JUNE 2017 www.katconstructionllc.com (612) 326-1122
If you had told me 15 years ago that I’d one day be running a construction company, I wouldn’t have believed you. That’s not to say I’m unsatisfied with how everything’s worked out. Far from it. I love the challenge of running a small business, communicating with customers every day, and working alongside my fantastic team. How a Biochemist Ended Up Running a Construction Company
My degree is in biochemistry, and it’s only through a rather convoluted series of events that I ended up where I am. Years back, I was working as a lab tech, which may sound like interesting work. At the beginning, it was, but eventually it became too cookie-cutter. Luckily, I managed to move up, first to tech supervisor and then into sales. Unfortunately, I was stuck. The only position I could feasibly be promoted to was vice president, and it
Getting another job in a laboratory is not an easy task, as I’m sure you can imagine. I interviewed with many places, but they all essentially said the same thing. I remember, vividly, one guy took a look at my resume and told me, “Well, you’re clearly qualified, and you have the necessary experience. But I’m sorry to tell you we can’t accept applicants who are unemployed.”
After a few years with the company, I began to get the feeling that I could do a better job myself, especially when it came to the treatment of employees. Like many construction companies, they took advantage of their workers, underpaying them and treating them as easily replaceable. I went off on my own and started KAT Construction in 2011 and have never looked back. Now that it’s my own business, I’m able to ensure that every member of my team is treated fairly. It’s paid off; I’ve got guys who have stayed on for years, a rarity in the construction world. It wasn’t an easy road to the point I’m at now, but I’m grateful that everything shook out the way it did. Business is booming, I get to interface directly with my customers daily, and best of all, the work keeps me on my toes.
didn’t seem like our current one was going anywhere. So, I took a sales job at a competing lab that had been trying to recruit me for a while, thinking I’d climb the ladder there. Shortly after, my new company decided it was time to downsize. I was counted among the many salespeople told to pack
This was my first sign. After a few of these frustrating interviews, I decided something needed to change. I applied on a whim to a contracting job, and lo and behold, they hired me on the spot. I went from my lab job, a salaried position
“It wasn’t an easy road to the point I’m at now, but I’m grateful that everything shook out the way it did.”
their bags. I later learned that this was what that lab did. It hired a bunch of salespeople, and then, six or seven months later, laid them off when funds became tight.
with a 401(k), to selling roofing on commission. But I made it work, and eventually moved into a production management position.
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