written by: MacKayla Essery
While many only see construction as the art of building structures, Phil Long sees it as the art of building connections and relationships.
Long has spent five decades working with general contractors on the project management side of the industry. After retiring, Long turned his expertise into a passion project when he started Phil Long Construction Services Ltd. in 2018.
The consulting company based out of Kelowna is a one-man show run by Long himself, and he always puts the value of collaboration first when choosing his projects. In fact, Long takes pride in his focus and dedication to teamwork.
“It’s all about the collaboration and the teamwork. The quality of the project depends on the quality of the team that’s actually doing it and performing,” says Long.
Long has seen the power of networking and building relationships all throughout his career. As a member of the Southern Interior Construction Association (SICA) since 2006, and through his countless hours dedicated to various local non-profits and construction associations, Long has shown just how much he values the opportunity to connect.
“Being a member of SICA is a great advantage for anyone who believes in collaboration and wants to benefit from the networking process and being closer to the cutting edge of what’s what in the industry,” says Long. “The industry here is built on relationships and the people you enjoy working with. SICA gives people that opportunity to network.”
Networking not only gives the opportunity to get to know people throughout the industry, but it also helps build relationships with teams who have similar values – something Long would argue is one of the most important things to remember when entering the industry.
He believes it’s people’s values that influence the workplace culture, and there isn’t just one person that creates it – the entire team does – which highlights the importance of working with people who have similar values.
“You should never be asked to do anything that compromises your standards, your own ethics or your integrity. They’re the most important characteristics,” says Long. “The best companies I’ve worked for allow you to be yourself at work, without the strains and pushes and pulls of politics. If you’re the same at work as you are at home, then you’re more comfortable, you’re more productive, and you’re happier.”