Don’t overstate your skills. It is always better to ask and be instructed than to foul something up and get chewed out.
Succeeding in Construction - 7 rules for your first week
Here are 7 essentials for your first week working in construction.
1. Show up on time, every time
This is the most important rule. Late is a fatal flaw in construction.
Get to the job site before they crank up the first machine or strap on the tool belts; even if you’re just going to hold a shovel or stack lumber all day. Better yet, show up 15 minutes early so you have time to chat and feel part of the gang.
2. Leave your phone in your car!
You can check it at breaks and or lunch. Construction job sites are dangerous. You don’t need distractions. Nobody’s paying you to update your Facebook status.
3. Dress for success
Sturdy boots, gloves, hardhat, and seasonally appropriate wear. In summer, long sleeved, oversized cotton shirts will keep the sun off, and winter is always best to layer warm clothing.
4. Bring your own lunch, sunscreen, plenty of water
Bring something hearty and nutritious, and lots of water to prevent dehydration. Keep in mind you’re going to burn a lot of calories. Just a salad isn’t going to get you through the day.
5. Be humble and truthful
The guy that hired you may not be the guy who supervises you. But don’t overstate your skills to either of them. Most contractors and supers have a specific way they like to have things done, so it’s better to ask and be instructed than to foul something up and get chewed out.
6. Pay attention
The moment work starts on a construction site, you’ll need the eyes, ears and reflexes of a pro hockey player. You don't want to fall off a roof, be impaled on rebar, or set afire by a welding torch, so stay alert!!
7. Practice mindfulness
This may sound a bit Karate Kid-ish, but....much of construction work is repetitive. Like the 'wax on wax off motion' in the movie; you may be asked to to do the same task or use the same tool over and over again. This can sometimes be for hours at a time. No matter how repetitive a task can be, you must never lose your focus. Stay alert and be safe.