of tricks.” You have to know and understand multiple solutions to problems.
You must be able to offer a customer a
range of options—from “good” to “
better” to “best”—based on their needs and,
sometimes, their pocketbook. You have
to be resourceful and adaptive. Most
of all, you cannot be trapped behind a
desk. You have to get out into the field
to see what’s going on, to get in front of
Do women make better
Service jobs are not merely miniature
versions of major projects. Service work
requires its own set of personal abilities,
including a higher level of soft skills. I’m
sure that I won’t surprise anyone by say-
ing that women are often better suited
for the kinds of interactions with cus-
tomers that arise in service work.
Even so, no matter who you are in
this job, you have to prove yourself one
person at a time. But let’s remember,
today many women have management
positions in customers’ organizations.
Women service managers who interact
with them may benefit from the advan-
tage of being women themselves.
This takes us back to that scene
in the bank branch where all
of the participants in the pre-construction meeting were women.
I’m glad you mentioned it. There’s more
to the story. One person came late—a
carpenter who showed up 20 minutes
after the meeting had begun. You might
say he was the odd man out.
SARGEN T is a long-time veteran of the electrical contracting business based in Pittsburgh.
He can be reached at
email@example.com. MCCO Y is associate professor in the College of
Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech. Contact him at
Service jobs are not merely miniature versions of major
projects. Service work requires its own set of personal
abilities, including a higher level of soft skills.