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Should I Stay or Should I Go? Tips for Thinking Through a Construction Job Change

Thinking about a job change for 2016? You're not alone.

Depending on the source, up to 85% of workers in North America look for a new job at the start of a new year. And that includes construction industry employees, particularly at the management level. It’s one reason the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts faster-than-average job growth for Construction Manager (CMs) positions through the year. It’s not only hard to find highly qualified (education + experience) CMs, it seems it is equally as hard to keep them.

The factors that drive employees to think through staying or leaving a position aren’t too different across industries, especially as the management level: employees are looking for work environments that challenge them to learn and develop new skills at a reasonable pace. They want opportunities to advance and fair pay for their work. Also, employees are looking for an environment that promotes healthy work-life balance.

Finally, working in an environment where co-workers, both above and below them in the professional ranks, foster at atmosphere of respect and cooperation is important to employees, too. Even if an employee has a long commute, knowing they have a phenomenal job to travel to makes that commute a lot easier than if they spend that commute wondering what nightmare awaits them on the other side of the worksite front door.

As you’re thinking through whether or not 2016 is the time for you to make a construction job change, consider your work environment and the relationships you have with supervisors and colleagues. Even in today’s topsy-turvy economy, it’s not a good idea to be impulsive about leaving for a new job. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I enjoy going into work each day? Why or Why not?
  • Do I have a good relationship with my boss?
  • What do I like about working for/with this person?
  • What do I like about my colleagues?
  • Do I feel a sense of accomplishment in performing my work-related duties? Does my job allow sufficient time off and other ways to balance work/life demands?
  • Do I feel I am paid a fair salary for my work performed? (Research what the rates of pay are for your job description both nationally and in your local market)
  • Are there sufficient opportunities for advancement? Continuing education? Training?
  • Have I taken advantage of company training or continuing education? Why or why not?
  • Have I been looked over for advancement and have I inquired as to why?
  • Why do I care about working for this company?
  • Do I feel this company cares about me in return? How so?
  • Do I find my work challenging, or have I become bored/complacent/uninterested?
  • What are my goals for the coming year? Three years? Five years?
  • Can these goals be met at my current company? Who can I speak to about this?

If you ask yourself the right questions about your current job and work environment, you might find that your future job is the one you have, right now.

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