It’s not a bus stop, it’s a career

Simpson Strong-Tie COO Ricardo Arevalo
Simpson Strong-Tie COO Ricardo Arevalo

My career with Simpson Strong-Tie has been an exciting journey of personal growth, giving back to the community, and risk-taking innovation. As I look forward toward retirement I’ve begun reflecting on how the lessons learned on that journey can help others as they navigate careers. I’d like to share some of the rich experiences I’ve had. Therefore, if you’re reading this and wondering how to experience more in your life or career, perhaps you’ll find value in my story.

The thought of finding a more fulfilling career happened at the fairly ripe age of 42. At that time in my life, I thought I had generally achieved my life goal to work as a licensed Structural Engineer who designed buildings. I was a self-driven consultant and generally happy with my life. It was easy to imagine doing that job for the rest of my career, yet, I felt there was something missing. In my gut I knew there was more I wanted to experience, but at the time , all more meant were different types of calculations and structures. I wouldn’t be able to define “more” in tangible terms until I tried something different.

Simpson Strong-Tie wasn’t a stranger to me thanks to my work as a structural engineer. I was familiar with the integrity of their products and sales team, so when the opportunity arose for me to join the team I decided to take the plunge. It was the first step in a wonderful journey.

My first role was as a Sales and Product Engineer and from day one I found myself immersed in a new world of opportunities I didn’t know existed. In my role, I touched on everything from sales to manufacturing to testing. Yet what I loved most was that I faced daily challenges and was constantly learning. I realize now that being open to those learning experiences was a primary factor in enriching my career.

When I joined the team 20 years ago I never imagined the opportunities for leadership that leap of faith would provide. Ultimately, the knowledge I gained in my early years and our founder’s value that “everybody matters” laid the foundation and support I needed for continued growth.

Today, I sit in my office as the Chief Operating Officer of Simpson Strong-Tie, knowing the chance I took leaving a comfortable position in favor of a new challenge was one of the best, albeit scariest, decisions I’ve ever made. As I continue to look back at my career with a company I love, I hope to inspire YOU to look away from the comfortable and know you can experience more by embracing new opportunities to learn and grow.

If you’re interested in learning more about Simpson Strong-Tie and the career growth we’re dedicated to, I invite you to meet Eric who’s featured in our “Makers of Simpson Strong-Tie” video series.