Julius Miknius is a project manager at Globalita, a member of the Sigmaris Group. His journey at Globalita started in 2017 when he was simply looking for a better paid job. Then he came to scaffolding training and immediately got a job at Globalita. He started at the lowest step in the carrier ladder, as a scaffolder of category 3.
Julius has always had a responsible approach to his work, and it didn’t take long for his reputation as a trustworthy worker to grow. Over time, Julius’ category as a scaffolder has changed, as have his responsibilities. He became a project manager on ongoing projects, and from August 2022 Julius’ permanent place of work is the Klaipėda Sigmaris Group administration office.
Julius, how does it feel to receive the Breakthrough of the Year Award?
It’s great that my colleagues voted for me. I did not expect to receive this award.
Colleagues describe you as a very simple, clear person who is easy to work with. How would you describe yourself?
Probably there is some truth to that.
However, effective communication and a level head are two crucial traits of a project manager. These qualities really help me in overcoming the difficulties I face on a daily basis as a project manager. I am not easily distracted, either. Globalita is my only employer in my scaffolder’s career. I value the quality of keeping my word. Compromise is the key to a good relationship and a good work result.
And what are the challenges of being a project manager?
First of all, every day is unique. You frequently plan your working day and present challenges in the morning, but seldom does everything happen as expected. Often, you have to deal with the here and now. Surprises happen every day. Actually, the challenges intrigue me since the work is so varied and never monotonous.
Tell us a little more about your career in scaffolding.
Today, looking back, everything seems very straightforward. I knew others who were already engaged in initiatives using scaffolding. I knew what to expect when I came to learn the scaffolding. I have worked as a scaffolder for many years, so the pitch is no longer mysterious to me.
As a scaffolder, I didn’t take the praise for granted because I just took it as my job. I have always felt responsible for the quality and results of my work. The outcome of a scaffolder’s job, however, heavily depends on the collective efforts of the entire team. You can be a superman in scaffolding, but you can’t achieve results alone, without a team. Scaffolding requires a team effort.
I’ve been a works manager on sites for the past two years. I found myself in the office unexpectedly. I came home for the summer vacation and found out that Globalita in Klaipėda was looking for a project manager. I got in touch
with the director and he invited me to try my hand at a new role. I had doubts, but I decided not to give up this opportunity. So, after more than 5 years with scaffolding, I came to work in the office.
What was the most interesting thing for you on scaffolding sites?
Lego for big boys is not for everybody, and it’s not interesting for everybody, either. I was always interested in the aesthetic side of construction. It was interesting to build a comfortable scaffolding structure, not just a primitive one. I didn’t want to put scaffolding together like axes. It’s better to spend more time planning, strategising, than to rush to get the scaffolding up as quickly as possible. I have stood for hours on the site where the scaffolding is to be erected as a works manager. I have thought about what the structure should be, how to make it strong, durable, comfortable and aesthetic.
Do you need a good memory to be a project manager?
Memory is definitely needed in this job because, for example, I have a team of about 100 people and I have to remember every colleague, not only as an employee but also as a person. I have to arrange work schedules in a way that keeps people happy and makes the work go faster. It goes without saying that most tasks are easier to do when team members get along well and do not become irritated with one another.
Although you work with scaffolding, there are two completely different stages in your career – outbound projects and working in an office. What are the plus points of each position?
Working in the Klaipėda office in gives you the opportunity to spend more time with your family. The workplace is in Klaipėda, where our home is. When you have travelled enough in the past, you want to be with your family. The need for a more sedentary life came with the birth of a child. I prefer to take charge of a project and see it through from beginning to end. It’s really exciting when the whole project is in your hands.
And the outgoing projects were fascinating because of the variety of locations and the good rewards. Working on these tasks allows you to take more than one month off each year, which is beneficial. There are undoubtedly a lot of special memories from both the spare time in foreign places and the scaffolding project sites.
How do you like to spend your free time?
When I’m bored, I go for a walk. But I do have a hobby – fishing. I like to watch the water. Being around people is also a pleasure of life for me. I like to enjoy the moment and I have a life motto – LIVE TODAY.
The funniest stories about scaffolding used to come from the scaffolders’ specific slang. There were many ambiguous situations.
What would keep you awake at night if you were a director of Sigmaris Group?
As a director, I would make sure that the projects that have already been sold are implemented properly.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how do you think you have fared in your career?
The six years with the scaffolding went really smoothly, so I would give myself a 10.