How to Avoid Damaging Your Professional Construction Career

Posted by Steve Thomas , Construction Recruitment Director, UK & Canada on Friday, June 24, 2022

Avoiding the pitfalls of modern day employment can take some negotiating. Forever changing etiquette, health and safety rules, and an emergence of general confusion as to where employees stand with jobs and careers, makes it difficult at times to keep up with the rules. Thankfully although times change, some things remain the same. The professional construction career has undergone some changes over the years but thankfully, surmounting any difficulties involving career progression still involves some time honoured common sense and careful deliberation to overcoming obstacles.

Some Professional Construction Career Path Basics

Although some of these basics may sound clichéd and banal, it never hurts to go over the seemingly obvious, even the best of us can be prone to momentary lapses in the awareness of the obvious.

The first banality concerns the modern and trite phrase of having a ‘can-do attitude’. Spread liberally through many job advertisements and spouted in many a job interview, to some, it’s Oxford English Dictionary meaning ‘having or showing a determination or willingness to take action and achieve results’ has been watered down because it’s so ubiquitous. So although the phrase has become hackneyed extremely quickly, it’s meaning is and always has been relevant, to what an employer wants from an employee and what an employee should be happy to provide.

In the construction industry sectors health and safety is especially important when on-site. With lots of heavy machinery, dangerous tools, harmful substances and excessive noise to name a few potential safety issues, demonstrating knowledge of health and safety procedures when necessary is a helpful tool to possess.  

Construction sectors also require team players who also have the ability to work on their own and use initiative. Although this can sound contradictory, it is possible to do both, the trick is to known when and where.     

Maintaining a high quality of work also sounds obvious, but complacency can soon start if given the opportunity. Always be mindful of your work quality. A professional construction career consists of many years, and for quality of work to lapse after only a couple of years can be extremely detrimental.  

Networking and building relationships is also invaluable not only at the beginning of a construction career path, but throughout a professional construction career. Staying friendly and honest should reflect back and help promote smooth friendships further down the line.

Lastly, general politeness always garners respect from all levels within the construction industry. A construction career path should be built upon respectfulness and understanding.

The Less Obvious Potential Pitfalls to Damage a Professional Construction Career

With the obvious out of the way, it’s time to look at some less apparent angles to keeping your professional construction career on track.


Researching a construction company is a good way to find out if they’re reputable, good to work for, if they have a steady supply of construction projects, their turnover, profits, etc. Googling construction industry sectors or individual companies brings up a whole host of relevant information, such as finding the Maxim Recruitment website! Also, networking, social media and word of mouth helps in finding relevant information about a company’s attitude to business and its staff. Not researching is like digging your own pit to fall in.

Moving Jobs

Moving jobs is common place within the professional construction career. To move along the construction career path, you have to, well, move on. But there is a subtle pitfall here. Moving onwards doesn’t always correspond with moving upwards. What are the reasons for moving jobs and where and what does the new job entail? The construction industry sectors employ many people who hold transferable skills and often switch from a chosen construction career path to an entirely new career in construction. Careful consideration has to be taken before any moving takes place, with all angles taken into account.  

Salary versus qualifications

An important consideration for those that are in the construction sectors for the long haul. Qualifications will help further down the line, whereas money can be long since spent. The better qualified you are, the more potential for furthering a professional construction career and earning bigger money later on.

Avoid stagnation

Personal development and progression are all-important ways in which to further a construction career path. Remain doing the same thing for too long and your professional construction career will be left standing. Don’t miss out on those opportunities and if necessary ask to be moved, trained, promoted, or given extra responsibilities. If options and possibilities aren’t forthcoming or are unavailable, moving companies is then a good consideration.

Overseas construction jobs

Working on international construction jobs is a great way to enhance and further a professional construction career. In an increasing global environment working abroad is a common option. This construction career path route does come with a warning however. Even if the country is great, the people are great and acclimatization has been relatively easy, working in a country with a less innovative outlook towards construction methods and procedures can be damaging to a professional construction career. Every country has differing construction practises, but working in a location where these practises are not up-to-date can be detrimental to the construction career path, especially if working with these procedures lasts for years, as career recovery might be extremely hard won.

A Professional Construction Career Conclusion (Figuratively Speaking)

A construction career path is an exciting and rewarding journey and the professional construction career advice in this article contains some eternal truths. Courtesy, hard work and perseverance will see opportunities open up, and pushing yourself forward, but not in a pushy way, will make yourself known. And research, research, research. Research the company offering the job role. Research the location, whether at home or oversees and research opportunities for progression/qualifications; does your current job versus moving jobs offer the best way to move your career in construction forward? It’s all about taking stock of what you have and want you want from your professional construction career.

The Maxim Recruitment Team have the clients, the knowhow and the opportunities available to move your personal professional construction career forward. Contact Maxim today for friendly advice and to discuss your construction future.

Steve Thomas
Steve Thomas
Construction Recruitment Director, UK & Canada
Maxim Recruitment

Steve is responsible for Maxim Recruitment in the UK. He is based in the Maxim head office in Leicester, Leicestershire and regularly travels to meet employers, job seekers and to attend construction industry networking events all over the UK. With over 20 years' experience in construction and property recruitment he works with a number of repeat clients and engages in search and headhunting assignments for a range of premium UK and international clients.