There's no doubt about it: construction is a tough industry. It can be physically and emotionally demanding, and the hours can be long and challenging. But it also has the potential to be an incredibly rewarding and lucrative career.
One of the smartest things you can do to make your construction career a success - whether you’re an employee or a business owner - is to build a strong network of contacts.
Why networking is your key to success
If you’re just starting out in construction, you’re recently trade qualified, or you’ve relocated to a new town or city - you’ll want access to the best job opportunities. Networking is an invaluable way to find out about new projects and upcoming work, as well as for learning about positions that are becoming available.
By networking with well-connected people working in your preferred industry, you'll be able to stay informed and make yourself known to potential employers or companies who may look for someone just like you.
Networking helps to develop valuable long-term relationships with people who may be helpful to you in the future. Even if you’ve been in the industry a long time, you can always benefit from having connections with people who can get you access to what you need. Whether that be better job opportunities down the track, projects you’re interested in bidding on, or better deals on materials.
6 ways to build your network in the construction industry
- Attend industry events and conferences
If you’re new to construction, this is an easy way to meet people who are active in your field. Attendees usually include professionals in all areas of the construction industry, from site managers and workers to project engineers and architects.
- Connect on social media
Social media networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn are a great way to stay connected with your industry contacts. You can join local or trade specialist Facebook groups or follow construction business profiles on LinkedIn. Engaging in conversations about news or developments in your industry or local area can help you build relationships that can lead to collaborations down the line.
- Join professional organisations
Professional bodies related to construction can be a great place for networking opportunities; they often host seminars or workshops where you can gain valuable insight from experts, meet potential contacts, and hear about current projects.
- Reach out to recruiters
Recruitment agencies often have an ear to the ground when it comes to job openings and career opportunities, so don't be afraid to introduce yourself and let them know about your qualifications and what type of work you're looking for.
- Use your existing contacts
Don't forget about your existing contacts; reach out to friends and family who may have connections in the construction industry, or even past employers and colleagues who can offer advice or put you in touch with potential contacts.
- Put yourself out there
While it might make you uncomfortable to reach out to people you’ve never met, if you want to be successful you’ll have to put yourself out there. Don’t be afraid to add connections online or hand your business cards out in person. The worst that can happen is someone saying ‘no thanks’, and you’ll find that happens a lot less than you think.
Ready to build your network?
Put these tips into practice, build strong relationships with contacts, and watch your career take off.