Last year at this time, our newsletter was on the “New Norm”, and we linked to an article in Bloomberg news where an economist they featured predicted a half million new jobs in 2014. According to the Department of Labor, industry jobs were added in 39 states. Although short of the half million predicted, overall we can get closer to that number if we count all those who changed jobs and moved out of underemployed status.
You may be reading this and going, “good for them, but what about me?” Recently, I read an article titled, “Phrases that will get you fired.” It got me thinking about the top phrases that I hear all the time that won’t get you hired.
- “I can build anything.” Although that may be true, we won’t ever know because there aren’t enough days in a lifetime to build one of everything there is, and rarely in construction are there twin projects. Even two projects with the same design go on two different pieces of dirt. Employers don’t focus on what you can do. They focus on what you have done and your attitude and aptitude to gain the ability to do something new.
- “I get around the computer.” What exactly does that mean? It reminds me of when I worked in a lingerie department during high school and the people would point at what they were interested in buying for their significant others, only they never had the size right and were afraid to touch what you would hope they couldn’t wait to touch! Focus on what you do know and have recently used. If you want to advance past foreman in your career, then you’d better be taking computer training– whether your company offers it or not! Everything is headed there. Check out this video.
- “I don’t have a reference from there.” Okay, stuff happens and we don’t stay in touch with everyone we have ever worked for, but let me tell you, people, the top candidates getting the top jobs have no problem getting references –three to five of the people they have worked directly for over the past 10 years, and many of them can go back further than that. Many of them can get their references from jobs they held years ago to write reference letters for them now if they did not obtain them at the time they left those employers. Keep in mind–if you help your potential employer, employment consultant or recruiter to get the references, versus handing them names and numbers to call, it just shows initiative and speeds the hiring process. We are a relationship business. Even if your past supervisor is not a reference option and you did not part ways in an amicable manner (we’ve all had business relationships that failed), all the employer is seeking is the truth regarding what went wrong so they don’t set you or them up for a similar circumstance.
I listed only three of the common phrases heard on interview. There are many more, dependent on what position a candidate is interviewing for. Some others that are specific to position are:
Superintendents – if you have never had formal OSHA training (preferably recently) and don’t have any computer and scheduling experience, you will limit yourself to the opportunities out there. The job is not just babysitting subs – it is much more than that. I tell people that the best Supers now are the Supers who could be Project Managers as they are capable of the administrative side and understand it but choose to be in the field since that is what makes them happy.
Project Managers – The degreed, computer proficient beyond Excel and Word, LEED AP, with estimating with solid field experience, are getting the best jobs. These guys and gals are not just great administrators but understand boots to boardroom.
Your current employer may offer some of the following training sessions, and I encourage you to participate in as many as you can to enhance your skills and knowledge of the industry so you have increased opportunities for advancement:[starlist]
- OSHA & Safety Training
- Personal, Professional & Leadership Development
- Job Specific Technical or Degreed Courses/Programs
- Industry Software Applications
- Professional Accreditations (e.g., LEED AP)[/starlist]
If you want to remain competitive in your career, your mindset should be set to learning mode and, a minimum of annually, you should participate in formal training. Employers, you are not doing your company or the people that work for you justice if you are not providing them the minimum of time and encouragement to better themselves, even if you are not willing or able to aid in the cost.
A good place to start is to read the many educational articles prepared just for you in this newsletter and on our blog by our partners. We are always here to help you with career guidance and to give you suggestions to help you with your career goals.
How do you rate your employability? Do you have options because you are an “8” or above on a scale of “1 to 10”? You can improve your employability, no matter what age you are, by investing in yourself with training.
Wishing you the best of health, joy and prosperity in 2014 and beyond,
Suzanne on behalf of Kent, Suzanne and the Construction Connection team!
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