A critical element to professional success in any industry is being prepared. This holds true for every step of the employment process – from applying for a job, to showing up for your first day in a new position, to working to advance up the career ladder. A little bit of preparation can go a very long way and help ensure that you are confident and ready to tackle whatever challenges arise. Taking a few extra moments to research a potential employer before sitting down for an interview or checking the weather report before heading out the door could be the deciding factor that puts you just a little bit ahead of the competition and enables you to perform at your very best.
Here are a few preparedness tips to keep in mind:
Be On Time
For any job, it is necessary to show up on time. That goes double in construction, which operates on a very strict schedule. We all know that traveling in New York, especially on public transit, can be unpredictable. If you are heading out to the jobsite for the very first time – or have an important job interview scheduled – take a few moments to plan out your route. Whatever time of arrival your GPS says, making a habit of departing 30 minutes earlier than necessary – especially during the first couple of days on a job. Be sure you are checking the subway, bus, and vehicle schedules as well as traffic and weather reports, and remember that public transit runs less frequently on weekends and in the early morning hours.
If there is an emergency or you’re unavoidably delayed, be sure to always contact your superior to confirm that you are either not able to show up or will be arriving late.
Bring All Necessary Tools & Equipment
While some of the tools and equipment you will be using will be on site, there are a number of items for which you are personally responsible and must being with you to the job every day. Hard hat helmets, steel toe boots, safety vests, respirator masks, and a tool belt are just a few items in which you should invest – and also be careful to maintain – so you can contribute to your own safety and productivity. Know where these items are and be able to pick them up easily as you head out the door. If you’re going to a job for the first time, consider laying them out the night before and reviewing them to make sure you’ve got everything you need.
Beyond tools, consider bringing a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated during the day, and some snacks to keep you going. These days, it’s also helpful to have a mask – in case you’re in a congregant indoor setting that requires it to avoid contracting Covid-19 – as well as identification and vaccination cards on hand in case they are requested.
Be Inquisitive & Pay Attention
Your learning journey does not end once training is complete. Having a successful career in construction requires you to be constantly challenging yourself to improve your craft. Ask your superiors or peers about questions, concerns, and/or doubts you may have. Listen to their advice, act on their guidance, and be receptive to their constructive criticism. Knowledge is power, and if you’re prepared to take in information from a wide variety of experienced sources – from supervisors to instructors to colleagues – you’ll be able to apply what you learn and use it to your advantage. Remember that the Building Skills team is also a resource; come to use if you have questions or need support or assistance.