Senior Team Spotlight – Jose Castro, Senior Project Controls Manager – Latam Lead

23rd September 2021

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What does a typical day look like for you?

I usually start my day by setting up my daily goals, even before breakfast. I go into my Action List sheet and choose the two or three things that, if accomplished, will bring me closer to my long-term goals.

After I have decided what those goals are I prepare breakfast for my family, which is one of the perks of working from home these days, it allows me to spend some quality time with my wife and daughters, as well as think over how I will accomplish those newly set goals while making an omelette or making coffee.

Once breakfast is finished, I go back to my computer and try to get some of the more trivial activities out of the way, such as replying to emails and chat messages. If I need to delegate activities to my team this is the time to do it, either via email, chat or quick Teams meetings and catch ups. I try to keep my mornings as free of meetings as possible, since this is the time of day when I feel the most energetic, and therefore, can better focus on my activities.

After all communications are done, I try to shut down my chat and email, play some focus music on my headphones, and dedicate all my attention to my work and execute the necessary activities to accomplish my daily goals. This focus time takes place in intervals of 30 mins and can extend for as long as two hours. After this quality work time is over, I meet up with my family around the kitchen again to grab some lunch, usually something simple and easy to make, so I can have a quick swim at the local pool or go surfing if I’m lucky enough to be at the beach. If this is not possible at lunch time, then I try to make it before end of day.

I try to maintain exercise time at least three times a week, although sometimes it becomes a real challenge. I try to schedule all my meetings for the afternoon, when possible, and even though there could be several meetings in a day, there is always time for another round of focus time. I put on my headphones, play my favourite work time playlists, and try to reach the same concentration level as in the morning round again in 30 min intervals for another one or two hours. Before closing for the day, I go back to my Action Item list and level my goals, this takes about 10 mins and it allows me to reflect on what did I accomplish in relation to my daily goals, I take note of the outcomes and if some of those goals were not fully accomplish and I need to stay on for another hour then I do so. Even if I stay a bit longer than the usual to complete those tasks, it allows me to mark my activities and daily goals as done, and it gives me a sense of accomplishment I would not get otherwise. I then shut down my laptop and monitors and go back to spend some more time with my family before starting dinner.

What first attracted you to the construction industry?

I studied Construction Engineering, and at the time I was very interested in the process of materializing an idea from conception to completion. I have always been attracted by the idea of bringing to reality ideas and concepts. I also thought it was such a complex industry, that even though automation could take full course during my lifetime, career opportunities would still be open since I believed it would be extremely difficult to remove the human factor. I still firmly believe this, and we are yet to see if this prediction will hold.

What are your predictions for the construction industry over the next 12-18 months?

I think our bet in the high-tech industry including datacentres, electric vehicle manufacturing, renewable energy plants, and innovation to go green will continue to advance globally. We are in desperate need to communicate, therefore, store and manage data, as well as shift from the old energies to clean initiatives. We at Soben are passionate to help and support our clients as they make smart decisions for the future. I believe the construction industry will be driven by clean and efficient initiatives, and that this trend will become even more evident as the next year progresses.

What are your goals for Soben in that time?

I believe at Soben we are in a privileged position. We can continue disrupting the market where we think is best. In this sense we are choosing to associate ourselves with those clients that share some of our principles at the core. And efficiency, optimization, and passion to make the world a better place are at the centre. My goals for Soben precisely reflect that; to become the top consultants for a smart future.

What have been your defining career moments?

I got fired badly from one of my first jobs. I was entitled and immature, and it helped me realize that traveling and seeing a bit of the world on my own would help me grow and gain some perspective. Best decision I ever made.

What career advice would you give your younger self?

It’s always better to make the wrong decision than no decision at all. The train does not wait for the undecided standing on the platform.

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