YOUNG PROFESSIONAL SPOTLIGHT
cody barnes, assistant Project Manager
Methuen Construction Company, Inc.
Cody Barnes was an inherently industrious child who spent his days in the backyard digging holes and nailing things to the fence. Luckily for his parents, Cody quickly learned to channel his love of working with his hands into more productive pursuits, such as renovating his parents’ bathroom and taking the lead on his family’s home improvement.
You may remember Cody as the 2018 ABC YPG Young Professional of the Year. Now that the 2019 YP of the Year Award nomination process has begun, we thought we’d bring Cody back and share his story. Though Cody had quite the reputation as a builder and knew he could never work every day cooped up in an office, he never thought he might end up in the construction industry. Instead, he followed his appreciation for productivity and tangible results, became a civil engineer, and found himself in an industry perfectly suited as an outlet for his natural motivation. As an assistant project manager for Methuen Construction, Cody values his ability to go outside every day, to grab a wrench and get his hands dirty if he wants, and to witness something being built.
You might have already guessed that Cody is a workaholic. The term might be associated with a number of negative connotations, but to Cody, it’s associated with loving what you do and not imposing limits on yourself. When he gets up to go to work in the morning, he looks forward to his day. When he gets home, he heads straight past the couch and reaches instead for his tools so he can paint walls, install new lights, and swap out hardware. His peers describe him as self-motivated and praise his ability to turn a vision into reality. His supervisors describe his “can-do” attitude and his dedication to doing what it takes to get the job done, even if it means joining laborers on overnight jobs tying rebar and building formwork. Never the type to wait for someone else to explain a process to him, Cody is known for taking his work and his career education into his own hands, teaching himself to use software and build schedules that many would find daunting without prior instruction.
When asked what advice he has to offer young trades workers, Cody emphasizes the importance of promoting the growth and empowerment of our workers. You might be able to build anything, he cautions, but if you’re unwilling to listen to and empower your employees to contribute on a level beyond using their hands, the project is going to suffer. Cody encourages young trades workers to get involved in their projects, to share ideas, to ask questions, and to strive to be a part of the decision-making process. Most importantly, Cody stresses that you shouldn’t limit your own success. We’re all capable of climbing the ladder; the question is where and when you want to stop.