Think You’re Cut Out For Doing Commercial Construction?
Let’s hope so because it is a great way to spend your working life! Er, er, er … well it is if you like that kind of thing!
Some of us seem to always have had seasonal disadvantages to suffer. Stuck outside in the wind, rain and mud during the Winter. Stuck inside during the sunny Summer days when it would be great to be outdoors! Could you cope with that? Okay, joking over.
The public perception of construction professionals does vary greatly from country to country. Depending upon where you live and work you could either be looked down upon or considered as wonderful.
Crazy, but true! Could you cope with whichever you’d experience?
Then there are actually the characteristics of commercial construction to look at and consider.
Because there is always so much money involved, everything has to happen NOW. Decisions can’t be put off. If it takes some discussion or research, rather than just instantly deciding, it has to happen fast!
Do you think you have the ability to be able to make instant decisions? Seems not that many people do have!
Then what happens when we get on a construction site? No two projects are ever the same. Every single one is very complex and, to make it even worse, different material technology gets used, it seems, on every one!
Then we haven’t a clue what will happen with things like the weather or the clients changing their minds. This means a couple of things for anyone considering going into commercial construction.
- You have to be infinitely flexible and adaptable, dealing with every change thrown at you!
- You have to accept that you aren’t, can’t and never will be, an all-knowing expert! You have to quickly find out who the right person is to ask!
Do you have this ability to “suck it and see, then make it up as you go along” that construction requires?
Now let’s have a look at the site we are on. Nice big one with 1,000 men working there. All rough, tough dirty finger-nail brigade regarding whom (exactly as for the management) public perception varies from county to country. Myself, I respect them for the skilled tradesmen they are.
However, whether you are on that site as a Site Engineer with just a couple of these guys under you, or the Project Manager to whom everyone reports;
something is expected of you!
This isn’t something any of us can claim for ourselves; it has to be acknowledged by those under us.
Do you think you might develop the qualities of leadership so they all look up to you?
Assuming the answer to all the above is “Yes” then we’ll move on. You get into more senior management roles in commercial construction and the Project Team we have to think of gets bigger and more complicated!
It includes the Client, his Consultants, the Public Sector officers as well as the site-based people. To be able to get these guys and gals to acknowledge you as the Project Team Leader is another step forward, but a damned long step! Ready to even consider taking that step?
But don’t be put off by any of that! The great satisfaction to be got from commercial construction is to finish a project but be able to go back, look at it and say;
“I built that!”
All of us only ever start at the beginning and progress upwards, in slow steps, as our experience progresses, and only as far as suits us personally! To go into commercial construction, at all, places us in small minority of very special people!
We are the ones who build the world for everyone else to live in!