So you’ve decided to have a go at it? And why not? A career in construction can be very rewarding. It’s amazing how little planning some workers put into their careers; in fact many get into construction on a whim. A friend told them they could get a job, and with little or no planning, they end up in a given trade. But today, that’s just not good enough. You need to make sure that the trade you choose has long term value. Some skills are worth more than others and some trades have more work and offer more opportunities. Here’s a list of six rules you should follow to achieve long term success in the construction industry:
Rule #1- Choose Your Trade Wisely
It’s a good idea to pick an activity that will lead to long term success. You’ve got to love what you do, but if you can’t find enough work to get you through the winter, what’s the point? So do a little research, read the papers and ask people on the jobsite what they earn and where they see the trade in five years. You might be surprised.
Rule #2- Join a Trade Union
Trade unions have a long history of teaching workers through the use of apprenticeship training. This valuable training consists of on the job training and in class/in lab study. Here’s the best part, they usually pay for it too. “Earn while you learn”, is their motto. In some cases you can earn up to 60 college credits that are transferable when you attend an accredited apprentice training program. Note: Steer clear of the non-union counterparts these bogus apprenticeship programs are often little more than scams and are the black eye of the construction industry.
Rule #3- Earn Your High School Diploma
If you think a High School diploma doesn’t have much to do with success in the Construction Industry, you’re wrong. With a diploma you can be accepted into a variety of accredited apprenticeship programs that will invest tens of thousands of dollars in your training. And studies prove that you will earn around $5000.00 more each year if you have a diploma than if you don’t. That’s a lot of money over the course of a career. Classes are often available in the evenings for working professionals. Sign up today to earn yours.
Rule #4- Be Punctual
Tardiness is a sure fire way to get laid off in construction. Maybe you worked in an office environment and it didn’t seem like it was that big of a deal, but in construction, it’s a big deal. Safety meetings are usually conducted at the beginning of a shift, and by you not being there, you’re risking the life of every worker on the job. Not to mention its just bad business. Construction workers are paid by the hour worked. Do your career, your coworkers and your foreman a favor, show up on time every day. Even a worker with sub par skills who shows up on time will outlast a worker with good skills who has a habit of showing up late.
Rule #5- Be Flexible
By its very nature construction means change, different locations, different conditions and different trades all working for a common cause, completion of the project. This means that even though each trade has a set schedule, that schedule is likely to change when conditions on the project require it. Therefore you need to be flexible too. You may be asked to work overtime to complete a task, maybe there’s wire to be pulled in and you’re only half way done, or the drywall needs to be completed tonight because the painters are coming in the morning. Whatever the situation is, it’s a good idea to be flexible. Consider working the overtime. Not everyone can, but the people who do are much more likely to remain employed through the end of a project.
Rule #6- Have a Good Attitude
It’s a fact; people will always enjoy working with other people that have a good attitude. Ask yourself, “Would you rather work with a guy who enjoys his work or someone who is constantly complaining and miserable?” Exactly. You’re going to be spending a lot of time with your coworkers. Some of them you are going to like and some of them you may not. Have a good attitude, enjoy yourself and leave all your problems at home.
By following these six rules for success in the construction industry, you’ll have gainful employment and have a lot of fun in the process. With a little planning, you can reach your goals, avoid that next lay-off and create the life you want.
Copyright (c) 2007 Bob Oedy