As we observe “Women in Construction Week,” it is important to recognize that while women who work in – or would like to work in – the industry may face some hurdles, those generally pale in comparison to the wealth of opportunities available to them.
Sure, the industry is still largely male-dominated, but the small percentage of women currently in the field means that there is lots of room for growth. With many roles to fill and a huge labor shortage, women are in the driver’s seat: Savvy employers should look to hiring women as a solution – in fact, according to Amanda Abrams at Curbed, women are the solution – and women who are interested in a construction career should seize the moment to enter the industry. Here are some tips to help you start and build your career.
Do Your Research
This means reading about the industry, learning some of the lingo and jargon, finding out about current trends and projects and, if you are thinking about applying for a job at a specific company, learning all you can about the role and the company before you apply. According to The Balance Careers, not doing their research is one of the biggest mistakes jobseekers make when applying and interviewing for jobs. The night before your interview, take time to go over the details of the position. In addition to your resume, which should align with the job description, you should be prepared to discuss the details of your previous work and have a written list of especially relevant jobs, along with descriptions of each.
Learn a Specific Skill or Specialty
Learning a specific skill or specialty can make you stand out among other workers and jobseekers. While it may take a bit of time and effort to get certified or specialize in a specific skill or area, it will be well worth it. Not only will you be more hirable, you will likely make more money and have more and better opportunities for advancement. From welding to carpentry to pipefitting to electrical engineering, courses, certifications, and specialties abound. You can find information online about class offerings, which may include specialty schools, trade schools, and community colleges.
Find a Mentor
Entering a male-dominated field as a woman can be intimidating, so it will be beneficial to you to find a female mentor, someone with years of industry experience to help guide you. According to Bustle, a mentor can also be a great person to go to for advice outside of the workplace or jobsite. A mentoring relationship can be formal or informal.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
Asking questions shows that you want to learn, to go beyond the basics, and to be the best that you can be at your job. In addition to doing your own research, it is always a good idea to ask questions if you’re unsure of what to do or how, or if you simply need more information.
Ready to find your next construction job? You can get access to Building Skills NY construction job and training opportunities by checking out our Job Seekers page.