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Why most construction professionals fail miserably in career planning?

Mohandas Pai, Chairman of Manipal Global Education, has recently claimed that India has lost its demographic dividend and has 10 crore people in the 21-35 age group with bad skills! Such a statement from a former director of Infosys is quite surprising but the statement sounds realistic and fact-based.

which are those wrong ingredients that construction professionals are blending to end up with a disastrous career recipe?

Based on a recent report from CAG, The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) suffered a big loss (Rs. 947.99 crore) due to the lack of manpower at Kudankulam nuclear plant. Read the full article here!

I have also read another statement from C P Gurnani, CEO, Tech Mahindra recently that 94% of IT graduates are unfit for hiring and I believe the same goes for construction professionals.

During my early days of infrastructure research, I interviewed many “qualified” job seekers from Engineering background who scored 70-80% marks (thanks to the commercialization of education industry and autonomy of institutions, getting 70% in engineering is a piece of cake nowadays) in engineering degree. I was not surprised at all when they were unable to answer simple questions like what is the currency of India, naming any five states in India, the currency of USA, even naming any five countries in the WORLD!!!

So what are we missing and who is to blame? Colleges? Universities? Training Institutions?

What about job seekers? Are they doing enough to stand tall in the competition? A big “NO” for sure!!

So which are those wrong ingredients that construction professionals are blending to end up with a disastrous career recipe? I tried to identify some common ingredients below:

Vague Career Goals

The average construction professionals have no clear purpose and hence they become a part of a crowd known as “average candidate”! You need to be very comprehensive and upfront about your career goals, about the purpose of your professional contribution and about your identity in the industry. You should have very specific goals, tangible objectives, realistic timelines and time-bound targets to make yourself a brand in this industry.

Job obsessed detrimental mindset

Most construction professionals are so obsessed with the word “job” or “salary” that they completely ignore the actual process to achieve them. Job and Salary are the results of your industrious efforts; it is the result of time and exertion you put in during your early days of career building. If you constantly focus on the results you start attracting a lot of negativity in the course of your professional endeavors. You start unwanted politics in the team, you start stealing creative ideas of your colleagues, you become a bootlicking sycophant and smother yourself and your personality and capabilities. With this mindset you won’t get a chance to go very far in your career. You’ll probably vandalize your very own professional identity soon and give up in situations too easily when confronted by challenges.

The Great Construction Career ; A Career Blueprint

Lack of vision: 

Construction Professionals need to define who they want to be. Keep asking yourself, how could I reach a respectful position in my organization? What value systems do I follow? Should I change my career navigation from what I am currently doing? Am I putting enough effort to prove my competencies? Do I possess enough skills to stand in this competition?

Remember one thing, never look at Roger Federer as a result rather focus on the process of becoming Roger Federer. You can’t walk to a tennis court and defeat a world champion in your first match or you are not at all close to Usain Bolt at your first sprint. You need to follow a process to become Roger Federer or Usain Bolt. Work for process, not results!

Lack of self-awareness: 

Top industry leaders get ahead of the competition as their knowledge and competence contribute a lot to make them smarter and as they say “He who knows and knows that he knows is a wise man” you need to ensure that you fit into this definition of a wise man. Look at yourself as a complete package of information, knowledge, skill sets, and capabilities to create a dynamic image in the industry. Always try to spend your day focusing and reinforcing your strengths by constantly requesting genuine feedback from your seniors or collogues. Try to develop an extensive understanding of your behavior. Continuously try to gather intelligence on how you react to a particular situation or how you deploy your capabilities while confronting a challenge. Most of the construction professionals fail to develop this attitude and hence all their career plans fall flat.

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No professional rituals: 

I have interacted with numerous Project Managers, Site Engineers, Architects, etc during my venture at ConstructionPlacements to get a deeper understanding of how they fail to cultivate themselves as a precious asset to an organization. In the course of my interactions, I identified that they do not allow a single second in their daily routine to read about the happenings in the construction industry or gather relevant insights or develop sharp industry acumen. So make this a habit or I would rather call it a ritual which you can follow religiously every day.

Every morning, take time to read about upcoming technologies that are going to shape the construction industry, read about overall business operations in this industry, how infrastructure funds work, how special purpose vehicle is formed to develop a project, etc so that you can move in the right direction. At the end of every day, try to review yourself in a professional way and decide a scale or point system to evaluate your daily efforts. Keep aside your role as a construction professional and note down all the points by imagining what your seniors or colleagues or peers might suggest that you could improve on and try to act on them every single day. This will definitely benefit you in the long run and failures will soon become a part of forgotten past.

These common traits in the attitude of construction professionals are the biggest barriers to their success. A construction professional must overcome these hurdles to become a successful construction professional or entrepreneur.

Image Credits: rd.com

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