It isn’t enough to just be a technically apt person on projects—there are other important metrics of career success. It now takes a lot of work outside of the workplace to achieve success.
It’s not difficult at all to fall into a comfortable career. You can get a six-figure salary by moving once or twice. It can provide accommodation in a good enough suburb, a car, and a holiday here or there. Having these basic needs satisfied, not everyone will strive further to fulfil their potential. But there are the driven and ambitious who are reaching for the stars.
Here are my five secrets to achieving massive career success in construction:
1. Have a Burning Desire
When you have to stay back until 9 pm to wait for the concrete pour to finish and come back at 6 am the next day, in the middle of winter, there is only one thing that will push you through: a burning desire. There comes the point in your career where no amount of money can force you to keep doing your best if you simply don’t care for your work.
Being in the construction industry for the long haul requires an unequivocal passion. It’s not a sexy industry. With long hours, testing conditions and numerous co-workers, you have to be in it for the good and the bad. When you can clearly articulate why you want to work in this industry, you ignite your pull motivation, and this is what makes the next requirement achievable…
2. Immediate and Massive Action
Sitting around feeling good will not change your life. You have to take immediate and massive action to meet your goals. How to do it? Establish new daily habits or commit to a mentoring program. Moving to a different organisation when there’s no visible future anymore. Say yes to the business deal.
Do what needs to be done right now regardless of whether you feel like it or not. Saying you will do something in six months time is negligible on your career growth.
3. Learn More Than You Earn
Complacency is going to kill your career quicker than anything else. If you rely on your organisation to provide the training and development required to attain higher compensation, faster progression and more recognition, you’re making a mistake. The history of success doesn’t see one or two-day ‘professional development’ workshops contributing to massive success. It would even be rare to see one person take on the initiative and pursue more development on their own merit.
“Your level of success will rarely exceed your level of personal development because success is something you attract by the person you become.”
But if you wish to influence your income, then you need to verse and master the high-income skills, which I discuss in my book Constructing Your Career. As Jim Rohn says, “Your level of success will rarely exceed your level of personal development because success is something you attract by the person you become.” Which is why the next point matters just as much…
4. Who You Are
There are four metrics of career success in the modern day: What you do, who you know, who knows you, and who you are. Two of these have more weight than the rest. What do you think they are? It’s the latter two.
Conventionally, in the construction industry, we place most weight on what you do, which reflects your technical capacity. In my opinion, your technical aptitude only accounts for 10% of your career success. We can teach technicality to anyone with a good aptitude (whether they are interested is another story altogether). Where people falter as they move up the chain is that they continue to solely rely on their technical skills for future advancement, higher remuneration and recognition.
People place all their efforts during the workday to get technically fantastic. And yet it’s not just your technical skill that makes you a great manager. In fact, it has little to do with leadership in the first place. If your sole value proposition is your technical aptitude, you are replaceable.
Similarly, who you know is also commonly touted as a metric. It is vital to have a broad network of connections in the industry. The importance falters, however, if you know 100 people, but only two people remember you. You may claim to know person X, but will they pick up your call?
This is why who knows you and who you are are critical to your success. Those who know you show your project influence. You will need people to come with you. Maybe, you’ll need them to support your decision.
But the ultimate factor that will determine your career success is who you are. This is what my podcast Constructing You is about. It provides the opportunity to learn to become first and then achieve. All that starts with looking at who you are.
5. Add Value
This is commonly touted as a buzz word, but are you adding real value to the strategic growth and objectives of a business? Are you adding value to the community? Are you able to identify across the board improvements? Alternatively, are you just fulfilling the minimum requirements of your position? To be able to affect your income, progression and industry recognition, make sure that you’re adding as much value as you can. But to do that, you need to learn more, and that, again, requires taking massive and immediate action …
No-one is going to impose high standards on your career and life. The only person who can do that is you. No one will ever force you to aim for massive career success. The ambition, drive and initial aspiration starts with the individual—what do you choose?