It’s an industry like no other—fun, fast paced, and doesn’t take itself too seriously. From boutique builders, architects or consultants, to large multinational developers as well as some of Australia’s largest ASX-listed companies, this industry has plenty of scope for the aspiring specialist construction executive assistant. Plus, with the building boom showing no signs of abating, it’s an industry with a bright future.
As such, it has a work-hard, play-hard mindset. (Naturally, this culture varies from firm to firm.) Connections are everything in this sector. A successful company thrives on the quality of its subcontractor relationships, as well as connections within the industry for collaborations and joint projects. Plus, with plenty of compliance and development approval requirements, the industry players need strong ties to all levels of government—local, state and federal.
With such a strong emphasis on relationships with stakeholders, joint ventures and other projects, stakeholder management skills are essential for a construction industry executive assistant. Some executives value corporate hospitality, building relationships over dinners or golf trips as a great way to make deals and connections. Accordingly, an executive assistant with good knowledge of the best local and interstate dining and entertainment locations may be an advantage.
Executive assistants in this space tend to be thick-skinned, able to handle the fast-moving innovative industry and banter between colleagues. Working at an extremely fast pace will be highly regarded for many in this sector. Due to the influence of planning, compliance and permits required through government, strong understanding of government relations may be desirable. Plus, if it’s a construction firm that attracts investors and foreign capital, an understanding of various cultures and dealing with international stakeholders can be valuable also.
The construction industry is known for its ups and downs — developers may be risk-takers who gamble large fortunes on single developments. While others are more cautious, it’s often a thrilling industry that for every high can have challenging lows and plenty of stress. The executive assistants who thrive in this role wouldn’t have it any other way. They love the excitement of the ever-changing industry and are able to manage the stress and pressure of a volatile industry.