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Advance your career with 3 tips from VPs of Construction

Posted by James Hawley, Hays EVP, on Tuesday, Oct 4, 2016

Hays Blog: 3 tips to advance your construction careerWhat’s the most important skillset at each stage of your career? Are you ready to move to the next stage of your career, but not sure where to start?

We asked VPs in construction to give us insight on what helped them reach the top – and what they would do differently if they could go back.

Construction is an industry built on the values of community and connections which is why so many enjoy working in the field, but you don’t want to have a stagnant position. So what do you need to advance your career in the industry? We asked more than 150 industry executives to find out their career path from entry level to current role. Below are three of the key common points we found among the leaders.

Build a broad foundation of knowledge - 65% of survey respondents have identified key skills in at least 10 of the listed functions. Those who have a clear understanding of how different roles and functions interact will be better able to progress to a role that requires managing staff from different parts of the business.

Become an expert in project management – You don’t necessarily need to be a Project Manager but you should have the skills to manage a project and team. This is where obtaining soft skills will come in handy. Communication skills, for example, is a key soft skill to acquire so that you are not only able to clearly articulate concepts and instructions, but also able to listen to stakeholders and your team members to optimize management of a project.

Obtain a mentor - 87 percent of VPs have had a mentor themselves, and 85 percent have acted as a mentor. Don’t be afraid to approach someone in a senior role to ask for guidance and mentorship, they have been where you are and from their experiences they will help you develop your skills and address professional weaknesses.

Before you start focusing on building your skills to progress I want to remind you of what I said at the beginning of this post: For all the new technology and changing markets, construction is still an industry built on the values of community and connections. As you’re developing your skills don’t forget to take the time to build strong relationships with senior professionals, owners, peers, sub-contractors and other stakeholders. Not only will this build the community around you but it will be a resource for jobs, promotion, business and advice as you advance in your career.

Learn more on how to advance your career by requesting a free copy of our DNA of a VP Construction guide.

Ready for your next career move? Check the listings below or search jobs in your area.

Job Title

Location Job ID
Assistant Project Manager New York City 1011046
Senior Superintendent Washington, DC 1010935
Project Manager Chicago 1010249
Senior Commercial Estimator Houston, 1010708
Revit architect New York City 1011213


Talk to James Hawley, Hays EVP, about the US Construction market.

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