Want a brilliant job? Choose construction!

HR and diversity manager Sally Cleaver gives tips to help parents advise their children about choosing the right career…

As a mother, I know it can often be quite a daunting task for parents to help their sons and daughters to choose a career – there are simply so many options! So here are some of my tips on how to approach the subject:

Be proactive - while you may already talk about careers, don’t be afraid to bring it up with them if they don’t.

You could ask questions such as

  • ‘Have you talked about careers at school?’
  • ‘Have you started to put your CV together?’
  • ‘Are there any careers fairs coming up at school?’

Keep an eye on the school newsletter too; they’ll often tell you what they’re covering and what events are coming up. Your support will be a great help, but remember not to take over or force your aspirations or ideas onto them. It has to be what they want to do.

What they enjoy is most important

Encourage your son or daughter to think of what they like doing and are good at. To help them match their interests with different careers, they can talk to their careers adviser at school and ask their friends, teachers and other family members what jobs they think they’d be good at. Completing a personality questionnaire such as the one on the Go Construct website will flag up the types of jobs they might be suited to in a particular industry. I’d also advise doing some independent research online and go to careers fairs to explore the different stands.

Keep an open mind

I would recommend that all options are investigated – even careers that they might not have considered – and don’t rule out an industry based on preconceptions or because they assume it doesn’t offer the job they want. Every industry is made up a range of job roles, many of which they may not be aware of.

My daughter’s school ran a ‘take your daughter to work’ day and she originally didn’t want to come to Willmott Dixon because she thought that construction meant just being out on site, but she spent time in the legal, finance, communications, recruitment and health and safety departments and had a great experience.

Talking to somebody who does the job your child is interested in or getting some work experience with a company are great ways for them to find out more about their options.

Think about every option

Consider all the routes available not just the traditional university options; this includes apprenticeships, trainee schemes and other opportunities which will have their own benefits.

But don’t stress!

Please don’t stress about it too much!

While it’s important to start thinking about careers, don’t put too much pressure on them. I suspect that there will be lots of changes in thoughts and aspirations and that’s OK. Whatever is decided at an early age isn’t going to prevent a career change in the future if they want to.

If you are interested in finding out more about careers in construction then there is a lot of support out there – you can visit the Go Construct website here, or why not watch some of our management trainees talking about their experience of working in construction in our trainee blogs? With trainee opportunities in preconstruction, production, sustainability and much more they can really help give an insider’s view of the construction industry and you may be surprised the career paths available!

View our career pages to find out more.