It’s a great time to be a professional contractor. Business is booming, pandemic-era restrictions are starting to wind down, and there’s a major shortage of construction workers. Combined, these factors make for a lucrative job market. But just because jobs are available and there’s a need for qualified workers doesn’t necessarily mean you can coast to a leadership position. If you really want to climb the ranks, it’s important to invest in professional growth. Unsure what professional growth looks like in the skilled trades? We’ve provided a handful of suggestions below.
1. Show your commitment to safety. The construction industry accounts for more than 150,000 accident-related injuries each year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you want to stand out from the competition, you need to highlight your commitment to safety. One easy way to do that is to enroll in an OSHA certification course. Programs like OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 provide basic safety training and health information for entry-level construction workers.
If you want to go the extra mile, consider enrolling in AGC’s Safety Management Training Course. As an AGC of Washington member, you automatically receive a 10% discount on admission. Once you receive a certificate of completion, make sure to highlight that information on your résumé and LinkedIn profile.
2. Subscribe to industry publications. One of the easiest ways to keep your finger on the pulse of the construction industry is to subscribe to related publications. Outlets like Construction Dive, Building Design + Construction Magazine, The Contractor and Engineering News-Record publish dozens of high-quality articles on a daily basis. Topics cover everything from legislative issues and new construction equipment to leadership tips and ideas for improving safety on the job site. Even setting aside an hour each week to read and learn allows you to build on your skillset and knowledge.
3. Attend AGC events. As an AGC of Washington member, you automatically have access to most of our meetings and events. Attending a golf tournament, social, committee meeting or safety forum is an easy way to build your professional network and enhance your skills. There are dozens of events to choose from, so don’t feel like you’re obligated to attend each one.
4. Find a mentor. Whether you’ve been working in construction for five years or 20, it’s always good to have someone you can look up to. Having a bi-monthly coffee break or lunch meeting with one of your favorite professionals is a great idea. Use the time to ask questions and build a rapport. See if there’s any way you can assist your mentor.