Building Your Future

Congratulations! You landed a job. Now, you want to grow in the position and in the company for which you work.When it comes to moving and shaking in the construction industry, most human resources directors agree it requires equal parts work ethic, can-do attitude, and commitment to team.

Advance your career

Curious about what you need to do to have a successful career in construction? Check out this question and answer session with Jarod Johnson, human resources director for MCA member Barnard Construction Co., to find out what makes an employee valuable, and what it takes to move up in the construction industry.

Question: What are Barnard’s expectations related to job performance from its successful employees?

Answer: Our successful employees convey this positive, “can-do” attitude and a strong work ethic. They are team-builders. They do their homework. We expect everyone to ask many questions, share ideas and listen to ideas posed by others, continually working together to come up with the best, safest, highest quality, economically feasible solution to the challenge at hand. We expect our team to know the plans and specs and site more thoroughly than any of our competitors. We expect our employees to be adventurous and willing to move/relocate.

Question: What traits do members of Barnard’s management staff have in common that allowed them be successful in the company?

Answer: Barnard’s managers share the qualities of being goal-oriented, team-focused, innovative, comfortable and generous in mentoring, unafraid of challenges, and good at articulating what needs to be done. They are open to ideas offered by others and skillful at putting those ideas to work. They also give credit where credit is due.

Question:What words of advice do you have for someone considering, or just embarking on, a career in construction?

Answer: With any contracting work, we would tell people to embrace the nomadic lifestyle that allows you to participate in the construction of something larger than you could accomplish on your own. Keep a positive attitude – this will serve you well and always proves infectious for a team. Ask questions and don’t be afraid to share your ideas.

Also, in case you’re curious, Barnard employees subscribe to the following mottoes to guide them in their everyday business:

“Build it right the first time,” and “Do what you say you’re going to do.”

Never stop learning

Successful employees are always on the lookout for learning opportunities. Whether it’s receiving instruction on how to run a new piece of equipment, or sitting through a class on how to be an effective manager, dedication to improving your skills is the key to building your career.

Not sure what kind of training is available? Consider these types of opportunities to learn:

  • Sign up for classes offered by your employer. Most companies offer free training that covers topics ranging from CPR to defensive driving. Watch for notifications.
  • Find a mentor. Many companies pair new hires with older, more experienced employees to help them learn about the ins and outs of the job. If your company doesn’t do this, select a co-worker you admire and stick close, observing everything from the way they rake asphalt to how they offer pep talks to struggling employees.
  • Seek out training you think would be valuable to you in your job. When you find a class you think would help you be a more effective employee, present it to your bosses. Let them know how investing in your training would benefit them.

Training opportunities are available through the MCAAGC, and online through Construction Experts Inc.