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For those few who may not be quite pleased with their careers in the construction industry (Part A)

Construction industry is a sizeable one and is one of the biggest employers as well. That’s especially true for rapidly growing populous countries. For example, the requirement of civil enginees alone, up to 2020, in Indian construction & realty sectors is expected to be somewhere between 3 to 4 million by one estimation. One can easily guess-timate the requirement of various skilled and unskilled manpower from the above figure itself.

Generally speaking, a career in the construction or the realty sector may not be a highly lucrative one but it’s not a low paying career either. And, there always are some jobs within the industry which are as rewarding as most other lucrative jobs in some other industries. Also unlike in some other sectors, it’s comparatively easy to get employment in the construction industry because of greater requirement.

Like any other job a construction job too comes with it’s package of pluses and minuses. Presumably, the pluses have an upper hand over the minuses for most of those out there. Yet, the case may not be the same for each and everyone. This article is for those few who may not be quite comfortable with their careers in the construction industry.

When it comes to jobs there are bound to be extremely satisfied, reasonably satisfied, utterly unsatisfied, etc, kind of employees in virtually any industry. Obviously, the proportion would vary from sector to sector. That’s why the rate of attrition varies from sector to sector. There could be myriads of sector-specific reasons for this.

Construction industry is one sector where the attrition rate is higher as compared to a number of other sectors. Now, attrition does not necessarily have to result in change of career itself. In most cases, it leads to a change of employer or a temporary break in one’s career and so on.

In few cases though, leaving a job can very well lead to a complete change of career for an employee. In such cases, an unhappy employee may decide to quit and join a job that has hardly anything in common with his previous job or his existing practical experience, skills or even with his qualifications for that matter. Few others, on the other hand, may decide to leave jobs for ever and opt to go independent by starting some venture.

Both cases may very well occur due to reasons other than being unsatisfied with one’s present employment as well. Ambition, higher emolument, better work-environment, desire to work independently, personal issues, etc, can be some common reasons behind such decisions. Also, these do not occur only in the construction sector. In fact, all these are part & parcel of virtually any domain involving employment. Wherever there are a large number of employees, some of them are bound to leave their jobs, sooner or later, for some reason or another. This is a foregone conclusion.

Only difference is the rate of attrition which differs from industry to industry or organisation to organisation. In that sense, this article could be equally relevant for just about anyone who is not quite at ease with their career ( job ) and is contemplating to start something anew independently. Since, this space is primarily meant for civil engineers or for people involved in the construction sector, the author is mainly meaning them.

In spite of many advantages, a career in the construction arena comes with it’s share of disadvantages as well. It can be a somewhat tougher life out there as compared to that in some other sectors such as finance, software, education, etc. Heat and dust are often part and parcel of a construction personnel’s life.

High mobility is another factor that can potentially render one uncomfortable to some extent. Most construction personnel need to move from project to project as no project would last for ever. Major construction phase of a project is always a temporary one, however big the project could be. Most of the employees would have to shift to other projects sooner or later. Many of them may have to shift to far-away places which can create some inconvenience to some of them, if not all.

There is no fixed work-hours in a hardcore construction career as construction activities are often round-the-clock activities. This could affect one’s personal life to an extent. There can be a number of other minor reasons too.

Having said so, it too is worth mentioning that in spite of all these many hardcore construction professional are doing quite well in their construction careers. They know how to take these aspects in their stride, continue with vigour and enjoy their work. For some these aspects of construction life are no issues at all. After all, it’s a reasonably rewarding career and for some it proves to be an excellent one.

Yet, for those few who, for some reason or another, are not at all at ease with their construction careers and are seriously pondering over working independently, the following cues could be quite useful.

Are you a construction personnel who is not at all comfortable with the already mentioned issues ? Are you unhappy with your career most of the time ? Are you loosing concentration in your work progressively ? Do you worry about your future quite often ? Do you feel that you are not quite good in communication and interpersonal skills or do not enjoy communicating much with others ? Are you simply dragging your career just for the sake earning your livelihood ? Yes ?

If one’s answers to these questions are in the affirmative, a career in core construction is probably not one’s cup of tea and the time is ripe for one to start thinking about alternatives seriously. One still may have the option to go for non-core jobs within or outside the construction sector such as finance, administration, safety and so on.

Nevertheless, a few of them may not be quite open to the idea of a complete change in the scope of their work. Also, a few of them may not prefer to continue as an employee in any sector. Those few might prefer to start working independently rather than working for others for the rest of their life. This happens all the time in virtually any industry. The percentage of employees thinking in that line may be small and may vary from industry to industry.

For those who are no more at ease with their service lives and would be happy to work independently, yet, are not sure of what they would should be doing after leaving their jobs, here are two of many alternatives suggested by this author. As has already been mentioned a number of times, this blog not only strives to cover some useful technical aspects of practical civil engineering or construction, it also intends to keep readers abreast of interesting or important news, developments, events, etc that are related to the domain of civil engineering construction. This article is another little step towards providing readers with some varieties as well as thoughts worth taking notes of.

One little yet important point before discussing the alternatives… If one’s answer to all the questions asked above is ‘yes’ the first step one must take is – to start saving for a rainy day. That’s because one could already be running the risk of being laid off even if he is not contemplating quitting immediately. Resort to economising wherever you can as those extra bucks you save would be helpful during the lean times. Some of your routine expenses do not understand whether you are going lean or doing well. One needs to plan accordingly.

Now, the alternatives. Alternative 1 is online stock trading and alternative 2 is starting one’s own website(s).

Let me tell straightway that both the alternatives are risky in the sense that there are no guarantees of success in any of them. In fact, success rates in both the cases are low. However, if one becomes successful in any one of them, one can be highly independent, and also, be sure of a comfortable life without virtually moving a step outside one’s dwelling. How about that ? Easier said than done, but people have tried them and some have found success. In fact, there are opportunities to make it quite big in both the alternatives and some have proven that.

Contd. in Part B.

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About clazcons

B. Tech. (Civil Engineering)

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