White collar to blue collar - making the switch

With the construction industry providing a vast range of career opportunities, as a qualified and experienced professional you may find yourself sitting behind a desk on a daily basis instead of operating on a construction site.

Whilst this sometimes is the reward for progressing to a senior role, for some, the office environment might not be preferential for those who like the hands-on, manual side of construction and the built environment.

If you find yourself in the position of making the move to becoming a blue collar professional, either for the first time or returning to this area, then there are a few things that you can do to make your transition more seamless.

Firstly, when approaching an employer (either current or prospective), make sure you pool together the relevant experience that you have attained throughout your career, and highlight this when you interview for the job. This includes transferrable skills – i.e team work, communication, adherence to health and safety etc. Highlighting this will help convince an employer that your application is relevant to the role, and they will take you more seriously as a jobseeker from the offset.

If you feel that you are lacking in relevant skills, then you should certainly consider attending the many evening training classes, or online construction related courses that are available, both of which will help bring you up to speed in the area that you are applying for.

And lastly, and perhaps most obviously, be honest with yourself that you are applying for the role that best suits your career path. Whether you like it or not, your career may have developed into a direction that you didn’t foresee when you first entered the trade. For example, if you started out as a labourer before becoming a quantity surveyor, your skillset would have adapted to a different profession, therefore making you less relevant for the more hands-on, manual labour focussed roles in construction.

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