Marc Esposito brings a unique skill-set to his construction career, one that will undoubtedly serve him well in the trades – and in his role as owner/operator of Grafton General Contracting Inc. Before entering the construction industry Marc relied on his words for a living, in public relations, and he compares finding the right career to dating, “There were a lot of positives about my first career, and a lot of negatives, but ultimately, it just wasn't compatible with who I am.”
At the end of the day, Marc wasn’t satisfied with his professional life, and he was ready for a change. He says, “I wanted to know that the work I would be doing everyday would be meaningful to me. Also, compensation was a big factor; I was walking away from a career with a steady pay-cheque to go back to school and I wanted to know that when I graduated there would be a demand for the skills I was about to learn.”
Having always had an interest in residential construction, Marc started researching what he would need to do to become a licensed contractor. He looked at a number of options, ultimately deciding on the Building Renovation Technology program at George Brown College.
While still in school, Marc started his own company and continues to develop his skills by working, first as an extra set of skilled-hands and later as a site supervisor, with an experienced contractor who has become somewhat of a mentor to him. “She's a great teacher to have, which is a bonus as I'm able to learn new things from her as I progress in my career.”
He explains insightfully that building is about more than just the construction itself. “When you're finishing someone's basement, you're not just finishing their basement, you're giving them more living space so they can get away and play with their kids for a while, or relax together and watch a movie as a family. As crazy as it might sound, you're helping to improve the quality of life for whoever lives in that home that you're renovating.”
While Marc appreciates the freedom that owning his own business provides, he points out that it’s a lot of work as well, “As an operator of a small residential construction company, there is the added benefit of flexibility as I plan my own schedule. However, there's also the added responsibility of running a company, finding clients, organizing sub-trades, etc. It's a challenge that I enjoy. My lifestyle is definitely more hectic now, but it's also more interesting, fun and personally rewarding.”
While there will always be hiccups along the way he says, the transition into construction has been a positive one for Marc. “Overall I am much happier and motivated in my new career. It's hard work mentally and physically but that's also part of the reward. Being tired because you were productive and accomplished a number of physical tasks by trouble-shooting and problem solving is a much different, and more rewarding, feeling than being tired because you're bored, frustrated and disengaged all day.”
He stresses that there is a huge opportunity for anyone who wants to start a career in the trades running a professional and efficient business. “In my short time in the industry, I keep hearing the same thing from both contractors and clients – ‘it's hard to find good help in this industry’."
“There is a ton of opportunity out there in construction – especially if you're a skilled tradesperson with the theoretical knowledge behind you, because, simply put, there are certain things you can't outsource and swinging a hammer happens to be one of them – even better if you can swing a hammer and you know what you're talking about it.”