Deciding on a career path can take a lot of work and research. Learning the skills needed and understanding the industry you choose is vital to ensure success. But along with that, you need to have a strong sense of self and not worry about what those around you say. Ensuring you can find a happy balance between work, family and you is the true key to finding happiness. A shining example of someone who embodies this philosophy is E2 Optics’ own Catie Cereceres.
We recently sat down with Catie, Human Resources Manager, to discuss how she is able to find balance between work, motherhood and being her authentic self.
E2 Insider: Catie, what led you to a career in the construction industry?
Catie Cereceres: I was looking for a new adventure. I wanted to learn something new, and construction really called to me. I loved the idea of being a woman in a predominately male driven industry and blazing my own path. As I started to look at companies to work for in the construction industry, I started noticing all the data centers going up and thought it would be cool to be part of something so big. I loved the idea of being a part of connecting the world. And being in human resources, I would have the opportunity to be at the ground level when it comes to projects.
E2 Insider: What led you to want to work here at E2 Optics?
Catie Cereceres: The biggest draw for me to E2 Optics was the fact that it is led by a woman! The thought of working for one of the nation’s largest woman-owned IT solutions providers, a true disruptor in the industry, was pretty incredible! As I was interviewing, it became clear E2 Optics was the place for me. From the opportunities for me personally to grow and develop within my role to working with some awesome people, E2 provided me with the entrée into the construction world I was looking for in my career journey. I absolutely love being able to meet and work with employees across the country. From East Coast to West, I’m learning the dynamics of our industry on such a broad scale. Each location is unique, and I’m blessed to be able to connect with so many.
E2 Insider: How would you describe the culture here at E2?
Catie Cereceres: I will tell you when we say Family First, we truly mean it. I’ve never seen such a family centric organization such as E2 Optics. Each site is unique, but each operates much like a family. From working day in and day out, employees really have each other’s backs. They support each other professionally and personally. I see it all the time on the HR side, as managers come to me and want to discuss how amazing their teammates are. We have so many E2 Lifers, those who started early on either when the company was forming or in their career, and who are staying the course. When I ask why they are so devoted, I hear time and time again just how much E2 is family to them. From employees donating PTO to a co-worker who had a family emergency to doing community work together outside of work to going golfing, E2 employees really do care about each other. I will say it’s refreshing to go to each site and see the camaraderie there. It’s unlike anything I’ve experienced before.
E2 Insider: How do you juggle it all – work, motherhood, being who you are?
Catie Cereceres: It’s a delicate dance for sure to balance everything life throws at you. For me, I take the time to breathe and just be me. I learned a long time ago to be comfortable in my own skin and not worry about what others think of me. I cannot change them; I can only be me and do my best. I take a lot of pride in what I do and as a mom it’s very important for me to be a good example to my children. I’m lucky to have a husband who’s got my back and supports me, along with an incredible team of coworkers. I want to ensure my children understand the value of hard work and taking pride in what they do. For my daughter, I want her to know she can do and be anything she wants to be as long as she’s willing to put in the time and effort needed to succeed. For my son, I want the same as well. I want them to know their value and never let someone take that from them. I want them to be comfortable in their own skin, to be their authentic selves. I strive to be a good example by working hard yet maintaining personal time with them to do fun family things like board games, trips and just being us.
E2 Insider: Looking back on your career thus far, what advice would you give younger Catie?
Catie Cereceres: Throw fear out the door! At the end of the day, know you’re living this life for you and you do not owe anyone an explanation. Do not care what others think, you cannot change them and do not allow them to change you! Stick to who you are, doing your very best and realize there are those in life who are never happy and look to putting others down to build themselves up. You cannot change that; all you can do is be you. Create relationships with those who see you for you and do not live in fear of rejection or failure. Rejection and failure will only strengthen your character and lead you to where you are truly meant to be.
E2 Insider: What advice do you have for anyone looking to build a career in our industry?
Catie Cereceres: Adaptability and agility are vital! Construction is such a rapidly changing and fluid environment, you should know how to be able to think on your feet and roll with what the day hands you. Always maintain a level head and good attitude, those two things will take you far. Learn from those around you and do not be afraid ask questions.
For more information about current career opportunities at E2 Optics, click here.