- By Anthony Baker
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- PBC News
Construction can be a physically and mentally challenging career - though a very rewarding one. I have learnt many valuable lessons and been able to develop strong attributes – here I have chosen to share with you three important things I have learnt that have helped me in the construction industry during my career to date.
This blog is not written to be a “top 3” or the “best 3” tips for the industry – instead, I chose to share three things about our industry that any new comer or weathered veteran can adopt or improve.I hope to share a few valuable considerations for behaviours and provide an understanding of how a career in the construction industry can be enjoyable and fulfilling.
Communication has proven key - taking the time to listen to everyone has always helped me learn more. Not one day is the same as another or the one before it – be flexible and be able to go with the flow, bend and sway as required to achieve your end goal depending on what it is that you are confronted with day by day. There is no place for 'Silo’s' in the construction industry. Sharing the big picture enables each phase of the construction program to be delivered with understanding and consideration for the next, enhancing team unity, reducing risk and in the long run saving time and money.
Teamwork is crucial — no job can be completed by one person. You must pull together to get things done. The nature of people who work in construction makes the atmosphere fantastic. Laughter is the best medicine. Our industry creates a culture of requiring a sense of humour – often dark, often politically incorrect – but a sense of humour none the less. I have found that this is required because we work hard, long hours and humour is the release to help us get through a mentally and physically draining day. All of us on a project, from the earth-worker to the painter have a role and each role fulfilled properly makes the task for those that follow easier – just the same is the importance of a site management role, ensuring that the project is delivered on time, on budget, and to the specifications provided. Each one of us are a cog in the wheel, recognise and value communication – it will not only help others but more often help you.
Work ethic and organisational skills - “Trust is the oil that drives the engine.” Use of mind and hands creates a broad understanding of a number of trades and how they interact to deliver an end result. Technique is everything, improve your eye for detail and care about what you leave behind. There is real satisfaction in being able to stand back and admire what you have created for the day. Anyone can stick a frame together or hang a door – it takes a tradesman to leave it looking like it always belonged, to clean up after himself at the end of the day and make considered notes for your needs for the next day and beyond. Hard work is always noticed because it is the cornerstone for positive change and commitment. The more you put in the better the outcomes.
And finally, the day is not done until the tools are put away and the work site is packed up and clean. Take the time to get organised. Review materials and tools, know what you need for the next day. Keep your space clean and organised - it makes tomorrow safer, tasks quicker to undertake, and the client happy.
Above all remember this : The reward for a job well-done is having done it, not getting it done, is not getting it done.