PlanGrid Construction Productivity Blog
Construction rookie

Our Favorite Construction Rookie Moments

Announcing the #constructionrookie Winner

For all builders, the first year of construction can be full of challenges and surprises. For better or for worse, our first moments and experiences help shape our careers and make us who we are today. We recently asked our community to share their very first moments and memories from their careers in construction for the #constructionrookie contest.

We were overwhelmed by the insightful, funny and shocking moments that we received over the last few weeks. Below, we share a few of our favorite entries from the contest. But without further ado, we also want to announce the winner of the #constructionrookie contest, Jamie Lopez.

When describing his first experiences on the jobsite, he told us about the amazing teamwork it requires to build, “In my first year of construction in San Francisco, I was a complete newbie trying to absorb everything like a sponge. Working in the self-perform concrete division of Webcor was an experience like no other. I quickly got exposed to large concrete pours on a weekly basis. There were a couple of incidents where the pump would break and we had to think on the fly. One time we had to shovel about 5CY from an extremely busy street. We called the incident in on the radio and in seconds we had flaggers diverting traffic and a task force of all trades working together to clean.”

“It was a sight similar to an ant colony. We had shovels, wheelbarrows, buckets, and pans and about 50 different tradesmen working side by side. We managed to clean up the mess in under 20 min. It was a lot of concrete but as a team, we managed.”

He continues, “Construction is an amazing field to work in, so many different people from all over coming to work together with one main goal. It really is a stressful, interesting and fun experience.”

Scroll down to see a selection of the best entries that we received.

Our Favorite Construction Rookie Entries

Learning the Lingo

“I remember on my first day I had no idea what was going on. I kept hearing the word cantilever and I thought that was a kind of lever on a piece of equipment. I was so confused. Now I look back and it makes me laugh.” – Caitlin A.

A Construction Rookies’ New Clothes

“My first day in construction I remember going on the job site with a brand new white hard hat as a new project engineer and the field just roasted me. I was wearing “the wrong” safety glasses inside which were shaded for exterior use (and looked cooler!). I remember scuffing up my hardhat on a brick ledge to look more seasoned in the field. It was all up from there!” – Josh P.

Josh #constructionrookie


“My first scope review that I was pulled into at the last minute. I was wearing office attire and they laughed at me on the job site. I now keep a pair of steel toes and blue jeans in my car just in case.” – Denise

Denise #constructionrookie

The Beginnings of a Back Office Hero

“I am an administrative assistant to architects and engineers. I walked into this world with no applicable experience outside of general office tasks and customer service. I remember feeling totally overwhelmed with the inconsistencies in recording, reviewing and returning project information. Every Construction or Project Manager has a unique preferred method for tracking progress. I love to learn so it has been a fun challenge to discover the consistencies among the different technologies, and learn from the differences. I have enjoyed growing with each company and learning more about what really happens in each stage of the construction industry through tutorials, submittals, R.F.I.’s, etc. Thanks for listening to the consumer and working with technology to make every aspect from the drawing board to the ribbon cutting a streamlined experience.” – Lori F.

Lori #Constructionrookie

The Small Details That Matter

“Little did I know how much calculations and logistics mattered to erect an 80′ tall scaffold to do masonry restoration on a tower. Not only that but all of the protection that needs to be included with it. It was difficult to get the proper scaffold approved but I am thankful that we went through all of the trouble. At one point there were 11 workers using it when it was 95 degrees outside and it was reassuring to know that they were able to work safely and get everything completed on time with the precautions we took.” – Jonathan B.

Jonathan #constructionrookie

Construction’s Best Friend: A Poet in the Making

“I recall being handed a shovel.
This is my shovel.
There are many like it but this one is mine.
My shovel is my best friend.
It is my life.
I must master it as I must master my life.
Without me, my shovel is useless.
Without my shovel I am useless.
So, I started to dig.” – Sean C.

Sean C #constructionrookie

A Rocky Start to a Strong Foundation

“My first week in construction was a storm to remember.”

“I was hired on as a project assistant with absolutely no experience. My spent my first week in the field so I could be exposed to asphalt methods, materials and phases. I learned quickly that asphalt work is hot and hard on the body. I grew a huge amount of respect for everyone who does this work daily. My project manager allowed me to do another three weeks in the field to better prepare me for what I needed to be doing in the office, which was a whole new learning experience. I was 22 years old fresh out of active duty military. I now have a bachelors degree in construction management, 7 years of construction experience, and I’m also working towards my masters in construction management. I will still never forget my first project manager and superintendent. They gave me the opportunity to build a strong foundation to build my career around and I couldn’t be any more grateful.” – Josiah C.

Josiah #constructionrookie

A Mistake We All Can Relate To

“Never write something in an email that you wouldn’t want the owner of your project or the president of your company to see. And if you do, make sure you don’t blindly “reply all” and copy them on the email. I wish I knew this during my first year of construction.” – Blake S.

Blake #constructionrookie

Wrong Place, Wrong Time

“My first day on the jobsite, I couldn’t park by the job office due to a major excavation. The superintendent kept telling me on the phone to park next to the office. I drove around the site to figure out how and ended up on top of a massive surcharge pile. He was screaming at me for parking on the surcharge, and I had no idea what he was talking about.” – Josh S.

Josh S #constructionrookie

An (Almost) Perfect Job

“I remember on my first day out on the job I was tasked with installing a new split system air conditioning unit at a customers house. And I got the job done and completed I was all proud got it done and it reasonably quick amount of time and was excited and everything told customer to have a good day and I was called back a few minutes later, to find out that I had installed the unit backward and the supply side of the air-conditioning was blowing out of the return. I was so embarrassed the customer said ‘That one big vent in the hall is blowing good but all the other ones aren’t doing anything.’” – Michael T.

Michael #constructionrookie

Grace Ellis

As a Content Marketing Manager at PlanGrid, Grace is the managing editor for the PlanGrid Construction Productivity Blog. With over eight years of experience in marketing, communications and PR for technology companies, she is specialized in high-quality content creation across both traditional and digital media platforms.

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