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    December 11, 2017

    From Spreadsheets to Hard Hats

    I remember back before I was ten years old, waking up before sunrise to go help my father. I would do my best to properly use a shovel and swing a hammer but did my best work fetching tools and playing in the dirt. I kept at it through college working the summers pouring and finishing concrete, and while the labor was tough, I enjoyed working on the projects we were on.

    Yellow hardhat on orange traffic cone wrapped with caution (CUIDADO) tapeFor those 15 years, my father entrenched in me that this was something that I did not want to do as a career. I followed his advice and not knowing what I wanted to do and not much direction, completed a business degree. I spent over 6 years jumping from job to job, but would still find myself in a cubical, in front of a computer, counting the minutes until I could close the spreadsheet I had been trapped in all day.

    I was looking for a way out when one day I received an email from a small company I had never heard of before, Markon. Living in MD, I almost deleted the email after I found out the company was headquartered in VA, but decided to do a bit of research because of all the accolades mentioned in the recruiter’s email. After seeing the construction and facility projects Markon was involved with, I thought they may be a perfect fit in which I could leverage my IC community experience as well.

    When I spoke to the recruiting department it was obvious that they were looking to fill a financial position similar to the ones I had dreaded in the past, so I explained how I gravitated towards the construction projects Markon was involved in. The recruiter then found a position, while still a financial one, that was more suited to what I was looking for working as part of the PMO team at ICC-B. During my interview, I was also reassured that Markon values their ability to move folks into new positions. The fact that Markon did not try to convince me to take the position that they were originally trying to fill and found another position that would suit my personal interests stood out to me.

    After accepting the position, I immediately knew I made the right decision. I had moved from a cubical to a construction trailer and would make daily trips out to observe the progress on site. I planned to soak up as much information as possible over the next few years and eventually transition to an operational/project management role. These goals were communicated at my first O3 and Markon put me in situations to help me accomplish my goals.

    To my surprise, six months in, I was asked to take over as construction manager at ICC-B. I appreciated that Markon followed through on their commitment so quickly. It was also refreshing to know that my hard work and commitment to goals set forth at the beginning of the year which included shadowing Eric Sterud daily (former construction manager at ICC-B), attending all project status/design/anything construction meetings, and building relationships with stakeholders on site allowed me to earn this opportunity.

    I encourage anyone who is not happy in their current position or the current path of their career to reach out and have discussions with your O3 manager as well as fellow colleagues at Markon. If you are willing to commit to your goals and work hard you will be rewarded. Markon values their ability to move folks into more challenging and rewarding positions with my experience just one success story. Seven years into my professional career I am finally looking forward to the work and direction my career is heading.

    Markon Team Member

    Markon is a national consulting firm with a federal government focus, specializing in enterprise technology, financial, and program and construction management for the intelligence community and civilian, and defense agencies.

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