Network Your Way to New Work

Network Your Way to New Work

I have always had a very strong work ethic that I imagine was passed on from my father and grandfather who were the same way for as far back as I can remember. Being among the first to show up for work, the last to leave, and working six or seven days a week was pretty much the norm during my construction career and for the most part I was surrounded by coworkers who felt the same way.

However, after about 10 years in the industry I took a position as the general manager of a medium sized general contracting company and my initial impression was that the owner subscribed to a different belief concerning commitment to the job. He took long lunches every day, played in golf tournaments, went on hunting and fishing trips, and was often nowhere to be found most afternoons. I soon resented the fact that I was running the company while he seemed to be constantly off enjoying himself, but I suddenly came to a realization that I might have noticed earlier if I hadn’t been so busy – in the middle of an economic downturn, we always seemed to have work.

I don’t doubt that the owner was enjoying himself with all the social activities he participated in, but he was also getting the company name out and networking with past and potential customers. The knowledge that he trusted me to handle the day to day operations of the company while he was out rounding up new work also made me feel pretty good and for the next ten years we operated as a team – he brought new projects in and I made sure they got done.

I have always believed you can learn something new on a daily basis in the construction industry and the day I finally understood what he was doing was no different – it’s hard to find new work when you’re immersed in your current projects all day long.

The economy today is a little more challenging than it was back then so it’s even more important now that you find time to network for new projects. Ask key employees to participate in charity golf tournaments, attend Chamber of Commerce dinners or open houses, or just make some time to take previous customers out to lunch – you never know what might be mentioned in passing and the next thing you know – a new project is on the horizon.

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Posted on Jul 26, 2011 by admin | Posted in Construction Bids, Starting a Construction Business, Uncategorized

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