“In this business we are running projects all the time and each project needs that extra bit of attention." - Adam Carr
A FirstStep.me feature interview
– Psychology’s loss and Construction’s gain!
Everyday workforces worldwide gear up for different tasks and challenges. Some suit-up wearing the world’s slickest threads - dressed for success. Others do the same but for the safety of their job. And then there are the ones who just get the job done.
Adam Carr used to study psychology but as it turned out, it wasn’t the best fit for him. Perhaps a philosophy major would have been a better choice for Adam - as it is the philosopher in everyone that Adam represents. He changed paths in such a manner that it created a career juxtaposition of sorts. Literally and figuratively building a career path with the use of his hands and the environment around him. He threw away the pens, papers and books - proverbially saying to his lecturers “thanks, but no thanks". He strapped on a pair of boots and learnt the ways of being a Construction Electrician.
He reminds the world of his days at university where he grew dreadlocks and never gave up on them. Exuding a continuous freedom of expression and extension of traditional career routes. The dreadlocks are his trademark, his business card and thus his way of suiting up without a tie! It is his working philosophy.
It’s a question that most in his field are asked and most are annoyed by - but one can’t help but to ask!
“Have you ever being electrocuted?” I ask
“Electrocuted as a term means killed by an electric shock…so strangely no. However I have been shocked a lot,” he replies.
Living on the east coast of South Africa, in Durban, he explains he has learnt more about the city he grew up in through this line of work.
“I started off with a practical apprenticeship and had to do a two part trade test thereafter. It wasn’t easy but worthwhile, if you are interested in working with your hands and getting dirty than this is something I would recommend as a career choice. A more hands on approach ahead of a theory based one. I once found myself working on a project in the underground sand pumping stations of Durban. In thirty years of living here, I never knew they existed and was amazing to see.”
He is up anytime between 4:30 and 5am everyday getting ready for a challenging day. He meets up with his crew and he heads off to work. By 5pm he is completely tired but nevertheless needs to keep on going. After all, a deadline is a deadline - whether you are behind a desk or in the middle of a construction site. The job invariably needs to get done. He started off working for the family business before he took the leap to go solo.
“In this business we are running projects all the time and each project needs that extra bit of attention. It was this thought process that gave me the idea of starting my own setup. It’s a big leap but the independence and the workflow seems easier to manage. I am learning as I go along which is really awesome. The practical business experience is an additional arrow in my quiver of skills,”he says.
When asked whether one needs to be intelligent to be working in this field of construction:
“Not really, but I am…,” Adam smartly retorts.
So Psychology’s loss, has turned out to be Construction’s gain. Adam Carr is on a mission to put right to wrong. While sporting a set of dreadlocks in the heat of Durban, he is bringing a new thought process to the artisan workforce. A philosophical culture, that no matter what you do or look like, as long as you work hard and with a bit of brains you too can be a success.