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editorial
 
People in Construction Like an Office With a Great View

Construction is not for the fainthearted or timid. The industry often requires its people to be part adventurer, mountain climber, artist and even aerialist on the job. But these same requirements that make it somewhat difficult to attract sedate desk jockeys into the industry can pull in action-oriented individuals like a magnet.

Lynne Wilkinson
Photographer Lynne Wilkinson says "there is lots of adventure" in her job as assistant to the principal Caltrans engineer on the replacement of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. While at the top of the existing bridge's steel truss superstructure, she snapped a view between her boots showing construction of the Skyway segmental portion of the replacement bridge.

That sense of adventure, activity and sometimes adversity is a selling point for the industry, not a detriment. Employers need to craft a clearer message about such opportunities and market themselves to a more carefully defined target audience of career seekers who do not want an ordinary office environment. These are the machinery and tool hounds, outdoors people, boaters, craftsmen, tinkerers and technology whizzes. They can help build projects that are larger than life—monuments that will endure and serve—while having the time of their life.

Why go rock wall climbing at a health club when you can be clambering over the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge on an engineering inspection? Why go scuba diving aimlessly when you can be diving to help install caissons and pilings? The industry is unique in that it can provide a very nontraditional office with a great view.