Career Management – How to Become a Thought Leader in The Construction Industry

Why is it important to become a thought leader in the construction industry? Many people find marketing themselves or “tooting their own horn” unsavory – but  self-marketing in for design/build/construction executives can and does have multiple career benefits including:

  1. 1.     Potential exposure to future “dream” positions – they contact YOU!
  2. 2.     More quality opportunities, better pay and quicker promotions.
  3. 3.     Establishment as an expert in a particular area of the construction industry.
  4. 4.     Wider networks.
  5. 5.     Greater ability to garner positive references and testimonials.
  6. 6.     More control over who you work with and how you work.

Different benefits will stand out as meaningful to different people. The real point is, managing your construction career gives you options… options you may not have had otherwise.

So where do you start? Here are three quick and easy tips:

Tip #1: Get a Platform

It’s easy to get a platform to express your opinion and ideas about your area of interest in the construction industry – one idea is to start a blog and discuss or focus light on issues, projects, best practices or technologies that you are passionate about. is a free site where you can set up your blog in minutes (very easily by the way – even if you are like me and not technical). Other ways to “fill out” your blog is to have guest posts from others and comment on and link to articles of interest to you – that you might find in trade or association journals. Want that last suggestion to be even more turnkey for you? Set up a keyword alert in Google news alerts (for example: Hospital Construction Projects or Green Technology) so you can previuew and quickly comment on articles as Google finds them for you!

Tip #2: Leverage Associations

Another option is to get involved in your industries association and ask them if you can volunteer to write short articles for their blogs and/or newsletters on topics you are knowledgeable and passionate about. Associations are ALWAYS looking for content for their newsletters/ezines and blogs. You can position yourself as a thought leader in your industry quickly this way! Years ago, I began writing short articles for Career Directors International on job search cold calling, and those articles led to my being published in The Business Journal, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and MSN. You can also join an association’s task force in your area of interest.

Tip #3: Utilize Social Networking

A third option is to sign up for a LinkedIn account (email me and I will invite you to my list!). LinkedIn is a business-oriented networking site. Once you’ve set up your profile, you can answer questions other business people are asking on various topics by joining discussions in LinkedIn groups – a quick way to establish your credibility!

Tip #4: Rub Shoulders with High Performers in Your Industry

Get involved in a design/build/construction volunteer groups, trade or industry associations. These are two wonderful portals filled with people that care deeply about industries and issues – just like you! Not only will this broaden your networking circle, but it will keep you growing in your career!

And remember, if you attend an industry luncheon to listen to a great speaker, introduce yourself to him or her after their presentation. Give them your business card as well – and gulp – ask for theirs! It’s the little things you do as you “put yourself out there” to be open to new opportunities, friendships and possibilities that will pay off in the long run.

Tip #5: Grow Your Knowledge Base

What was the last LEED, PMP or other construction-related certification you received? How about ongoing training or even a construction project management or MBA degree? I recommend making sure that each year you commit to 2-3 actions that result in your learning a new tool for your tradebenefits to find out if your training might be a covered

Establishing construction thought leader status doesn’t mean you have a gigantic ego. It’s simply a wise career investment that opens doors of possibility for you. You will be amazed how putting these simple tips into action will quickly change up your construction career status!

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