Planning your career in construction

Achieving your career goals isn't always a simple process, particularly in the building and construction industry. Earning a profession as a technical sales manager, a product engineer, or a contracts manager means figuring out a path for success, and committing yourself to overcoming some challenging obstacles.

The diversity and complexity of the construction sector mean that career planning is essential for anyone with ambition. The right plan will help you to select a path that best suits your skills, satisfies your requirements as a professional, and opens doors for the future.

1. Decide If You're Happy Where You Are

Now that we're into a new year, it’s a good time to reflect and determine whether you’re happy where you are, or whether you might need to make a change.

If you enjoy your current job, but your employer hasn't put the right options in place to help you develop your skills or take advantage of new opportunities, then this might be a sign that you need to start searching for a career elsewhere.

Of course, it's worth speaking to your manager about your career goals before you give up and hop into a different position. Some leaders just need a small push from their employees to get them on the right track.


2. Look for Ways to Develop Your Practical Skills

In the construction sector, whether you're focused on roofing and cladding, technical engineering, or sales, you'll find the more effort you put in, the more value you get out. If you're a reliable and skilled professional in your trade, then you will find plenty of labourer positions available where you can show off your talents.

While those roles might not deliver much in terms of career progression, they can open doors to apprenticeships and new possibilities if you're just getting started in the industry.

If you've been working in your speciality for a few years, look for ways to learn new techniques through classes and events. This will help you to stand out as a competitive hire, while also delivering useful networking opportunities.


3. Think About Academic Development

Most positions in the construction and building product spheres require some level of vocational, or academic training. If you're new to a speciality, you'll need to think about whether time in a classroom or time out on the field will be more valuable to your long-term career goals.

When planning your next steps in terms of professional qualifications and training, you might benefit from speaking to a specialist recruitment company, and ask for their advice on what kind of study you can consider. Recruitment agencies know from experience what employers are looking for in new hires, so they can quickly help to direct you towards the right learning strategies.

Alternatively, if you know which business you'd prefer to work for, you can look for job listings on their website, and make a note of any skills they look for, that you have yet to accumulate.

4. Create a Support System

Finally, if you have lofty goals for your future career, then it's a good idea to avoid making the journey alone. Building a network of supportive people who can help you to access new opportunities and develop unique talents is a great way to simplify and speed up your path to success.

Your support system might include the boss at your current job, who offers training programmes to help you expand your skills as a manager, or the mentor that teaches you what it means to be an effective leader. It may also extend to your colleagues and the people in your industry that you speak to during conferences and meetings.

Most experts in the construction field will hit a few roadblocks on the path to success, so surrounding yourself with people whom you can trust to offer encouragement and constructive feedback when you need it most, can be a great way to stay ahead of the game.