So you want to be a construction manager.
Are you sure you have the right personality for the job? Take this quiz, keep track of your answers, and I’ll tell you what your score means at the end:
1. Do you like construction?
a. Yes, I really enjoy learning how about building design, construction, and maintenance.
b. Although it’s not my favorite topic, I am somewhat interested in construction.
c. No, I find construction boring and difficult to understand.
2. Are you fully aware of the business conditions necessary for successful construction projects?
a. Yes, I am knowledgeable when it comes to criteria such as investment returns, punctuality, productivity, and profit; and I am able to apply those ideas to construction management. Learning construction management software excites me.
b. I am aware of some of the business conditions used in construction projects, but I am not clear on all of the details.
c. No, I don’t know very much about such business conditions.
3. Do you feel comfortable managing other people?
a. Yes, I know how to lead my team to meet deadlines and do the best work they are capable of while rewarding them for a job well done.
b. Although I try my best, I am not always able to direct my team in such a way that they turn out their best work and feel well taken care of.
c. No, I prefer to follow rather than lead.
4. Are you at home in both your office and on site?
a. Yes, as long as I’ve got my ruggedized smartphone, I am just as happy managing a project on the construction site as I am running meetings from the comfort of my office.
b. I am usually more comfortable in an office, but I don’t mind the occasional visit to the project site if the weather’s good.
c. No, I can’t wait for the day they develop virtual construction management.
5. Are you willing to take on the responsibility of a construction project?
a. Yes, I understand that I will be considered responsible for all the work done on a particular project and the ensuing costs, even if I haven’t completed that work myself.
b. I am aware of the rules and conditions that usually surround construction projects, but I’m not sure I want to be held responsible for somebody’s else’s work.
c. No, I do not want to accept ownership of an entire project.
6. Are you results-oriented?
b. I am pretty good at conceptualizing the final product when it comes to building plans, but I’m not always able to visualize the intermediate stages.
c. No, I have difficulty taking the architects’ designs seriously and looking at the bigger picture.
7. Can you balance schedules and budgets?
b. Sometimes I lose track of the costs in my efforts to complete the project on schedule, or vice versa.
c. No, I am not good at keeping track of estimated building costs and schedule planning at the same time.
8. Can you make good decisions?
a. Yes, I know how to take the information I have and use it to support good decisions, and I know how to stand by those decisions, even when they were made on the spur of the moment.
b .I sometimes have difficulty making decisions and later regret the decisions I made under pressure.
c. No, I am a very indecisive person.
9. Are you a conscientious worker?
a. Yes, I keep track of all the different parts of a project; ensure that my workers on operating in a safe environment; and don’t mind staying late once in a while to finish what I’ve started.
b. Sometimes I let the little things go and don’t always set a good example for my team.
c. No, I am usually sloppy when it comes to safety and other details of the job.
10. Are you a good “people person?”
a. Yes, I know how to be assertive without coming across as too aggressive or unapproachable.
b. Sometimes I let people walk over me, and sometimes I overcompensate by being abrasive with people.
c. No, I never get along with my clients and team.
Now tally up your answers and see if you have the right personality to be a construction manager:
Mostly A’s: Congratulations! You are perfect for this job. You have a passion for construction and the flexibility to handle working onsite and in an office. You have a firm personality and find that leading and making strong decisions comes naturally to you. Luckily for you, construction superintendent is the fourth happiest job in America. Make sure you have all the other skills employers are looking for in construction managers, then go find yourself a project!
Mostly B’s: You might need to reconsider construction management as a career. You have an interest in but not love of construction, and you often struggle in leadership positions. However, since you show a willingness to try new things sometimes, you could possibly make a job as construction manager work for you.
Mostly C’s: You should look for a different job. Construction management is not for you.
How did it go?
Do you have the right personality to be a construction manager? Do you think I missed any important qualities? Let me know in the comments below!
Header by Abby Kahler
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