Notice: Undefined property: stdClass::$id in /var/www/html/plugins/content/bt_socialshare/bt_socialshare.php on line 37

Notice: Undefined property: stdClass::$id in /var/www/html/plugins/content/bt_socialshare/bt_socialshare.php on line 40

Notice: Undefined property: stdClass::$id in /var/www/html/plugins/content/bt_socialshare/bt_socialshare.php on line 37

Notice: Undefined property: stdClass::$id in /var/www/html/plugins/content/bt_socialshare/bt_socialshare.php on line 37

Notice: Undefined property: stdClass::$id in /var/www/html/plugins/content/bt_socialshare/bt_socialshare.php on line 37

Notice: Undefined property: stdClass::$id in /var/www/html/plugins/content/bt_socialshare/bt_socialshare.php on line 37

Notice: Undefined property: stdClass::$id in /var/www/html/plugins/content/bt_socialshare/bt_socialshare.php on line 37


  • The Project Engineer / Assistant Superintendent – Restless Jedis in Training



    Recently we wrote about the training and mentorship enormity of SUPER Superintendents. It think it’s only fitting to address the student side of this story as well.

    There is little sense in mastering anything if you have no pupils to impart such wisdom. 

    Projects large and small are placed in the trusted hands of small core teams to manage cost, schedule and issues.  You are a trusted band on a vessel (job site trailer) positioned in harm’s way with one mission…succeed! Half of that team, or more, consists of Project Engineers and Assistant Superintendents  who have anywhere from 1-5 years of experience. This article is geared more towards individuals with the 1-3 years’ of experience mark, the “restless years”.

    You’ve  just come out of trade or just graduated college. You’ve landed an interview and job with a strong construction company or developer and you are already eager for that next step. Hold on, there is much learning to be done.

    Take pride in the position you have. Though the titles indicate a more junior status your ability to do your job is pivotal for any project’s success.  The best of the best superintendents are still only human and can only be in so many places at once.

    Having an “extension” of one’s self is priceless. A team (large or small) of professional young mentees  that take their jobs seriously is what brings success to a project.  A project engineer that knows facebook is a waste of time ( and life ),  one that captures opportunity, one that synchs with the present and one that can visualize what success means to this vessel’s voyage is one that will grow exponentially in their career. SO in the meantime…run the numbers, review the quotes, check the schedule, track the submittals, take quality meeting minutes, estimate whenever you can, walk the field and learn, learn, learn, take the battle from the job trailer door to the structure and support your good leaders tooth and nail.

    Nothing will make your Superintendent or Project Manager prouder. It takes up to 4 to 5 years to becomes truly promotable so focus on being the best you can be in this job. Trust me, you will get noticed and your career will blossom don’t be impatient. Listen to those that are trying to coach you. Sometimes their coaching might not be so obvious and the learning will be entirely up to you. Eventually the chaos in learning will calm, your  eyes will open and challenges will be fully understood.

    I’ve seen this current generation of Project Engineers become so restless. With 2-3 years of experience they are applying to “Director of Construction” and “Owner Rep” positions. Slow down! Master your craft and we will talk. If you feel your growth is stunted where you are then yes, you should move to a place where you can garner as much knowledge as you can.  Don’t wait on people to teach you. Get involved, make mistakes and learn. You need to be the person that a Superintendent or Project Manager can trust to do your job well when no one is around.

    A pride in your work and personal development IS the FORCE.  Restlessness that dilutes your work can lead to the dark side.

    I’m always available to chat about career growth and transition. Give me a call.



    Retail Construction & Development Jobs HERE


    Contact: Kipp Gillian | | 866-600-0437 x1

    Jobs in Commercial Real Estate: Development, Construction, 

  • The SUPER... Superintendent, Real Estate Construction Professionals


    This article is dedicated to all of those fantastic project superintendents in the construction world. The most hands on, direct commanding voice over 100’s of employees working hard to deliver the projects we live , shop, vacation, work and play in. It’s dedicated to two particular Senior Superintendents who had a major impact on a young project manager (me 20 years ago). Tom Ernest and John Davis….though they wouldn’t want the recognition the definitely deserve it.

    There has always some conflict between Superintendents in the field and Project Management. Understandable as the former are fighting it out with the subs in the field and the later are fighting it out with the owners and upper management in the office. Sometimes an experienced superintendent can feel underappreciated and often irritated by a “wet behind the ears” project manager trying to learn the ropes and barking louder than they can bite. Therein lies the “team” mission. 

    Tom and John were, and still are, some of the best in their craft but one thing I will always remember. They could always call “BS” on me and could bring me back down to earth but in a way that I came away smarter and more prepared. Tom Ernest was like my favorite uncle in the field. He didn’t just look after me, he taught me. I would fly up to the jobsites and bury myself in plans and paperwork sweating out some plan bust and change orders that I had to sell the owner’s on the next day.  Tom would let me run down my rabbit hole and then walk into the project office and say “what’s up Red” and give a good laugh. His wife was always working beside him (such great people). He’d put on a pot a coffee and ask me to review the issue with him. Tom would take 2 minutes to clear up what I had spent 2 hours trying to figure out but he knew not to just hand me the answers. He knew I’d be a better project manager for him if I took my responsibility seriously but he also knew that I, as young project manager, could never amass his wealth of jobsite experience. He would never pick on me, he would just say “hey, I know you get this on paper but if you have a minute lets go outside and review it in the field so you really know what you’re talking about”.  When the troop of owners from the major REITS would show up Tom would sit beside me in the meeting and turn me loose. He  knew when to step into the conversation to give his recommendations ( which was like Moses parting the waters) .  I learned SO much from him and though I was his student he treated me with great respect.

    Tom and I became fast friends and when he and his wife where moved out of California to another project in South Carolina (Dale Earnhardt Sr’s personal race car facility) I felt I had lost some family. We had become a real team and though I, as the project manager, was in charge of defending him and the work on site it was Tom who gave me all the tools, knowledge and confidence  to do it. A funny story. Dale Earnhardt became Tom’s good friend too. Dale didn’t much care for the SVP from our company but he loved Tom. They’d spend the whole day perfecting Dale’s personal race car facility and then, when the work day was done they’d sit on the back of Tom’s truck and have a couple of beers together watching the sun go down over Dale’s property. The SVP at the time kept pressing Dale for an autograph poster. Dale refused time and time again because he just didn’t like the guy. Then as the project wrapped up the SVP walked by Tom’s onsite office and saw a big Dale Earnhardt poster that said “To MY FRIEND TOM….Dale Earnhardt”. Perfect!

    John Davis and I spent time in the trenches. Tom had built me up and made me a decent project manager and when John Davis came to California we “clicked”. John , like Tom, had years of experience on me and was always able to break issues down quickly. He had this wit and humor about him that kept everyone on their toes but also let everyone enjoy their job. A great family man as well. Owner’s would always be a little curious about him at first but the next thing you knew they didn’t want anyone else but John on their projects.  John and I would sit in the job trailer cracking jokes and working our butts off all night. He’d teach me about the issues and I’d figure out the numbers. We always thought about how our decisions would effect one another so we kept the lines of communication wide open and the sense of urgency to keep things moving.  If there was problem on site John not only knew about it, he knew how to solve 2 or 3 different ways and had most of the answers ready to go. He made it look easy, always having this grin on his face like he hid your car keys or something. Subs reacted when John called. They knew he had their interests at heart and they trusted him.  John knew how to work with you and you learned a great deal when he did.

    In short a great Superintendent is a SUPERMAN. Their position transcends building a project. The good ones build their team better than anyone else. They build up new assistant superintendents and project engineers in the field as well as crews from every trade. Their influence can take a young-cocky-“know nuthin”-wet behind the ears project manager and turn him into a decent business man in the construction and development business.  Construction, unlike most industries, shows up in every corner of your life. It’s one thing to know how to price something out and manage it BUT to actually build it is quite another. When you have this you feel comfortable know matter where you are.

    The position of Project Superintendent is one of the most critical ones in the industry. It is a position that will never be automated. My hat goes off to those that taught me and to those that are teaching others and building great projects. To those that are going into this career, take it seriously and it will reward you for life.

    May your projects be injury and change order free!



    Retail Construction & Development Jobs HERE


    Contact: Kipp Gillian | | 866-600-0437 x1

    Jobs in Commercial Real Estate: Development, Construction, 

  • We're in ENR's "TOP 400 CONTRACTORS" Issue!


    We have an ad in the current issue of ENR Magazine, "TOP 400 CONTRACTORS". We are advertising our REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENT of CONSTRUCTION position that is located in San Jose, CA. This is a fantastic opportunity!



    CONTACT: Kipp Gillian | President | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | 866-600-0437 x1 

About GES

We are a leader in executive recruiting for real estate development, construction, architecture and engineering. We've
been in business since 2001 and continue to make the best placements in the industry.

Keep in Touch

  info (@)
  Los Angeles, California

Get Map


Gillian Executive Search

Latest News


Thieving Parking Meters - Shouldn't we...

As more and more parking meters are slowly become credit card friendly this might be...


2017 is in the bag

What did we take from it? Overall 2017 showed promise but was still a heavy...


The Importance of the Salary Question

When I read this article in FORBES, What Should I Say When Recruiters Ask What...

Philanthropy Projects

Top Services

  • Search Planning and Strategy
  • Job Description and Marketing
  • Executive Search and Recruiting
  • Vetting Candidates for Interview
  • Offer Negotiation and Placement


  • Recruiting for Real Estate Development
  • Recruiting for Construction Management
  • Recruiting for Architecture
  • Recruiting for Accounting and Finance
  • Recruiting for Property Management