1:

Now, when we talk about rest, you know doing errands, doing normal stuff, even sitting at the house, sometimes it's not really a rest. You need to go do something you enjoy, something that takes your mind off of work and sometimes even off of home. So how does this all relate to boundaries in my day, to ask? Well, the fact that I'm at home right now, I mean I want to make sure that when I'm at home I have time dedicated to my family and at the same time, when I'm at work, I have to set those healthy boundaries as well with my wife. You know, if it's an emergency, obviously call me, but I can't be texting all day long, so it's got to work both ways. Now, it doesn't mean I don't love my wife, obviously. It just means that, hey, I want to be more effective at work, but you guys had to respect that time when I'm at home as well.

Speaker 1:

So how that relates to the vacation, there's a select few people that have my contact information that know how to get a hold of me when I'm gone. Now, I did get one call while I was on a week or so vacation, but it was hey, man, sorry to bother, you Just need something really quick and you help me out. Yeah, no problem, man, appreciate it. I know you're with your family. Just get back to me when you can. That's what I mean by setting those boundaries. Now, I could be way out in the left field by saying this, but this is just my belief. I think a lot of people are afraid to set these boundaries because they're scared of maybe some kind of repercussion, that they're going to get in trouble, that their boss won't like them, but it's not the case at all, at least from what I've found. You know. Back to my example of people calling me. They knew hey, man, this is important to me and a good leader respects that.

Speaker 1:

But as you guys transition into this industry, you need to understand, or really learn, what are your boundaries? What's important to you? What really gets you up in the morning? What makes you going? Make sure you take time for that.

Speaker 1:

If you're single, is it a hobby? You know, make sure you stick with it. Is it going to the gym? If you're fresh out of the service? You know, what is it maintaining? Is it you're focusing on school? There's a myriad of different things that I could list off, obviously, but you have to figure out what's important to you. Now I can't stress enough. You know you've got to do the same thing for your folks at work. You got to work hard while you're there. So you know the thing with family, the way I related, that's just, that's what I know, right, but that's not going to apply to every single person that watches this. Not everybody has a family. But what is it that really drives you? What do you want? To make sure that you have your full focus on when you're out of work.

Speaker 1:

Somebody I was talking to recently had a good example. That you set those boundaries and people start to realize it builds trust to, because they say, hey, he's got these boundaries, I'm going to respect that, but at the same time he's going to respect mine too, and that inevitably builds trust. I think there are some people that do this very well in the military. Very good leaders know how to do this. You know, after you get off a deployment and you really want to spend that time with your family or your loved ones, they're going to respect that. I think there's some very bad leaders in the military that do the same thing and some bad leaders in the construction industry that do that.

Speaker 1:

But just stand your ground and make it known. I'm not saying be a jerk about it, but another example Sundays are for me and my family, especially Sunday morning, going to church with my family, spending time with them and those I love in our community. That's very important to me. So I set that boundary with anybody I've worked with. So if that means I have to work late another night or if I have to pick up somebody else's shift on a weekend, so be it, but I maintain those Sundays with me and my family.

Speaker 1:

So what I'm getting at with all of this is that, while you're doing the interview process, make sure that your values are known to them. Talk about it. Just be you. Be a person. If you can tell right off the bat, maybe our values don't align, that's OK. There's other companies out there. Don't jump into something because it just kind of seems like it might be a good idea but doesn't feel right. There's going to be another company that values your personal time.

Speaker 1:

I hope that you find a job or a position that you love, because I'm not going to lie I don't live to work. I love what I do. I love the people I work with, but at the end of the day, my family is going to be there for the rest of my life Not that some of these friends that I have at work won't, but that's the woman that I chose to marry. These are my children. These are the things that I want to do with them, because someday they're going to be adults and I won't have all that time back with them. So I want to cherish that time that I have with them right now. Do the right thing, be present, enjoy life. Good luck to you guys.