Let’s face it, if you are working on a construction site, you probably want to be the site foreman. Higher pay, more responsibility, higher up the command chain and you might even get to dress better. Becoming site foreman is a pathway that requires commitment and focus. For those of you that do want to walk this road, here are some ways to help you progress up the (career) ladder.
Know Your Stuff
The easiest way to differentiate yourself from those working beside you is your level of passion and knowledge. If you are aiming to be site foreman, you have at least a diploma or certificate III in your field, whether it is carpentry, plumbing, or general building and construction. You might also consider doing a recognized course on workplace safety – an industry buzzword which leaps off the page to human resources staff. Having a qualification is an essential starting point, but as a future site foreman you should be constantly learning new techniques and honing your skills. Look at front runner construction machinery and suggest an update, or implement new construction methods they may not yet use on site. It will be a big win with management.
Know How to Manage
Being a foreman is not just about being the best at construction, it’s also about being the best at managing people. There’s two ways to go about learning this essential skill. The first is to engage with it intellectually. Read books on the subject, or take an online course. Observe your current foreman and analyze their management style. This will give you the mental framework you need. Second, take practical opportunities whenever you can. If the chance emerges to manage a small team for a tiny task, even at no extra pay, take it. If one part of the project needs monitoring, volunteer. Practical experience will improve your managing skills, but it will also show employers that you handle responsibility well, and are ready to step up to the position of foreman.
Put in the Hard Yards
Employers are looking for foreman with top notch skills and abilities, but they are also looking for an individual who is dedicated, and not afraid of working hard. Working as a general laborer, or a first level tradesperson is an important part of the pathway to becoming site foreman. It is an opportunity for you to display your passion, motivation and commitment. Company loyalty can also be very important here, as many promotions to foreman are internal. Every company has different requirements and expectations from their foreman, so it is a good idea to research the company you wish to work for, and seek employment there at a lower level. Establish a good relationship with your colleges and superiors. Ask for feedback on your performance at work, and after a suitable time you can even let them know of your intention to become foreman, and ask their advice on how to progress.
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