10 May, 2014

Residential Construction

I’m currently majoring in accounting at a top 20 university. When I first enrolled I knew that being an accountant was not my primary goal, merely an education that would leave me most flexible in the business world when I graduate. As my classes continue toward my junior year I’m faced with choosing what type of business to enter. I like the idea of residential design and construction. The various aspects all interest me and I can see wonderful economic growth opportunities once I’m established. This leaves me with a question of what I need to do to enter the field to start and how to build my early reputation. I know that being in an industry with your ears open to people interested in leaving their niche can offer opportunities for growth once established, but I don’t know the first steps to take to begin. What would you all suggest as the steps while I’m still in college to prepare for a career in construction, and my early steps to start the business itself. After looking around, I learned — Network. Absolutely, positively number one. Ask around at your university . . Mention your goals to your financial advisor, your accounting professors, and anyone else you think might be able to point you in the right direction. If your college offers any kind of real estate courses, consult with those professors. There are so many avenues to explore for ideas and contacts. Find people who do what you want to do, and ask them about their career paths – how did they get to where they are? Why did they want to be in construction? Who can they recommend as mentors? Where can you intern while you’re still in college? Where are the areas in which construction is booming and where fresh, new talent can get a good start? Every contact you make knows other people who can help you find your way. Never underestimate the power of connections. Make friends in all the right places. Enjoy the process . . It’s absolutely a power game, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a game, and that it can’t be fun for you and your contacts. Be a good guy, the one everyone wants to know at parties. Don’t get complacent – keep current on trends and goings-on in your intended industry. The more you know, the more you’ll make a good impression on your contacts. The more people you know in the field, and more important, the more who know you, the better your opportunites for breaking into the business in a big way. It takes a serious investment of your time and effort, but it’s the best way to get where you want without having to “start from the ground floor” . . Get your start while you’re still in school, and you’ll be three times farther than you would be if you got moving after graduation.

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