Do You Know How to Avoid Mid-Career Disaster?
In this post, you’ll learn 3 powerful ways construction professionals can escape a mid-career disaster.
If you’re 35-55 years old the next 10-20 years will tell the tale of your career success.
But first, congratulations!
If are in a senior position in a construction company you are unique
Remember 2008? Who can forget?For years, the economy boomed. Everyone in construction was a genius, making money hand over fist.It was going to go on forever, and then…. Crash.
Droves were forced out or quit the construction industry.
But you stuck around, took a pay cut, maybe made a lateral move in the industry.
You survived, and came out on the other side of the Great Recession, a little humbled, a lot tougher, and hopefully wiser.
You’ve got real experience
You’ve bid hundreds of projects, won your share, lost your share.
You can look at a set of plans, and know in your gut if you can make money on the project.
You’ve run complex, technically challenging jobs.
You’ve driven to the job site and had the difficult conversations with your project partners.
You’ve stood your ground and negotiated change orders.
You consistently complete jobs: on time, under budget and (most importantly) safely.
You are essential
The Baby Boomers will be gone in a few years’ time, and the Millennials still have lots to learn about the construction industry.The next 10-20 years is your time to step up your game, and allow your skill, wisdom, and experience to make a massive positive impact.
You are well positioned, but you are also in danger.
There are three enemies that attack many mid-career construction professionals:
Your complacency threatens your financial future, career success, and happiness
You’ve been successful: You’ve landed the project that has transformed your company’s future; made 25% on a job when everyone else thought you’d lose money. You’ve put in 50+ hours a week for years.
Admit it, you don’t quite have the energy you had in your 20s and early 30s. In fact, you are tempted many times to take it easy and coast.
No one wakes up one morning saying: “I’m going to be mediocre.”
It just drifts up on you.
You stop being involved in the industry groups that helped you develop relationships with people, and the phone doesn’t ring as much as it did with the “lay-down” projects, where the owner or GC is willing to accept whatever you bid, simply because they know, trust and like you.
You hear rumblings around the office about new technology and methods of project delivery, and instead of diving in, learning about them and seeing how your company can use them, you begin to complain about the “latest fad”, claiming that you are “old school”.
Watch out that you don’t become “old hat”.
In business, someone who doesn’t work hard, solve problems, and add value quickly becomes irrelevant
If you are complacent and mediocre, you are on the way to being irrelevant.
Don’t be surprised if you get pushed aside by younger, hungrier, and less expensive alternatives.
3 Powerful Ways to Escape a Mid-Career Disaster
Your financial security, career success, and long-term happiness are at stake.
Fortunately, there are three simple principles which, if you embrace and practice, will give you massive amounts of energy, a deep sense of significance and ensure you remain indispensable for as long as you want to work:
Don’t Start with “Why?”
When it comes to career success, it’s bad advice to try and find out your purpose or your “why?”.
Your customers, partners and fellow employees don’t care about the reasons you do what you do.
What matters is contribution
Ask yourself these questions:
- What are my areas of expertise?
- What is the specific, measurable value I bring to others?
- What can I do, which if done really well, will make a bottom line difference to my company?
When you are clear on your contribution, and you consistently make it, you’ll not only keep getting paid, but you’ll find joy in benefiting others.
Commit to competency
Once you’ve identified your contribution, the next thing to focus on is competency.
Mid-career professionals experience energy dips because they stop stretching themselves to improve.
Don’t find your comfort zone and be content achieving the minimum.
Doing things successfully or efficiently takes dedication.
Commit to constantly developing your skills.
- In what specific ways can I increase the impact of my contribution?
- What are the top one to three assignments, projects, or achievements I need in order to develop expertise and my track record?
- What are the top one to three key skills or knowledge I need to acquire?
Do whatever it takes to keep getting better, and you’ll ensure that you’ll keep providing value to those you work with and for.
This will not only keep the paychecks flowing, but your mind and soul will be invigorated by the new knowledge you are learning and applying.
Collaborate with the best to be the best
If you are going to enjoy a long prosperous career, you need help.
The success of your career is a direct reflection of the strength of your network.
Establish and cultivate beneficial relationships that challenge both of you and contribute to mutual growth.
- Which are the most important relationships I can cultivate with a “boss”, peer, or direct report?
- What are the industry groups that I need to establish relationships with or recommit to?
- Who are the project partners or customers I can get to know better?
How to Take Action
The good news is that you have options.
You have a deep well of experience to draw on. You’ve been through the ups and downs, you have a vital contribution to make.
- What type of work do you want to build?
- How do you want to be remembered?
- What behaviors (values) will define your next 10-20 years?
- Which projects will you point out to your grandchildren, as your driving down the highway, and say with pride: “I built that!”
Don’t allow complacency and mediocrity to make you irrelevant.
Commit to identifying and making valuable contributions, constantly improving, and developing strong, collaborative relationships.
Your company and clients will thank you.
You’ll secure your career legacy, enjoy financial enrichment, and more importantly, you’ll experience deep satisfaction.
Seize Your Opportunities
Do You Need Help?
I use proprietary methodologies to enable you to plan out your optimal career- and then seize the opportunities available to you.
Whether you want to transition into a more prominent leadership role in a construction company or increase your contribution in the position you are currently in, I can help you find the fastest path to success.
Research shows that when managers and executives work with an objective advisor, they uncover opportunities to improve and grow their careers up to 45 percent more quickly than when they go at it alone.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to start the conversation at no risk or obligation to you.
There is no downside to considering your options!
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