Timeliness is vital in every aspect of the construction industry – from applying for a job to keeping one. Unexpectedly absent or late workers can result in costly project delays, and you can be sure that repeat tardiness will not be tolerated. There are, of course, some things that are outside your control – the weather, transit delays, family emergencies, for example. But to whatever degree possible, you should take steps to manage your time and ensure you are arriving where you are supposed to before you’re supposed to be there.
Once you’re on a jobsite, work should not be rushed or shoddy. But being aware of the timeliness factor and working with a deadline in mind is helpful to staying on task. Effective time management is critical, demonstrating respect for your colleagues and your supervisors as well as an interest in advancing your career.
Here are some timeliness tips to keep in mind:
It should go without saying, but to state the obvious: You must show up on time to a job interview if you are serious about wanting to secure employment. First impressions are critical. Make sure you know exactly where the interview is taking place, how to get there and how long the trip will take. Leave yourself enough time to arrive a few minutes early so you have a moment to collect yourself before an interview starts and are not rushed and unfocused.
It’s important to let your employer know ahead of time any days that you know you’ll be unable to work – whether for scheduled vacations, family events, medical appointments, or other long-standing commitments. Communicating these conflicts up front will allow a prospective employer to schedule you appropriately, should you be hired, and help determine if the job is, in fact, a good fit.
If you make it past the job interview and have no “deal-breaking” time conflicts, congratulations! However, your commitment to managing time properly cannot stop there. In fact, it’s more important than ever to double down on this important issue.
Before leaving for your first day on the job, track out how long it normally takes to commute to the jobsite and leave yourself at least 10 extra minutes for unforeseen difficulties. Particularly in New York City, where train times can be unreliable and traffic can be unpredictable, it is important to schedule potential time lost to delays. Also, organize your gear, tools, and clothing ahead of time so you’re not scrambling prior to getting out the door.
Time on a construction jobsite is very highly scheduled. Showing up even a few minutes late can get you sent home, depending on the employer, and taking longer than the allotted time for breaks is not allowable. Keep an eye on the clock (or your watch or phone) and make sure you don’t lose track.
Communicate All Conflicts As Soon As Possible
Of course, it is not always possible to predict what days you need off, as mentioned, there might be an unforeseen emergency for which you cannot plan ahead of time. Let your employer know as soon as possible when you need to take time off. That way, they are better able to plan for how to cover your responsibilities in your absence.
Remember, the Building Skills team is always here to help talk through time management tips and to assist you if you’re struggling to stay on scheduled. Don’t hesitate to reach out!