When you’re in the market for a new job, it’s important to know how to seek out and identify opportunities for advancement. If you value professional growth and end up landing a new position where there’s little room for upward mobility, it most likely won’t be long before you’re back on the job search.
Workplace stagnation leads to feeling bored and unfulfilled, which is a major contributor to employee turnover. A 2017 study put out by Glassdoor analyzed the reasons behind 5,000+job transitions, and one of the main factors cited was the lack of opportunities for advancement.
The good thing about choosing a career in the construction industry is that there are ample opportunities to grow professionally. There is a tremendous amount of variety in available career paths, as it takes a multitude of various positions and specialties to make the construction world go round.
If you’re in the process of looking for a new construction career opportunity and want to ensure you find a position that’s poised for continued growth, here are a few key things to keep in mind during your hunt:
You’ll be much more likely to grow in the direction you want if you take the time to draft a career plan and narrow down the specific career goals you’d like to achieve.
Are you looking to grow and take on more responsibility in a position similar to one you’ve already held, or would you like to advance into a superior role? Do you need any further training, education, or certifications to get you there? How does your current skill set compare to the one you’d need for you dream position? How can you best fill in the gap?
Sometimes you may have to start at a different position before you progress to the actual role you want. For example, employers typically prefer construction project managers to have actual field experience before taking on such a fundamental role.
This helps ensure they understand the demands and flow of how a construction project actually works before they’re tasked with overseeing the deeply intricate demands of one. If being a project manager is where you want to end up, one part of your career plan will most likely involve obtaining work on an actual jobsite.
The better you research and prepare for the steps it will take to move forward in your career path, the better you can analyze opportunities and make decisions in a way that harmonizes with your long-term goals.
One of the easiest ways to figure out if an opportunity will be conducive to your professional growth is simply by asking the executive recruiter or other hiring party you initially speak with.
Inquire what, if any, career development and training opportunities are offered within the company, and also ask if the company primarily promotes from within. Proactively seeking this information out will help you streamline your route to success and prevent you from being disappointed with what opportunities the company is able to offer.
Taking the time to research the company you’re applying to work with will allow you to gain a deeper perspective on how the company operates. The company’s website can tell you quite a bit about their culture and mission statement. Additionally, if they have a page made specifically to highlight career opportunities, this will allow you to gain a glimpse into whether or not they provide any opportunities to advance your career.
If they don’t have much information published regarding possible growth within the company, there are a variety of websites where employees review their experiences working at specific companies. Users comment on a variety of topics, such as culture, benefits, and opportunities for growth. While these websites aren’t the be-all and end-all of forecasting what your experience would be like, they still offer valuable insight from current or former employees.
Another way you can gauge whether or not a job will be contributory to your long-term career goals is by investigating whether or not the company is solvent. Generally speaking, companies who aren’t doing the best financially don’t have the means to offer regular promotions or advanced training.
If the company is public, the financial filings are made available to the public by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. If the company is private, you can ask roundabout questions during the interview to get a sense of the company’s stability.
Inquiring about whether or not the company expects to expand headcount over the next year, how frequently they promote from within, and what kind of marketing efforts they utilize can help you assess its financial health. Generally speaking,a company that is steadily growing and expanding marketing efforts is doing satisfactory on cash flow.
Keep in mind that this isn’t a bulletproof way to assess a company’s fiscal well-being, but rather, it’s a quick snapshot. Newer companies may not have the means to grow rapidly right away, but they could do so in the near future.
Sometimes the best opportunities aren’t close to home. If you aren’t finding many outlets to grow your career where you’re currently residing, it may be best to start expanding your search to non-local areas.
Especially if you live in a small town where there’s not much projected growth for construction, you may want to consider looking into cities that are expanding their construction efforts.
The more open you are to changing scenery and moving to a location that’s ripe with construction job openings, the better your chances are of finding an employer who will help you move further along your career path. Opportunity can find you, but more often than not, it’s up to you to chase the opportunity.
The construction industry is dealing with a current construction boom while simultaneously experiencing a labor shortage. This means that many construction jobs are opening up, but without enough talent, positions are remaining unfilled.
Construction executive search firms and construction companies are always looking for top talent, so make yourself easy to find. Network with search firms and construction companies on professional platforms such as LinkedIn, and stay aware of any new job openings popping up. Additionally, make sure your LinkedIn is highly optimized for the keywords you want to be found for.
Staying on recruiters’ radars is highly beneficial, as they often know about jobs that aren’t advertised online. They work side-by-side with impactful companies, and they could know of an employer who may be hiring for one position but would be willing to consider training and promoting you to another position rather quickly. Success is all in your communication and networking efforts.
If the possibility of upward mobility is something you find invaluable in a position, it’s important to learn how to spot an opportunity where advancement is something viable.
It comes down to knowing what steps are necessary to meet your unique career goals, conducting thorough research into the companies you’re applying for, and making yourself highly visible to hiring parties.
If you can achieve these steps, you should have no issue recognizing and pouncing on the first opportunity that will help you further your career.
S.R. Clarke Consulting Services, Inc. has been helping employers find top talent for their construction firms as well as assisting job seekers in making exciting career changes for over 41 years.
We have an impressive track record and have made over 30,000 successful placements. If you’re looking to make an exciting career change, take a look at our current list of executive construction jobs.
Whether you’re an employer ready to grow your company or a job seeker looking to find a new career, we can help in every possible way.