The construction industry is thriving with fresh minds and new perspectives and for Alexandra Smith, best known to her followers as “The Little Operator,” septic design is on the radar. Growing up in the industry gave Smith a sneak peek into her future, one she shares with confidence on the CONEXPO-CON/AGG podcast in December 2022. The operator weighs in on her expertise and confidence online and offline as a woman navigating a male-centered industry.
Standing tall at five feet amid towering industry peers and excavators, Smith steps out of the family business and into the limelight with a wealth of knowledge and passion to take the construction world by storm. Most importantly, she knows how to prioritize what matters — authenticity.
“…Being in the industry, the biggest thing for me to maintain on social media was my integrity, my professionalism, who I really am, and to not put out there that I’m some person that I’m not.”
She encourages a healthy lifestyle to her followers through her work in septic tank installation and design, a direct reflection of the eco-friendly lifestyle she leads. Smith educates listeners and followers by speaking highly of septic tanks and their benefit to the environment where sewage systems fall short.
The job site is where she delivers an expert opinion derived from years of shadowing her dad on septic jobs; arguably where her passion was born.
The construction industry can be a challenging workforce, and combined with a digital presence where you need to be relatable yet true to yourself poses an even bigger challenge. This balancing act leaves Smith wondering how to gain attention online by focusing more on work than her own appearance. She wants to be relatable to her followers and prove you can be a “normal girl in the construction industry” if you are hardworking — a lesson she learned on her own being surrounded by male figures her entire life. In fact, she started her social media journey in hopes of connecting with likeminded women.
“A lot of the reason why I started my social media page was because I didn't see anybody else like me doing what I was doing.”
Smith remains her truest self despite industry demands where she is outnumbered and digital obligations on her social media platforms.
“How you present yourself online, and being aware of everything, and all of your followers, and how anyone can take it, and just maintaining your integrity,” is what she keeps top of mind.
Smith’s unceasing willingness to remain genuine in a challenging industry is admirable. When expressing gratitude for her dad’s wisdom and sacrifices, Smith stresses, “You don't really appreciate or understand it until you're in the industry, but I just want to make it better.”
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Alexandra Smith’s education session “Building Your Personal Brand Online” and all other education sessions from CONEXPO-CON/AGG are available on-demand.