There are plenty of great benefits that come with a career in construction. There is a high demand for skilled tradespeople. You get to work with a wide range of passionate and skilled individuals on major projects. There is an ongoing opportunity for up skilling and experience. You get to work with your hands and finish each day with the feeling that you’ve done something meaningful. If this sounds like the career for you, we have a few tips to help you kick start your construction career.
1. Get Qualified
The right skills are essential for a construction career. This means getting qualified. There are lots of construction-relevant qualifications you can obtain at TAFE or university, depending on your interests.
Your qualifications will help you get a foot in the door. It will also ensure that your work is of a high standard, which is incredibly important in the construction industry. Poor workmanship can be disastrous, compromising buildings and even putting people’s lives at risk.
And even when you’ve secured your first position in construction, don’t neglect your study. A true construction professional is someone who continues to learn and upskill. You should stay on top of new technology and methods, as well as pursue training that can help you improve in your daily work. This may not be strictly concerned with construction and instead may focus on other aspects of your role, like leadership or project management.
2. Choose a Trade or Specialisation
If you want to enhance your appeal to employers, it’s important to focus on a trade or specialisation. While having general skills across a range of areas is useful, becoming an expert will ensure your skills are constantly in demand. It will also mean you can demand a higher salary.
Think about what you enjoy about your work and see if there are any specialisations related to it. For instance, if you enjoy woodworking, carpentry could be a good fit. Alternatively, if you like focusing on the bigger picture, becoming a construction manager could be the way forward.
3. Follow Directions from Superiors
Regardless of your role on the worksite, ensure that you always follow directions from superiors. Not only does this ensure work is completed properly and efficiently, it shows that you are a good worker. It shows that you listen to those with more experience than you and are willing to learn from them.
Being a good worker goes a long way — you will likely be favoured for additional training, responsibilities and even promotions. You can use all these opportunities to progress your career and show your superiors why they made the right decision to trust you.
4. Focus on Safety
Construction is a high risk industry. Workplace health and safety on construction sites is stringent, so it’s vital that you always work safely. Before entering a worksite, you are required to have completed the appropriate health and safety courses. You can get a leg up on these by getting additional health and safety training like taking a first aid course or getting your High Risk Work licence. Having additional safety training could be the deciding factor when you’re applying for jobs.
Once you have the appropriate safety qualifications, it’s important that you carefully follow all health and safety guidelines and regulations when you’re on the worksite.
5. Stay Positive
A good attitude goes a long way in a demanding industry like construction. Your superiors and colleagues are more likely to look favourably on you if you are always friendly and positive about work.
Staying positive can also make it easier to learn from your mistakes. When you get frustrated and angry, you’re more likely to focus on the mistake. This can mean you make further mistakes and even make it harder to figure out what went wrong so you can learn from the experience.
It can be tricky to stay positive every day at work though, but there are strategies you can try. For instance, try to see things from others’ perspectives if you’re having a disagreement so you can be more understanding. Also think about things that always lift your mood, like talking to a friend or listening to a favourite song, and use these as you need to.
And if you do find yourself becoming irritable, take a moment to calm yourself down and refocus. Remember that everyone is always learning and mistakes happen. What really matters is how you react.
Once you’ve established yourself in the construction industry, you need to make connections. This can include colleagues and employers, as well as construction recruitment agencies. If you follow our tips above, like being positive and a good worker, you’ll have no trouble forging lasting connections in the industry.
Maintaining these connections means if a suitable opportunity for you opens up, you’re more likely to be aware of it. For instance, a recruiter or former colleague may recommend you for a position, meaning you can skip a large portion of the job searching process.
Having great connections with people in your industry can also help you improve in your role. They may be able to mentor you (or even suggest you as a mentor) and provide you with additional training. Make sure you tell them about your career goals so they can help however they can.
A career in construction is about more than showing up to the worksite each day. If you want to succeed you need the right attitude, a desire to always be learning and a passion for doing a good-quality job every time.