Monthly Archives: February 2023

How to Build a Reliable Career in Construction

If you’ve been thinking about starting a career in construction, you should know that there is a lot of potential in the industry. But if you’re planning to stay in for the next 30 years or more, you’re going to need to make some good decisions from the beginning. Here are a few choices that can help set you up for a better experience.

Look for Gaps in Your Experience/History
When you’re first starting out, you may have the most flexibility in determining your future course. It’s a good idea to look at what you already have and determine how much you need to start building a career in construction. For example, most construction professionals need to have a high school diploma or GED. You may not need to have a significant amount of other experience or training, but it helps. Start researching what you’ll need in order to pursue the kinds of careers that you’re thinking about for the future. It’s better to have a plan in mind before you get too invested in the process.

Research Courses
One of the things that people love about construction is that there are so many things that you can learn, and so many different ways to do it. For example, if you’re looking to join a particular field and you know exactly which one is going to be right for you, you may be able to take educational courses or apply for apprenticeships that will give you extensive knowledge and experience by the end. But you can also take courses one at a time to learn a little bit more about the field and the job, so that you can determine whether or not it will be right for you. Don’t hesitate to get more information about fields that you find exciting or particularly interesting.

Consider Certifications
Although construction as an industry doesn’t always require a lot of training for entry-level jobs, you can still add to your résumé before you get started. Certifications may not take as long as licenses or degrees, and they may help you move toward a particular career. For example, OSHA offers a variety of certifications that can make you a more attractive candidate for certain construction jobs, even if they’re not the only things you need to have in order to get them.

Evaluate Possible Career Paths
When you start thinking about possible career paths, it’s important to choose options that will work for you years down the road. The last thing that you want is to discover that your chosen field is becoming obsolete, and you don’t know how to grow with it. Instead, look for fields with a lot of room for growth within the next 30 years, as well as demand for qualified professionals. You’ll have a better chance of finding a reliable career, as well as plenty of work to keep you busy at a good rate of pay.

Improve Other Skills
Like other industries, construction requires people to build a variety of skills that they can use throughout the workday. If your dream is to open your own contracting business, you’ll need multiple skills, such as:

  • Math and basic finance
  • Business communication
  • Basic use of technology

This is also a good time to evaluate what you need to be able to perform tasks within your chosen field every day. You might need to build your physical strength or stamina so that you can complete projects on time without burning yourself out.

Building a reliable career in construction starts with these goals. When you’re ready, you can count on us to help you prepare for the contractor licensing exam. To get started, visit CSLS today!

5 Ways to Improve Your Contracting Business Productivity

For your contracting business, productivity is the way that you keep the money rolling in. The trouble is that knowing the best way to be productive isn’t always obvious. If you’re new to running a business, you might not know the most efficient routes to increase productivity without running yourself into the ground. Here are five things that you can try.

Set Deadlines
Within each project, there are lots of tasks that you need to do. Every task has individual parts that you have to complete. Depending on how long each part takes, you may need to set deadlines to ensure that you complete them on time. When a project is weeks or months long, it’s easy to assume that you will be able to follow a checklist in a linear fashion and arrive on time. Unfortunately, failure to plan accounts for a lot of late project deliveries. Set deadlines for your work, but make sure that they’re realistic. You might have to do some research before knowing how much time you need.

Keep Track of Your Time
It’s easy to lose yourself in a task, but keeping track of your time helps you know where it goes. Set defined hours for each responsibility you have throughout the day, and don’t forget time for breaks and lunch. Don’t feel pressured to book out every 15 minutes. If you’re not sure how long a task should take, take simple notes throughout the day that show when you transitioned from one step to another. After a few days, you should have a sense for the average amount of time needed. That way, when you set a schedule, you’ll be more likely to get it right.

Stop Trying to Multitask
Experts say that no one really knows how to multitask. Some people are better at shifting quickly from one task to another and back again, but that is still not the same as multitasking. Computers have the ability to devote processing power to multiple jobs at once, but humans aren’t computers. When you’re trying to do too many jobs at the same time, you run the risk of doing all of them slowly and badly. If you need to spend some time monitoring others while you work on your own tasks, set reminders for yourself to shift into supervisory mode. It will be easier for you to actually monitor others when you are not trying to get something else done at the same time.

Improve Your Delegating Skills
Everyone says that when you run a business, you have to be able to delegate. What they don’t tell you is how to get better at that. Early attempts at delegation can be faulty, because you didn’t give someone enough information to complete the task, or you assigned them a task that they simply can’t do. This doesn’t mean that delegation doesn’t work, or that your employees or subcontractors don’t know how to get work done. Rethink it. When you plan out your project, make a list of tasks that the people underneath you are likely to be able to complete at a reasonable level of quality. Note the information that they will need, and make sure that they have it. Over time, you will feel more comfortable delegating responsibilities to them.

Minimize Meetings
Meetings can be an important tool to ensure that everyone is on the same page, and provide real-time feedback on the status of a project. It doesn’t mean that meetings are always necessary or even the best way to make decisions and convey information. Some people love to hold meetings if only to hear themselves talk. But that approach can waste a lot of time, even if it feels like you’re being productive. Before you schedule a meeting, ask yourself if it might be easier and faster to do via email or even text message. For meetings that are necessary, set a defined goal and finish on time.

Productivity is a big part of your contracting business success. These tips can take it to the next level. To get high-level preparation for the contractor licensing exam, contact CSLS today!