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6 Tips For Securing A Job In The Construction Industry

StrategyDriven Professional Development Article | 6 Tips For Securing A Job In The Construction IndustryIf you’d rather be outside working with your hands than sitting in an office typing all day long, construction is the industry for you. Not only can you get some fresh air while at work, but you’ll also be paid handsomely for your services and have plenty of room for career advancement.

The construction industry has a lot to offer. If you’re looking to secure a job in construction here are some tips to help you get started:

Get Educated

Ok, so you may have entered the construction industry to avoid this one, but it can pay to go back to school if you want to secure a quality, high paying job in construction.

Don’t worry though, you won’t have to master calculus or take those frustrating Spanish courses, instead, you will be looking into trade schools, technical colleges, and business management courses.

Whether you want to become a general contractor, plumber, electrician, or welder almost every well-paid construction jobs requires some form of in-class training.

Don’t be afraid to go back to school to secure a high paying, fun career in construction.

On the Job Training

The most valued and respected training in construction is on the job training. If you don’t have experience actually building, demolishing, and removing, no one will take you seriously. This is something to keep in mind if you plan on being a general contractor, or owning your own construction business somewhere down the line.

Many people in construction begin their careers as a laborer on a construction yard. Laborers help construction workers with odd, unskilled tasks and gain experience on the job.

If you want to make a career in construction, it pays to begin from the bottom up and gain on the job training, hopefully, while you go to trade school, technical school or learn a new skill (i.e driving a forklift).

Just like in other industries, your resume, and work experience matter.

Be Quiet, Pay Attention, Ask Smart Questions

Unlike most people who write for a living, I have actually had a couple of construction jobs, although I was just a laborer. If there is anyone piece of advice I could give to people looking to get into construction it would be: be quiet, pay attention, and ask SMART questions.

They say there are no stupid questions, in construction that just isn’t the case. Construction managers, foreman, and tradespeople simply don’t have time to be answering a million obvious questions. Learn from your peers, remember safety always comes first, and that common sense is king and you can make a solid career in construction.

Add New Skills

No matter what your job is, if you want to make more money and secure your position for the long-term it pays to learn new skills.

In construction, many times, that means learning to operate new equipment. The average construction laborer makes around $16/hour compared to the average crane operator salary of just over $20/hour, just for reference.

Look For ‘Out of The Box’ Opportunities

If you don’t want to go the usual route, there are also many ‘out of the box’ options within the construction industry that can lead to a rewarding career.

For example, you can work for a construction equipment supplier, like Drake Equipment. There are dozens of equipment suppliers out there who do everything from servicing truck bodies for industry-specific trucks to selling construction parts and equipment. These are some of the largest employers in the industry.

Another potential ‘out of the box’ opportunity could be the oil industry. Many oil companies are often searching for workers with construction experience.

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, there are over 7.2 million construction jobs in the U.S so you have plenty of options outside the usual homebuilding and road work duties.

Don’t be afraid to look for ‘out of the box’ opportunities.

Contact A Recruiter

If all else fails, it may be time to contact an executive staffing agency, like TruPath. In the construction industry, people often overlook recruiters, but especially if you are trying to find an executive job it pays to use all your resources.

Even if recruiters aren’t contacting you, finding places to submit your resume on their websites can be a great way to network. Not only will you move to the top of the list on the recruiter’s desk, but your move will also show initiative and can make you more likely to land a job.

The construction industry is not often thought of when it comes to securing a job in 2019. Many people think of construction as a dying business. That simply isn’t the case. In fact, the construction industry offers a number of high paying jobs with minimal competition for the positions.

Securing a job in construction for the long-run takes continued education, an ‘out of the box’ approach, and constant hard work, but the rewards are well worth the costs.

Luring Customers To Your Restaurant Business

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article | Luring Customers To Your Restaurant BusinessYou would think that great food and wine would sell itself but more and more restaurants are learning, times have changed. This isn’t so anymore, because just like any other industry, the food and beverage industry is going through a lot of evolutionary moments. With food ordering apps on the rise, more people are choosing against the ‘going out to eat’ option. A massive cultural shift is occurring and thus, if you’re a restaurant business, you have to be ready to innovate and attract customers to your establishment. You’d be surprised at how many restaurants have still got websites that seem like they would be better suited for the early 2000s. A basic menu and prices are no longer enough. You have to go the extra mile.

Part of the crew, part of the experience

The one thing ordering out doesn’t get you, his personality. That’s one of the best parts of going to eat out in a restaurant is the service you receive. That’s why you should film a short video to place on your website’s homepage, showing the type of customer service your waiters and chefs will provide. Firstly, contact a video production specialist, and inform them of your needs. They will arrive on location and speak with you about your idea and if it’s feasible or not. Then with a little planning and having a couple of meetings, the production team can set up their equipment and go for a test run. It might take a few takes before you get it absolutely right, but that’s why you will be shooting for a couple or a few days. Show the best side of your employees and drop in a few unique services such as special requests from your musicians and chefs.

A cultural symbol

Your city has a number of festivals that you should take full advantage of. Whether it’s an ethnic event such as an Italian feast, a celebration of Chinese culture or perhaps an event tied to the town such as fishing and seafood, you should be a part of it somehow. The more your face and name are seen around town during culturally important events, the more your restaurant connects with the local people. If they see you’re participating in an event, they will see you as a cultural symbol of their city. Thus, you become a business that is part of the furniture so to speak. Giving away free samples at events gives your customers a sense of what to expect should they make their way through your doors.

New menu release

Ever so often, restaurants will revamp their menu and start anew. If and or when you decide to do this, you should have an exclusive sale of tickets for that day or week. Drum up the anticipation with online and local marketing techniques. People will always be allured to something that is exclusive and niche. So offer exclusive bookings for those who want to be the first to try out the new menu.

The restaurant business will never die out but it will and has gotten tougher. You can beat fast food places if you make your customers want to experience the service.

The Nine Building Blocks of Innovating New Strategic Alternatives

When organizations consider stepping outside of their traditional boundaries to engage with other players in new types of business innovations, they are often a bit lost in how to go about developing such a strategy process. And indeed, multi-stakeholder collaborations often don’t have the luxury of a traditional leader, as there is no formal hierarchy or power structure. They frequently emerge from a conversation between different players and may have an informal initiator who does not hold a formal position of power. When different participants of different organizations participate in a co-creation event, it is indeed supposed to be a meeting of equals.

However, without that leadership function, it can get confusing who is in charge of what and who makes what decisions. Clarity about ownership and process help in such situations that are unusual for most participants who come from hierarchical structures or have grown up in them before. In our experience, it is helpful to have a facilitator present when holding such sessions in order to ensure that decision-making clarity is present. Such a facilitator allows the initiator to participate with his perspective like any other member of the group.

Not every such strategy process looks the same and it is useful to differentiate between nine basic building blocks of co-creation. These can be grouped into five phases: getting started, gaining momentum, the small innovation cycle, scaling out, and rounding off. With exception of the last phase, each phase consists of two building blocks, see Figure 1.

The book “Five Superpowers for Co-creators” outlines the nine building blocks of co-creation in the context of what it takes to successfully work with external stakeholders to develop new business models and strategies (www.5superpowers.org). The book also looks at the challenges at the individual, group and facilitation levels and suggests practical pathways to progress when the process get stuck.

StrategyDriven Alternative Development Article | Strategic Initiatives | The nine building blocks of innovating new strategic alternatives

Figure 1: The nine building blocks of co-creation

A successful multi-stakeholder process consists of a number of building blocks. These cover three specific activities: those of the initiator of the project, those related to co-creation event and those related to scaling and engagement activities. Each of these can be divided into three building blocks for a total of nine.

The facilitator is mostly involved in the co-creation events and may help the initiator in the activities specific to his role. There is a small innovation cycle consisting of a repetition of co-creation events and prototyping. Combining all nine building blocks is define as the large innovation cycle.

A typical co-creation event consists of a multitude of stakeholder engagement and interaction exercises and workshops designed to balance listening, sharing, visioning, brainstorming, ideation and early prototyping.

A more detailed overview of the objectives of each building block is provided in Figure 2. The building blocks serve as a way to render the process transparent and clear in terms of what needs to happen along the co-creation journey. Clearly, there is no need to use all nine steps. We have indeed provided a pragmatic short-cut of these building blocks as a concise business strategy tool we call SDGXCHANGE (www.SDGX.org) which use only the most essential elements required for business to innovative new strategic alternatives.

StrategyDriven Alternative Development Article | Strategic Initiatives | The nine building blocks of innovating new strategic alternatives

Figure 2: The objectives of each of the nine building blocks

The article builds on extracts of the Book “Five Superpowers for Co-creators”


About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Katrin MuffDr. Katrin Muff (www.KatrinMuff.com) is a thought leader in the transformative space of sustainability and responsibility. She is Director at the Institute for Business Sustainability and holds a position as Professor of Practice at the LUISS Business School. She works with leaders, their teams and their boards in the area business transformation towards sustainability. She co-developed the Competency Assessment for Responsible Leadership (). Most recently, Katrin published Five Superpowers for Co-creators (www.5superpowers.org), which features the nine building blocks of co-creation including a pragmatic solution for business organization with the applied strategy tool SDGXCHANGE (www.SDGx.org).

The Incredibly Interesting Paths Skills Can Take You On

StrategyDriven Professional Development Article |Skills |The Incredibly Interesting Paths Skills Can Take You OnIf you’re confused and not at all sure about what you want to be in life, don’t worry. Many millions of people are all in the same boat. This isn’t to say you should take solace in the fact that there are other people who are waiting to find their true calling. But, it is to illuminate the fact that this is normal. Many people haven’t had parents that show them various skills and opportunities of where those skills can take you. You’re not the only one to be in a stage of your life where you are at a crossroads with no sign telling what lies at the end of each path. Perhaps you could narrow down your choices if you had someone explain where different skills can take you. That’s what’s missing so often in our lives, a direction that shows us what will be along the way and at the end of it.

Not all degrees are linear

Sooner or later, you will realize that the world of work is nothing as you were taught it would be like. There are professions that education can’t always prepare you for and there are jobs that only trained individuals can do. Therefore, even if you have a degree, you will still need to unlearn some things and learn new things while on the job. So firstly, you need to accept that not all degrees are linear in their professional pathways. Having a history degree doesn’t mean you will become some kind of museum clerk. In fact, you’ll find that many politicians have history degrees and they are often the type that will be able to form better policies. Philosophy degrees are excellent for a multitude of professions because they encompass pretty much every aspect of our lives. Better yet, it’s the philosophy graduates that are the most likely to pass a law bar test. Even degrees like Art won’t always mean you end up in a gallery or as an art critic, writer. Many people with Art degrees become graphic designers, work in marketing and also work in architecture. The key is to see the potential your degree has for you to work in fields that you perhaps didn’t think were linked.

Specialists, general and industrial

You can be a designer of cars but working in a car factory is one thing and working for a professional racing team is another. This is what you can determine as industrial versus specialist. Brilliant car designers have worked their way up through automobile companies. From the production line all the way to the boardroom, many engineers and designers have made their name just by getting promoted to the top. However, there are specialists that will almost immediately be hired into key areas of a business or industry, so they can use their incredible skills further the most advanced and complex products and services.

Case in point, electricians may work in general homes and fix problems for homeowners. However, electrical engineers will work on the national grid. They will utilize their amazing skills to work in the most complex areas of the industry. This is why if you want to become an electrical engineer you should follow the guide that goes at length to explain what you will need to do. Step by step, you’ll be given a detailed strategy guide on what kinds of skills and qualifications you will first need to attain. You must be ready and willing to problem-solve, think of creative solutions and concentrate on difficult tasks for hours on end.

A fast track path

Some companies that need skilled workers will always have their own programs. Apprenticeships are on the rise because there simply aren’t enough people that are taking vocational courses. Many young people head off to university which is primarily focussed on academia. Thus, if you would like to learn new skills in order to gain a foothold in a particular industry you’re interested in, it’s best to find an apprenticeship that you would like to join. Equally as important, internships with businesses will give you a fast track to the profession you would like to have. It’s important to note that the structure will be very similar as you receive on the job training. You’ll be using the latest tools and software to become a highly skilled worker that the company will eventually hire.

There are plenty of roads that lead to a career that would suit you best. Many people don’t know what they want to do but starting on the path to finding out is in itself a challenge you must accept.

3 Questions To Answer When Outsourcing

StrategyDriven Tactical Execution Article |Outsourcing|3 Questions To Answer When OutsourcingWhen you are looking to get a business up and running, there is no doubt that outsourcing will be an essential part of your early efforts. In the beginning, when you are trying your hardest to break through, you’ll often try to do everything yourself. That, however, is a risky strategy, as it can lead to burnout and crucial mistakes – so outsourcing is a necessity.

With that said, outsourcing in and of itself is like any other tool you can use in a business – it’s about more than just having it to call upon; how you use it also matters, and so does the quality of the service you are getting. In other words, there is no point simply deciding to outsource your accounting, the legal side of things or marketing without first asking a few questions about what you’ll be getting for the (often substantial) money you spend on it.

1. Do you trust the people who will be handling the task?

It’s all very well and good to know what you can and can’t do, and in truth it’s not knowing that which often stymies startups’ chances of success. Just as importantly, though, you need to consider what you might be getting when you put your IT services or marketing in the hands of another business. It’s essential that you meet them and find out not only what they say they can do for you (secure your network against hackers, or deliver a higher market share for your business), but how they plan to do it.

If they can show you figures, and demonstrate past success, then they are worth your trust when it comes to boosting your business.

2. Will they take the lead on the project?

If you outsource an aspect of your business to another company, then you will want to know that you can leave things in their hands and get on with what you’re good at. They’re not just there to give you a hand, after all, they’re essential in freeing you up for other tasks – but that won’t be the case if you constantly have to field questions from them and correct their work. Ideally, you should be able to compile a plan of what you need, then let them action it.

Often, experienced service providers will be the best ones to work with here – an occasional catch-up will be all that is needed to stay on the straight and narrow – but don’t rule out someone new with a convincing and detailed plan.

3. Will they answer your calls?

Arguably the most important factor when choosing a company to outsource any part of your business to is communication. As we’ve noted above, you don’t want them to constantly be asking you for more information, but equally it’s important to know that they’ll be reachable when you need to ask for a change or a progress report.

What’s ideal in this situation is to ensure that someone within the external company takes personal ownership of your task and oversees it to conclusion. When you have a specific contact you can always reach, you can be more confident of the work being done promptly and well.

Outsourcing is a thoroughly sensible way to ensure your business runs smoothly and you can focus on your strengths; just make sure you don’t saddle yourself with a few extra headaches when you do it.