Author Archives: makemeacontractor

About makemeacontractor

Contractors State License Service (CSLS) is the largest school in California devoted to the Construction professional. For over 23 years, CSLS has helped its students pass the exam to become licensed contractors in the State of California, licensing more students than any other school. From our main offices in Southern California, CSLS operates over 25 locations with full-service support and classrooms. We have grown to this extent by providing quality, professional services. In comparison, this provides 7 times the number of convenient locations than the second largest contractor school. Contractors State License Services is one of the only contractor schools in the state that is run by educators, not lawyers or people mostly interested in the bonding and insurance business. Contractors State License Services formerly operated under the oversight of the State of California's Bureau for Private Post Secondary and Vocational Education. As of January 1 2010, the new Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) came into existence replacing the BPPVE. CSLS now operates under the provisions of the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 (CPPEA), Article 4 Section 94874(f). Our Mission is simple; We can help you pass your California Contractors License Exam. Celebrating our 25th year, CSLS has helped over 120,000 students pass the California contractor licensing exam to become licensed contractors in the State of California. Additionally, we offer complete home study and online contractor’s license programs to help you pass your California contractors license exam. CSLS offers licensing classes for all types of contractor licenses, including General Engineering Contractor, General Building Contractor, Specialty Contractor, Insulation and Acoustical Contractor, Framing and Rough Carpentry Contractor, Cabinet, Millwork and Finish Carpentry Contractor, Concrete Contractor, Drywall Contractor, Electrical Contractor, Elevator Contractor, Landscaping Contractor, Warm-Air Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning Contractor, and many others. For a complete list of contractor licenses, visit www.MakeMeAContractor.com and tuned for more informative posts.

10 Things to Do if Your Contracting Business’s Project Shuts Down for COVID-19

You know it could be coming, and it might even happen within the week. When whole states are shutting down construction projects to try to slow the spread of COVID-19, it may not take long before your contracting business is affected. There are times throughout your career that you will need to suspend work on an ongoing project due to weather problems or even a contract dispute. If you have to shut down, even for just a few days, here’s a checklist of things you should confirm before you leave the site.

Organize Paperwork
Unless your business operates exclusively electronically, there is probably a few pieces of paperwork that you will need to take with you. This might include:

  • Contracts
  • Purchase orders or invoices
  • Equipment rental information

Make sure that you know where everything is. If you are required to leave some of it at the jobsite, double check that you have copies that you can access elsewhere.

Update Status of Project
Once you have left the jobsite, it may be much more difficult to establish where you were at for specific aspects of the job. Take the time to assess the status of each task and document what has been completed before you go.

Confirm Contact Information
Regardless of the reason you need to shut down a project, you will probably need to be in regular contact with your employees, subcontractors, suppliers and clients. Make sure that you have the correct information for all involved parties, especially a way to reach them if they are not currently working in the office.

Identify Items to Remove
If you suspect that it may be a while before you’re able to come back to the jobsite, it’s a good idea to remove at least some of the things that belong to your company. This might include laptops, materials and other equipment. Make a checklist of what you need to take with you so that you can confirm you’ve got it before you go.

Determine What Needs to Stay
Likewise, there will be many things that you must leave at the jobsite. Be careful of taking anything with you that does not belong to you, to avoid getting into a dispute over the contract. If it’s not yours and you are worried about leaving it at the site, make a note of this and contact the person responsible for it so they are aware of the shutdown.

Arrange for Equipment Pickup
If you’re renting equipment or using resources of another business, they may need time to pick it up before the jobsite is closed. Be sure to give them as much notice as possible to collect the equipment or arrange for someone else to get it.

Protect Against Weather
If you suspect weeks of waiting, you may need to protect the site against heavy rain or winds. Cover open piles or pits, and secure loose materials so that they do not topple over or blow around. Avoid placing anything against a security fence or in obvious view from the street.

Notify Employees and Subcontractors
While you wait for the site to reopen, everyone will need to stay away. Contact any of your employees or subcontractors working on the project to let them know. Confirm you have a viable way to update them once you have new information.

Post Notifications
Just in case someone didn’t get the message, create a sign that you can post somewhere alerting people to dangers on the jobsite. You may also need to post a notification that the site is currently closed.

Secure the Jobsite
The last step is to secure the jobsite. You can do this by:

  • Securing materials
  • Locking up equipment
  • Moving technological devices out of visibility
  • Locking the fence or gate
  • Turning on a surveillance system

This decreases the likelihood that anyone will try to break in while you are out.

Waiting on a shutdown can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to ruin your project. Taking these 10 steps ensures a better result. To start building toward your own contracting business, visit CSLS today!

Do You Have the Right Soft Skills for Contracting Business Success?

Running a business requires you to be an expert in sales, marketing, accounting and more. Of course, you must have the skills to become a licensed contractor, but that’s usually not enough. You may not think much about it when you’re figuring out which field to choose or what services you want to offer. But you’ll miss out on lots of opportunities if you don’t. To keep your business on the rise, you should also invest in developing these soft skills.

Sales
The act of selling something to a client is one of the most important things you will need to do as a business owner. You have services that you would like people to request, and the best way to achieve that is to figure out what they need and how you can give it to them. This involves a lot of careful dealing with prospective customers, in both conversations and your marketing materials. If you know what your likely clients are going through and how you can solve their problems, you can tailor your approach in a way that is more likely to appeal to them.

Negotiation
Similar to selling, negotiation is a skill you have to build in order to negotiate with clients, subcontractors, organization administrators and more. Negotiation is the way that you let another party know what you need and what you expect, and find ways that you can come to an agreement that works best for everyone. This isn’t always easy, as you will often encounter people who will try to bowl you over to achieve their own ends. Negotiation is what helps you stand your ground and keep your business running smoothly until you get to the next project.

Team-Building
Even if your business technically is a one-person show, you are still going to be working with a lot of other people. Your ability to build a team that will help support you during the toughest of projects is a matter of survival. You need to find employees and subcontractors who can get the job done well and be reliable at the same time. You’ve also got to persuade them to stick with you when they get better opportunities. There are lots of different ways that you can do this, and not all of them are ideal. You’ll notice that the companies with the best team-building skills are the ones with long-term employees who are good at what they do and protect the business owner’s interests at the same time.

Networking
When you decided to go into business for yourself, did you know how much time you would have to spend maintaining relationships with other people? This is one of the biggest aspects of business success. The ability to develop a working relationship with suppliers, subcontractors and people doing similar work in your industry can help you:

  • Save money
  • Find more work
  • Establish your business on firmer ground

If this isn’t a natural skill for you, you’ll need to practice at it so that it doesn’t come off unnaturally. People can usually tell when you’re trying to fake interest in them or the work they do. A genuine attempt to engage with them can pay off decades down the road.

Conflict Resolution
During the course of your business, you will have lots of opportunities to deal with stressful situations. You can ignore this fact and try to pretend it won’t be a problem, or you can learn the best ways to get through it. Conflict resolution is something that you will encounter between yourself and employees, with clients or colleagues. If you know how to de-escalate a conflict, you can minimize the chances that a simple disagreement will turn into a crisis. Helping yourself and the other involved parties to reach a peaceful resolution allows business to continue, and helps you preserve those important working relationships for the future.

Sometimes knowing the skills to produce products and services isn’t enough. In many cases, you need a lot of soft skills to make your business thrive, too. To find out how you can begin a career in construction, visit CSLS today!

Is Your Contracting Business Relying Too Much on Backlogs for Reliable Work?

Scheduling work far out in advance is a good way of protecting your cash flow. But what happens when the flow of new projects dries up? The pandemic has changed the demand for construction significantly, although some areas are affected more than others. If you’ve been relying on a backlog to ensure that you always have something to do next, now might be the time to change your tactics. Here are a few things to think about as you plan.

How Have Backlogs Protected Construction?
The construction industry often has a slow season, although this depends on the area and the specialty. Contracting business owners have long had to plan for slow times and expanded their business offerings so that they can keep paying their bills until they get busy again. The thing is, construction hasn’t had much of a slow season for several years. This is how the industry kept growing, even as other industries were starting to notice slowing in 2018 and 2019. Having a large backlog of future projects translates into a more reliable income. That makes it easier for you to hire regular employees and provide a better guarantee of paying them consistently.

How Are Backlogs Measured in the Construction Industry?
In the construction industry, backlogs are measured by a certain number of months. If you have a backlog of 8 months, this means that you have 8 months’ worth of projects already in the pipeline. Over the past year, backlogs for the industry have dropped by about 0.5-1.5 months a handful of times. If you were tracking along with much of the industry, that might mean that you have not added as many new projects to replace current ones. Over time, if backlogs completely run out, that means companies may lose a significant amount of potential income.

How Significant Have California’s Backlogs Been in Recent Years?
Of course, backlogs are region-specific as well as related to the specialty. Anyone who lives in California should be well aware that the state has had a significant backlog of housing and commercial projects that could extend out for several years. The changing economy can throw this into flux. If land prices remain high and investors remain wary, it’s likely that new construction starts will drop. If prices go down or if the economy rebounds strongly, investors may feel more comfortable about funding construction projects.

What Does a Loss in Backlogs Indicate for the Coming Years?
In the middle of a crisis, it is difficult to predict what will happen in the next five years. After all, in 2010, it wouldn’t have been unusual to claim that California would never have the same kind of construction momentum that it had in 2005 or 2006. Yet the industry rebounded and moved even faster. In the short term, it is likely that the loss of backlogs means that you may need to take fewer risks with your cash flow, or find other ways to protect your income.

What Can Contracting Businesses Do to Protect Future Income?
It might seem logical to extend projects to increase your backlog, if only to protect cash flow. But in this case, efficiency is more likely to win the day. Think about the ways that you waste time or money unnecessarily right now, and cut back. Focus on maintaining cash flow and being realistic about your estimates. Avoid bidding below your costs on projects, as this may only drive a race to the bottom with companies competing against each other to earn less. Instead, focus on providing a value relevant to the current economic climate.

Building a backlog of projects can help to protect your income, but you can’t always count on it. To start building a contracting business you can count on for the rest of your career, visit CSLS today!

 

Money Management Tips for Your Contracting Business

In order to run a successful business, you have to keep an eye on your money. This is particularly true in the first few years, if you have to do your own accounting. There are lots of reasons to hire a professional to handle your bills and income, but it’s still wise to keep your own tabs on it. Here are a few money management tips to make your business run more smoothly.

Watch Your Cash Flow
When you handle your personal expenses, you probably wait until you have income before you pay the bills. But what happens when you have more bills to pay than income to handle it? What do you do when you have a lot of money that comes out at one time, while the income slowly trickles in? Keeping an eye on your cash flow helps to ensure that you have the money to pay the bills when they come due. This also helps you to avoid having to make tough decisions, like determining whether to pay yourself or pay the rent on your workspace.

Beware of Excessive Overhead
Overhead is a term used to describe the bills you have to pay from the revenue that you bring in. If you have a lot of bills to pay, cash flow may be a bigger problem for you. A lot of people working in construction need to pay for:

  • Labor
  • Equipment rentals
  • Supplies
  • Workspace
  • Services

You may have to make some decisions about whether or not to buy or rent equipment, or how much inventory of supplies you keep on hand. Keeping this in balance gives you more flexibility with your income.

Minimize Debt Load
It’s hard to run a business without incurring any debt, particularly if you did not have a significant amount of savings to start with. However, running up a lot of debt can increase your overhead. If you have to choose between paying credit cards or a line of credit on the equipment and supply purchases and paying the people who work for you, you will be in a very difficult position. Be strategic about your choices to get into debt for the business. Sometimes, it may be unavoidable. At other times, there may be alternatives that make more sense, like delaying a purchase.

Don’t Forget to Invoice
When you are traditionally employed with a regular boss, you don’t have to worry too much about when you’re going to get paid. You just wait until payday and get your money. As a business owner, you have to ensure that you receive payment for services. And while this may seem obvious, it can be more difficult than you think. When you agree to a contract for a business or a private property owner, you may need to bill them throughout the project and at the conclusion. Then you have to wait for payment according to the stipulations of your contract. If you forget to invoice, you may end up waiting longer for the money.

Pay Bills on Time
Many construction fields require you to have a decent setup of equipment and supplies before you can start to offer services. This means that you may have bills before you have reliable income in which to pay them. Write down all of your expenses or use an accounting program that helps you keep track of them. Ensure that each of your bills can be paid on time whenever they are due. This will help you to avoid late fees, which can make it more difficult to manage your cash flow.

Money management is just one more way you can set yourself up to be a great licensed contractor. Passing the exam is the first part. To discover the benefits of expert exam preparation, contact CSLS today!

How Do Environmental Regulations Affect Your Contracting Business?

As the owner of a contracting business, your work might require you to take certain precautions related to environmental regulations. There are quite a few of them, and the ones you’ll work with depend on the jobs you do. Here are a few of the most common you can expect to encounter while you’re on the jobsite.

Clean Water
Everybody needs clean water to drink. Part of the way that we achieve this is by sending water supply through water treatment to test for and remove contaminants. But while this provides a moderate level of protection, it doesn’t ensure that there will always be clean water under all circumstances. As the owner of a contracting business, you may need to take care to ensure that debris from your jobsite does not end up in the local water supply. Environmental regulations may dictate how close you can set up to sources of water, as well as how you dispose of waste when you are done.

Dust Management
When you are working on a construction site, you have to manage what you bring in and use, as well as what you unearth in the process of your work. For example, lead is a naturally occurring element that can be toxic if people inhale or consume it. Lead was also a common material used in construction, particularly in plumbing and paint. If you are renovating or demolishing an old building, you will need to pay attention to whether or not you may stir up lead dust in the process. Careful mitigation of harmful toxins like lead or silica can minimize the likelihood of illness or injury to people living and working nearby.

Hazardous Waste Disposal
Many construction jobs require the use of possibly hazardous materials for manufacturing, building or cleaning. While this may seem like an uncommon part of your job, you may actually be dealing with hazardous waste disposal on a regular basis. For example, you need to have a plan to dispose of paint that you do not need and cannot use for another project. Similarly, it’s unsafe to leave piles of debris around the jobsite. Proper disposal ensures that it doesn’t blow down wind or get caught up in the water supply. Waste materials don’t have to be actively toxic or poisonous in order to represent a hazard. There are many natural elements that can still cause significant harm, like mold.

Why Environmental Regulations Exist
If you pay attention to politics, you’ll notice that politicians will often write laws dictating the way that businesses need to run in order to protect the environment. On the other side, you may see politicians who want to limit these kinds of regulations because of the ways that they can make running a business more difficult. As a business owner, you will need to balance these two perspectives. You don’t want to accidentally harm the people near a jobsite, but you also need to get your work done. Understanding the environmental regulations that are most common for your field and what you should do about them will minimize the hassle that you face on a regular basis.

When you own a contracting business, you’ll need to follow a lot of rules to ensure that you can keep it running smoothly. To find out how to get started, visit CSLS today!

Skills You Need for a Career in Construction

Construction’s a great industry to work in, but it helps if you can start off on the right foot. Although most jobs give you some flexibility, others may require you to spend a lot of time on your feet or working with your hands. Your ability to succeed in your field depends on the skills that you bring to the table. If you’re thinking about starting in construction but you’re not sure if you’re a good candidate, here are a few skills to develop as you decide.

Problem Solving
Like many jobs, construction requires you to solve problems on a regular basis. Some of them might call for you to act quickly, while others demand a thorough analysis and a careful response. You will need to practice different approaches to common issues in your field, so that you are ready to address them as they come. For example, learning how to handle a minor dispute about the details of a contract may help you to avoid escalating it into a major crisis. Although this is something that often comes with experience, the ability to analyze all sides of a problem and draw the best conclusion from there will make it easier to avoid mistakes in the first few years.

Quick Thinking
In most careers, your decisions don’t usually put your coworkers at immediate physical risk. Construction is somewhat unique in this arena. In many construction fields, the decisions that you make from minute to minute can ensure an ideal outcome for your project, or create disastrous consequences for your business and the people working with you. Quick thinking comes with practicing the job, but also analyzing the risks inherent in any particular task. The more you know in advance, the easier it is to make a decision on the fly, when moments matter.

Good Communication
As the owner of a contracting business, you will be communicating with:

  • Prospective and current clients
  • Subcontractors
  • Contractors
  • Employees

You need to be able to get your point across clearly, simply and in the right format. This means studying up on basic communication techniques for emails, phone calls and even text messages. It also includes developing an understanding of the different methods people use to communicate, and which ones are best for the task at hand.

Math and Simple Accounting
If you were a high school student who wondered when you would ever use math knowledge after school, you might be surprised to discover how much you use it in construction. And it’s not just the ability to determine the correct angle or measure something before you cut it. At first, you might be doing a lot of your own finances for your contracting business. Being able to correctly estimate items on an invoice or figure out how much income you need to balance your expenses is a skill you need for your business to survive. You don’t have to be an expert at mental math. You just need the basics, and the ability to find apps that will help you.

Willingness to Learn
You’ll often hear education experts say that they can teach someone how to do something, but they can’t instruct them how to care about learning it. Although construction is an industry that’s been around for thousands of years, it is in a constant state of change. New technologies, equipment and building practices are always just over the next horizon. This means that once you’ve mastered the skill, there’s a high likelihood that you will need to relearn it in a different way within a few years. The ability to do this, and the eagerness to do so, can help ensure that your skills remain current and that your business can stay relevant with the changes.

Building a career in construction calls for a lot of basic skills that you may already have. To see if you’ve got what it takes to start your own contracting business, visit CSLS today!

How Your Contracting Business Can Practice Social Distancing on the Jobsite

For the moment, social distancing seems to be the order of the day. While you can still do work, your contracting business needs to be accomplishing as much as possible. But trying to do that while you stay six feet apart from everyone else and avoid touching things feels impossible. Here are five things you can do to keep your workplace and jobsite safer, with a few concerns to note along the way.

Ensure Access to Sanitizing Implements
When you’re working on a job site, things tend to be a bit rougher than they might be inside a workshop or office. Instead of standard bathrooms, you might be dealing with portable toilets. However, this is one of the most important times to make sure that everybody has an opportunity to wash their hands and to keep the place sanitary. Your health literally depends on it. If the site where you are working doesn’t already have these tools, bring them in. Request additional assistance from clients if necessary.

Structure Tasks for Maximum Distance
Depending on the type of work that you do, you might have several employees working at various points on the job site. Or you might have two or three people working head-to-head. If you’re in the former category, keeping a minimum distance of 6 feet might be easy. If you’re in the latter, you may need to rethink your workflow. The reason for social distancing is that if someone coughs or sneezes, the droplets can only go so far. Ensuring a safe distance between workers minimizes the chance of contact.

Clean Each Station Between Tasks
Outside of industries like healthcare where absolute cleanliness is vital, most employees may not be accustomed to cleaning the area where they were just working. To understand the importance of cleaning stations, tools, and reusable protective gear, imagine that you’re just about to follow someone at the gym. When a person is done using a particular piece of equipment at the gym, it is a standard practice to wipe down everything that they may have touched. That’s mostly to keep the equipment from getting gross, but you can see how it applies to keeping your workplace sanitary. Providing anti-microbial wipes or sprays in various places will make it easier for people to clean up when they are done with a task.

Encourage Practical Use of PPE
Many industries have diverted significant numbers of supplies of personal protective equipment to the healthcare sector. This is because there has been a dramatic shortage of PPE like:

  • N95 masks
  • Sterile gloves
  • Protective gear to limit contact with eyes

Even if you don’t think you or any of your employees have contracted COVID-19, you may not necessarily be able to assume that nobody could. The virus has an incubation period of 7-14 days, which means that somebody may have it for up to two weeks before they see any symptoms. This doesn’t mean that everybody needs to suit up like a hazmat expert before they start work for the day, but maintaining a reasonable commitment to regular cleaning and the use of PPE as needed can minimize transmission.

Implement a Sickness Protocol
If you haven’t already significantly changed your standards for how to handle a worker who is obviously sick, now is the time. The last thing that you want is to have an employee infected with COVID-19 coming to work because they feel like they have no recourse. Take a moment to examine new federal policies concerning paid leave for workers who have COVID-19. And then make sure that everybody on your team understands that they need to stay home when they are sick.

While construction remains an essential service for the state of California, you may need to continue going to the jobsite and finishing projects as needed. Taking this advice can help you minimize your risk. For more information about building a safe contracting business, visit CSLS today!

Is Your Contracting Business’s Waste Management Strategy Putting You at Risk?

When you think about waste management on and off the jobsite, it’s more than an issue of cleaning up a mess or making sure you dispose of hazardous materials in the right way. It’s a matter of your own safety and the people around you. Here are a few factors to consider as you decide if your waste management strategy is ideal, or could use a reboot.

Environmental Risks
Whenever you work on a construction site, even if that place is a warehouse or your own home, you may have a variety of environmental concerns to worry about. Since this is heavily dependent on your working location, you’ll need to inspect each site and conduct testing as required before you can establish the type of environmental risks you’re facing. For example, you might have to deal with high levels of certain contaminants in the soil, like radon. The presence of a free-flowing water source nearby may make prompt cleanup more important, to avoid contaminating that water supply.

Population Concerns
You will also need to pay attention to the people who live and work around your construction site, and how the production of waste may affect them. In 2020, many construction workers in California have been invested in renovating or retrofitting existing hospitals to accommodate increased numbers of patients due to COVID-19. However, doing construction work in a hospital that has patients in it presents unique risks to a highly vulnerable population. You should consider the impact that dust and debris can have if they shift from the area where you are working before you have a chance to clean it up.

Cleanup Intervals
There are many different approaches to waste management on the construction site, and most of them have a different cleanup interval. If you are in the habit of cleaning up when a project is completely done, and not one minute before, you may be putting yourself and others at risk. The chance that dust and debris can blow away from an open jobsite is relatively high. But you should also keep in mind that it can create a slipping or tripping hazard while you continue to work in the space. Setting a more frequent cleanup interval, as often as every hour, keeps the excess out of the way.

Disposal Practices
Although cleanup at the jobsite is a major part of your waste management strategy, it is not the last step. You also need to dispose of your construction debris and garbage on a regular basis. Knowing how to dispose of materials is a vital skill that you as a business owner must master. In many cases, being able to control all aspects of site cleanup is a matter of following the law. If you haven’t thought about these practices in a while, now may be a good opportunity to re-evaluate them. You may have more options for recycling or local disposal than you did in years past.

Employee Training
As in many industries, you may discover that there is a significant difference between what you are supposed to do and what people are actually doing. In a lot of cases, this is an indicator that people are unaware of how to dispose of waste on a construction site. Since this can be a serious matter of health and even life or death, training should be an important component of your business practices. Make sure that you know how you should handle site cleanup depending on the site and the type of project that you are doing. Then invest the time and money to confirm that everybody you work with has that knowledge as well.

Waste management is a time-consuming task, but one that you need to do for your health and the security of your contracting business. For more information about building a successful business in construction, contact CSLS today!

Is a Career Change in Your 30s or 40s a Good Idea?

If you’re like a lot of people, you were raised with the idea that you’d learn a skill, get a job and keep it until you retired. The past few decades have turned that belief on its head. The concept that you’ll get a job when you graduate from school and stick with the company for the next 40 years is extremely outdated. While some people still do this, changing jobs and even careers mid-life is completely normal. Here’s how to determine if it’s the right decision for you.

Job Satisfaction
It’s true that most people don’t look for work because they love doing it more than anything else. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that job satisfaction is an important factor in your ability to keep working within a particular field for years. People who hate what they do or who have grown tired of it often realize that it spreads into the rest of their lives. When you spend a third of your time doing something that doesn’t make you happy, it’s going to be harder to enjoy yourself in your off-time. The trick is to determine whether or not it is your particular job or your career in general that’s causing the issue. If it’s the latter, you’re probably better off making an adjustment sooner rather than later.

Upward Mobility
Upward mobility might feel like an obsolete term from a completely different world, but it still plays a role in your future prospects. The ability to continue to grow in your career depends on the job and where you’re at right now. If you’re in your 30s and realizing that you’ve almost hit the max on where you could go, you have to decide if you’re OK staying where you’re at. Some people find a great deal of satisfaction in a job where they aren’t constantly having to break the mold. But if you’re looking for something with more variety, or you’re starting to feel like you’ll be doing this job forever, it might be time for a change.

Future Plans
Of course, the timing of a possible career change depends heavily on what you’re planning to do with the rest of your life. Someone who is planning to do something big like start a family or relocate may not have as many options to re-define themselves as someone who has comparatively few new things on the horizon. While many people decide to jump into a new career with both feet, it’s worth evaluating when is the best time for you to do this. Sometimes, waiting even six months or a year so you can prepare makes a successful transition much more likely.

Financial Responsibilities
For most people, the older you get, the harder it is to abruptly shift from one financial situation to another. If you have a house with a mortgage, and a family with lots of expenses every month, you’ve got fewer options than someone who is single and able to move almost anywhere. But it’s worth keeping in mind that a job transition doesn’t have to be a complete pivot from an established, comfortable situation into chaos. If you outline your liabilities, you’ll know what standards you need to be able to hit with a new career.

Transferable Skills
If you expected that the only way to change careers is effectively to start over, you might be pleasantly surprised. When you start in a new field in your 30s and 40s, people evaluating the skills you bring to the table aren’t going to look at you as if you just turned 18. This means that you may have a variety of talents or develop skills that would benefit you in your new career. Take some time to think about the soft skills you’ve picked up so far, such as:

  • Professional communication
  • Computer proficiency
  • Networking
  • Personal finance management

You might not be looking for a new job in any of these fields, but most jobs require at least a little of these.

Changing your career is never an easy decision, but it might be the best one you ever made. To start on the path to your own contracting business, visit CSLS today!

When’s the Best Time to Start in Construction?

Like most industries, construction has times when it’s easier to get established and times when there’s a lot of competition. But since it’s such a large industry and doesn’t evolve as rapidly as others, you’ll find a lot of flexibility. If you’ve been thinking about getting into construction and you’re not sure when is the best time to start, here are a few factors to consider as you make a decision.

Regional Development
As you might expect from almost any job, construction goes through periods where there is a lot of demand for projects and times when there aren’t so many. And while a lot of projects in the pipeline can be a good sign for your career prospects, you wouldn’t necessarily want to come in right at the end of it. Do some research and figure out what the capacity is for new development and renovation in your area. This will help to give you an idea of the likelihood of getting a good job in your chosen field. It can also highlight regions with a lot of potential that you hadn’t previously considered.

Long-Term Career Opportunities
If you have a pretty good idea of which field you’d like to work in, then you’ll need to scope out what the demand is for professionals in that field before you make a choice. People who invest years of work into a career have a pretty good chance of continuing on until they retire. Right now, there are lots of professionals leaving construction after decades in the business. This means there may be plenty of available spots in the type of job that you would like to do. Easing into a new role at this time could be a great opportunity to find your feet with less competition.

Future Growth
Of course, knowing what the region has planned for the next couple of years isn’t going to be enough to last you for a whole career. If you’re thinking about taking a path that you could travel for 20 to 30 years or more, you want to be sure that there is plenty of future growth waiting for you. The good news is that construction is a field that will always have some degree of demand. The trick is finding the types of jobs that are most likely to thrive with technological innovations and updates to construction practices. If you’re ready to make use of construction technology or perhaps even create some of it yourself, now is an excellent time to get started.

Personal Plans
Starting a new career path requires a fair bit of flexibility. This means that you’ll need to consider what your plans are for the next 5 to 10 years and balance them with your life as it is now. It’s not always clear when is the best time to make a big decision like a new job. And yet, they say that the best time to start something that takes years is to have done it already several years ago. The second best time is now.

Ready to Commit
Ultimately, the most valuable and competitive jobs and construction usually take a commitment of at least a few years to get yourself established. In a way, it’s not unlike going to college and then starting a career. If you want to get the most from the experience, you need to be willing to invest the time and effort to make it a success. If you are ready to commit to the work and study that it takes to become a licensed contractor, you’re already on your way to improving your life and building a career you’ll be glad to have.

Almost anytime is a good time to start a career in construction. The time you invest is what makes it a valuable decision. To get started, contact CSLS today!