On Friday, the nation received encouraging news that 2.5 million jobs were added to the economy last month, causing the unemployment rate to drop to 13.3% (source US Department of Labor). The construction unemployment rate fell to 12.7%. Although this is 9.5 points higher than May 2019, when the economy was booming, it is lower than it was in April 2020, at the height of the coronavirus crisis. According to both the AGC and ABC, the construction industry added 484,000 jobs in May 2020 across the four market segments of Building Construction, Federal/Heavy Construction, Highway/Civil/ Transportation Construction, and Utility Construction.
Regardless of your employment situation, if you are looking for a job, there is one out there for you. Job hunting is similar to a dating relationship. In both scenarios, an individual wants to meet the person of their dreams (dream job) or just have a companion to spend time with (job to generate income). And yet, they do nothing to meet someone except talking about the goal and hoping for the outcome. The longer a person takes to begin actively exploring opportunities, the longer it will take for them to have opportunities to explore. Motivation and attitude will positively or negatively affect his results. In a dating scenario, if the seeker spends time with people or media telling him how difficult it is to meet someone, he will be more likely to become discouraged and not achieve success. It is much the same in a job search, where constantly listening to negative views on the economy and job market will not be conducive to finding employment. These five steps can help you overcome difficulties in finding a job in this environment.
Step 1: Optimism
Author Napoleon Hill said, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.” In order to find a relationship or job, you need to first believe there is one out there for you.
Step 2: Pragmatism
If you are unemployed and 1) need to be generating income, and 2) you have the ability and time to work, don’t focus on your dream job out of the gate. Humble yourself to explore options that may not be optimal, yet provide exactly what you need right now (getting back to work). If you are currently employed, focus on practical steps toward your next career move without jeopardizing your current employment situation or relationships.
Step 3: Planning
You know the old adage, “A Goal without a Plan is just a Wish”.
What time do you plan on dedicating daily/weekly to achieve your goal?
If you are presently unemployed, finding a job should be your job. If you are currently employed and merely seeking the next step in your career, you may want to register with a Career Matchmaking and Coaching Firm for assistance with your confidential search.
Which resources will you need to prepare in advance and use in the process?
Resume, Project List, Compensation history, Business References, proof of education, proof of licensure and maybe even lined up child care.. During the process, you may use the internet, an employment coach or recruitment agency, tracking programs or other tools to keep you organized through the process.
Step 4: Knowing (Your Deal-Breakers)
When we interview candidates, we often speak to them about distinguishing their ability to do a job from their willingness to do a job. You may be capable of being a superintendent on a forty-story high rise, but if they offer you to take the job working a night shift you may not be willing to do it because of family obligations. Our article entitled “Interviewing, It’s All About You” explains why you should know your deal breakers prior to an interview. Consider in advance anything beyond a lack of skill that may prevent you from performing your best if you took the job. Be careful with the monetary deal breaker especially if you are unemployed. If the base numbers are not unreasonable, make sure to stay at the table long enough to hear what you might be missing in the total package or advancement. Some of the lower base, higher profit-sharing packages blow away the traditional ones.
Step 5: Committing
Any employer who hires someone overqualified knows the risks associated with bringing the person on board. This holds true in most cases for the unemployed as well. Your focus should be on your ability to commit and excel at what they need you to do for the company, irrespective of the circumstances you are in. If you are currently employed and leaving your employer for another, make sure you are doing it to achieve your career goals, and not just for money. Even if you are paid more, you may find your new job didn’t buy you the happiness you thought it would. Employment commitment may be either short-term or long-term, and the best terms are when the relationship is mutually beneficial for the duration of it.
Don’t permit life’s circumstances and assumptions to discourage you from your goal to get back to work or take the next step in your career. The construction industry offers many opportunities you may not have even explored. Staffing at companies takes place in both good times and bad because competitive people and businesses are ever changing. We still have a huge shortage in the trade sector, and with more hiring in the trades comes more hiring in administrative, financial and management sectors.
Download a copy of Roy T. Bennett’s book The Light in the Heart, build your optimism, and put your plan in place. As Roy says, “Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.”