Along this journey I have met and continue to meet, many women who inspire me. With this series, my aim is to share these inspirational women with you, to perhaps encourage you to stay on the path you have chosen or to try something new. This week I am sharing the story of Carrie Hall, I ‘met’ Carrie via Facebook, and love her journey as I am sure you will too.
My Trade Story – Carrie Hall
I have now been in the building industry for 4 years and never imagined that I would be able to love a job as much as I do. My name is Carrie Hall and here is my trade story about how I have got to where I am today as a Colour Consultant and Office Manager for Jux Developments.
My story begins with my fascination of home interiors which started from a young age, I would create different floor plans of my bedroom to get the perfect layout. I would try out all different combinations and styles, and I am pretty sure I nearly drove my mother mad. Like most teenagers I had no idea what I wanted to be ‘when I grew up’ however I definitely had an interest in interior decoration. 17 years ago I found it challenging to break into a very tight knit industry, especially for myself I was young and had no experience or skills. I decided that I would try some work experience at small architect firm in St Luica as it was still in the same field, but it just wasn’t me. I didn’t get the OP I wanted, so I studied business management while I figured out what I wanted to do, I disliked university and the entire system. While studying business management I started working for a Credit Union (member owned financial cooperative) something had to pay the bills. Half way through my degree I changed over and did a Tafe course in interior decoration and an overall colour course, I absolutely loved it and it confirmed for me that this was what I wanted to do. However at the time in Brisbane there were just no jobs around and I eventually fell into a role in finance.
As with life, things just happen and priorities change, my husband and I brought a house and did some travelling. I stayed in finance for 10 years but I just had to do something that used my creative side so with a little nudge from my husband and mum I started looking for jobs on seek. I found what looked to be my dream job incorporating what I had learnt in finance and administration but would also combined my love for colour consulting. I applied thinking there is no way I would even get a call, but I thought I just have to put myself out there, it was scary but it paid off.
I have now been employed by Jux Developments since 2012. Jux Developments is a small family based business that specialises in complex renovations and new homes featuring unique designs on difficult and steep sloping blocks throughout Brisbane. I started from scratch; it was a huge learning curve however I just seemed to get it and I loved it. My original role involved helping clients with colour selections, basic quoting of plans, and office admin. This soon expanded to include, building business strategies and check lists, extensive quoting, marketing and sales, pre starts and selections, trade supervision and handovers. One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is working with our clients through the entire process from plans to handover. To me it’s not just building a house its working as a team to create someone’s dream home.
I interact with suppliers and contractors on a daily basis and I love to get out on site. This is where I learn the most! John the owner of Jux has just been invaluable to my learning, he has a wealth of knowledge and over 20 years’ experience as a carpenter and builder. John would ensure that when I went to site all the trades were respectful. It was really nerve-racking being on site for the first time but John has built a great team of carpenters and sub contractors and they were all really welcoming and supportive from day one. Any questions I had the trades were more than happy to answer and were extremely patient while I was learning, which has contributed to my development and understanding of building. I am very grateful for this and I now live by the motto no question is a stupid one especially in the construction industry, you may just pick up on something that someone has overlooked.
I went on maternity leave in March 2014 and have a beautiful little boy, Koby (now nearly 2, where does that time go). My husband has been amazing and so supportive of me wanting to return to work 4 months after Koby was born. Jux has made that possible with being flexible with my return and also my hours. It’s certainly not easy but it has definitely made it easier to juggle all the demands of work and family life.
For this reason I was nominated for the 2015 HIA Recognition of Women in the Building Industry Awards and a finalist in the 2015 HIA Business Partner Awards. I have been so lucky to have fabulous family, friends & work place that support me. My transition into the building industry has been a smooth process compared to what I expected. The only obstacles I have come across is myself and my own self-doubt. Being a working mum definitely has its challenges however I have come to realise if you want something enough you have to work hard, back yourself and just go for it.
Carrie’s story is another wonderful example of how many different avenues there are into the construction industry, greatly helped by a supportive employer.
Are you considering a career in the construction industry? Have you thought of becoming a tradie?