Movers and shakers
Published: November 1, 2009
So it was with excitement and dread that, after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I considered moving even farther from my hometown of Chicago to chase a job with a Green Bay newspaper. Yes, my Bear-loving family was appalled, but a daily newspaper gig was tempting enough to have me, at least mentally, packing my bags and moving into enemy territory.
Call it lucky timing or, perhaps, a crisis of allegiance narrowly averted, but before I made the decision a colleague from the Madison newspaper at which I interned gave me a heads-up about a job opening in Waukesha. The proximity to Chicago was a plus and the prospect of living near Milwaukee appealed to my city girl heart.
The Waukesha job worked out, both for my family and the Green Bay newspaper people who were spared hearing me chant “Da Bears!” during football season, and I stayed at the job for several years.
It never would have happened if not for an unexpected tip, an industry connection that worked in my favor when a favor is what I needed most.
There were options when I was looking fora job, and my contact simply made it easierfor me to choose a place that worked best for me. There is a lot more at stake today for college graduates. Making the right connections, knowing the right people, can mean the difference between a paycheck and an unpaid internship.
The same stakes apply to the construction industry. A well-timed mention of a possible project can mean the difference between submitting a winning bid and scrambling for scraps. It’s not always about who you know, but it sure doesn’t hurt to know as many people as possible.
This year’s Newsmakers of the Year know a lot of people. In fact, many of the winners know the same people, a fact that became increasingly clear with each newsmaker story I edited. This year’s winners have connections to each other and to previous winners.
They probably have connections to the people who will win future Newsmaker awards.
Our 2009 Public Official of the Year, Sen. Fred Risser, knows Alan Fish, who represents our 2009 Developer of the Year, the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Service Provider of the Year Larry Michael has a longtime working relationship with our 2009 Subcontractor of the Year, Construction Supply & Erection Inc. Such connections have bred success and opportunity for many of our winners.
All of them are successful on their own, but they also know the value of good teammates.
I, too, know the value of a solid team, which is why I’ve switched my allegiance to the Packers. Despite my decision not to move to Green Bay, Wisconsin is my home now and I want to root for the home team. Too bad the change was made just in time see Brett Favre pack his bags and move to enemy territory.