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Working on a large-scale project

28 Feb 2018

There’s something hugely rewarding about working in the construction industry as any of our construction recruiters will tell you, but what impact does the size of the project have?

One of the best things about a job in the construction industry (apart from the glamourous PPE of course!) is having a real sense of job actualisation. Think back to GCSE business studies and you may remember learning about the top sector of Maslow’s triangle, relating to the sense of personal worth we get from our career choice. This is strong in the civil engineering sector, largely due to the sense of achievement when something tangible and physical comes to fruition. It is really rewarding to complete a job and be able to say you were a part of it.

We take a look at some of the issues that come with working on major projects and how they may affect your job search.

Location

If you’re just starting out in construction you may join a small local firm. The types of jobs you could find yourself working on will likely vary from domestic and commercial builds to maybe some local public-sector civil engineering and infrastructure projects. This type of work is invaluable for building your skill-set, understanding the planning process and to get a good grounding in the area and if you want to work locally without either having to work away from home for weeks on end or spend a good proportion of your time crawling on the motorway tarmac every morning and evening.

But what about when you ‘graduate’ to working with a higher grossing firm, we’re talking upwards of £2bn turnover for example or working on Government projects in the region of £64bn (HS2)?

Kudos

We’re sure you’ve experience the proud outburst of a friend/ colleague/ relative when you’ve driven past a major structure or infrastructure network…

“I worked on that!”
 
Well that’s a big part of it, the kudos that comes with working on a major project can be immense. Think Channel Tunnel, London Crossrail Project, HS2, Thames Tideway Tunnel… in fact these are often categorised as megaprojects.

Working for a small-medium sized firm rarely gives rise to the opportunity of working on projects such as these, so this is worth bearing in mind when applying for your next role.

Time

All good things come to those who wait… true? Yes, in this case. The Channel Tunnel took 6 years to complete for example so rest assured if you’re waiting for that exultant feeling, it won’t come along every day when cast in your role as senior planner for the UK’s longest tunnel/ deepest cable/ tallest building. Sometimes the smaller daily wins are just as important to you on your career journey.

Experience and employability

Without a doubt there are simply more jobs to go around on major projects. This means that even if you don’t make it through the selection process for your first choice, there may be other opportunities available. Aside from that, a major project provides the opportunity to gain a wider range of skills and experience a different set of challenges on a much larger scale

With a large-scale or major project in your portfolio there is a good chance that this will lead to similar future opportunities or the option to join other projects at a more senior level.

Some of the lessons learned in working on major projects can be invaluable in terms of core skills, planning, risk and complexity issues, financing, team management, accountability, flexibility and analysis of delivery.

The PSR experience

Over the last decade our 70-strong team of recruiters have built unrivalled relationships with leading UK construction firms seeking candidates for all types of projects. Read one PSR candidate’s experience of working on Balfour Beatty’s Midland Metro project or watch our video on PSR’s role in the Sellafield Box Encapsulation Project.

Get in touch for an informal discussion about your next steps and keep an eye on the projects to watch in 2018.

PSR’s award-winning construction permanent and temporary recruitment specialists are committed to helping each of our candidates find their dream job. Contact us in confidence, register or send us your CV and let’s get started.

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