Janeen’s earliest memories of her career aspirations were to be an astronaut or elementary school teacher. When she graduated high school, she pursued a degree in English Literature earning her A.A. in General Studies at Cerritos Community College and then going on to enroll at Cal State University – Fullerton. She completed all the pre-requisites for an elementary teaching credential, but ultimately decided that wasn’t the career path for her. While she was attending community college and later university, she had worked part-time as an office clerk at her family’s ready-mix business. She also worked other jobs such as retail, waitressing, barista, and teaching assistant but she was always drawn back to ready mix.
When asked if she has ever felt out of place in her role as a Sr. Ready Mix Sales Representative, Janeen says that nearly every time she meets a new customer on a jobsite for the first time, she feels like she gets interviewed. She’s constantly having to answer questions to prove her capabilities and knowledge but says that the good far outweighs the bad. She loves seeing a project come to life! She’s one of the first trades on site, literally the foundation of the project. Her job affords her the ability to adjust her surroundings every day. She can work in the office, build relationships with customers at their office and jobsites, and be present for concrete pours, which she says are the absolute best days!
Janeen says that if she could go back and give her 18-year-old self some advice, it would be to not let herself be molded to fit into societal or familial expectations about YOUR adult life. College isn’t for everyone and it’s completely okay to take the time you need to find the right path for you. She would also tell her not to be afraid to ask questions or of “sounding dumb” - you don’t know what you don’t know and the only way to find out is if you ask questions. She would also tell her to set boundaries around her time to avoid overextending herself. Don’t take on more than you can handle and if you choose to take on extra tasks it’s reasonable to ask for additional compensation (wage increase, overtime, additional PTO days, expense account, corporate recognition, etc.)
Janeen says that although she was raised in the ready-mix industry, she didn’t always feel confident in her knowledge and abilities, and often shrunk herself to avoid being noticed. That’s very difficult to do when you are the only female in the room! She says that it wasn’t until about 3 years ago that she finally found her inner confidence and that was through the help of a colleague. She wants to encourage other women to seek out mentors because they are all around you. It doesn’t have to be a formal relationship and we can always learn something from people who are older and younger than us, of a different sex, gender, ethnicity or background and from different trades/industries. Her father was her first mentor and he taught her a lot! He pushed her to join industry associations and to continue learning whenever possible. Her biggest life lesson from him is “there are no “bad” days” - it may have been “exciting” or “interesting” or “challenging” but there’s something to be learned from each and every day!