Diary of a Trainee Surveyor

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Aged 27 I took one of the boldest steps in my career and resigned from my comfortable job managing a property lettings team for an estate agency group. Working in the property world had treated me well but I really wanted to expand on my technical knowledge and learn more about the commercial/industrial sectors.

So, having moved away from Sheffield aged 20 (there’s nowhere quite like it), I applied to study Building Surveying at Sheffield Hallam University and relocated with my wife back up North.

Going back into education after almost ten years away was daunting, but I was looking forward to learning more about a subject I was really interested in.

Soon after starting the course, I was overwhelmed by how little I actually knew about the construction industry. The terminology alone felt like a whole new language.

I soon found out that simply studying the subject wasn’t enough and what I really needed was to gain some experience working in a construction environment…looking back on it now, I would have just been happy to make the drinks!

I sent my CV to every surveyor in the city, knowing it would be difficult to get my foot into any door. But, I wasn’t looking to be rewarded for my time though, so I stuck at it.

Fortunately, I was called by a handful of firms, one of which had previously caught my eye when trawling through website after website. It was Inform Surveying. Steve, one of the 2 Directors, asked me in for a chat and I was instantly impressed. Around a month later, I started working one day a week to supplement my studies and to my surprise and delight, I wasn’t just making the drinks…

Initially, I studied for two days a week and worked as a barista for three days. Sadly I was only able to work at Inform Surveying for one day. From day one I learned so much from Gav and Steve and I soon realised that one day a week didn’t feel like enough! Happily, Inform were so busy, that they were soon able to offer me part-time employment.

Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to get involved with a wide variety of both commercial and residential tasks typically undertaken by Building Surveyors. These have ranged from preparing schedules of condition, and dilapidation reports, and conducting building surveys, to managing large projects.

For a genuine leap of faith, it’s more than delivered what I’d hoped.

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