Construction offers a lot of different roles, but if you didn’t start out in the industry, you might feel it isn’t for you. However, you may have developed skills in another career, training in a similar industry, or even whilst at school or college which can help you land your dream job in construction.
What are transferable skills?
A transferable skill is one you can use in a variety of jobs. Unlike specific skills you might only use for one role, eg equipment only used by an electrician, transferable skills are a little more general, allowing you to call upon them in almost any role you have, across many industries.
Why are transferable skills important?
Transferable skills are important because they open up a lot of possibilities in your career. Specific skills that allow you to specialise in a particular area of a role are great and necessary, but they can mean you would need to retrain for a different role, or you might have to take on extra study or training to brush up on more transferable skills, which can take time and money.
Examples of transferable skills you can bring to a construction career
Transferrable leadership skills include:
- An ability to give support to people you lead
- Calm temperament, especially under pressure
- Negotiation skills.
You can learn, or have training in these skills in almost any role, taking them with you so you can manage teams, take the lead on a construction project, or consistently support your team to get the job done.
Being on time and being able to stick to a plan for delivering work is vital in construction, as often projects are on a strict timescale.
Being on time to work every day is a great start, but you should also consider your ability to plan and deliver work to a time frame, as this would be vital on a construction project. People will know you are dependable and trustworthy.
Using tech or software may seem daunting to some people, but it’s a good idea to have an awareness of the basics. You don’t always need to be an Excel expert, but knowing how to set up a basic spreadsheet is likely to help you working in any office, as well as understanding the basics in Microsoft, Adobe, or design software if you plan to go into a role that requires creativity and tech know how.
Communication is key to every job role. In construction you will likely be a part of a team, and also work with lots of other teams to achieve a common goal. Therefore, if you know how to express what you need and have empathy to be able to get along with people from all walks of life, it will make your job a lot easier. Communication also extends to email and phone, so practice good etiquette for both. If in doubt, politeness goes a long way.
Research and analysis skills
The construction industry is always evolving and changing, so the ability to research new methods, techniques, and tech will be handy. Analysis is all about looking at things from as many angles as possible, plus being able to show people things you have discovered to benefit everyone’s work.
No job is without challenges, so problem solving is a key skill. It’s not only about finding the right solution, but staying calm while you figure things out and being willing to learn from others too. If you can be a creative thinker, construction projects will excite you as they often provide solutions to housing or infrastructure problems for the people who will use them.
Staying organised helps you manage your workload and enjoy your job. In construction, you may be juggling a few tasks at once, so you will need to have a plan and stay on top of deadlines to avoid stress.
Whether you are an apprentice or the manager, you are part of a team. Working alone may suit you, but there will be times in any job that you need to work with other people. Sharing tasks and helping others to achieve a common goal will help you keep your teamwork skills up to scratch.
In any industry, understanding how it and your business operates and makes a profit will help you develop projects which truly meet their brief and are successful. Keeping an eye on trends and competitors work are all part of commercial awareness, so stay on top of construction industry news and events by following them on social media.
Data entry, communications, hiring and appointment scheduling are all examples of clerical skills. They’re a mixture of communication, time management, and tech skills, and they are great to have in any role. In construction they will be especially useful for office-based roles.
Find out more transferring your skills into construction
Or, if you’re ready to start searching for roles right away, head to indeed.com’s construction job search results or the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) for exciting new opportunities across the industry.