Last week marked the end of my first year in the property and construction profession and completion of six months at GLM!
Eight years ago, I decided to take a break from mental health nursing and community development. Two years ago this month, I graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Building Surveying and winner of the University Class Medal: making me, in 2020, one of the three top Building Surveying Graduates in Scotland. However, to graduates like me, the profession and industry were at a Covid-19 induced standstill.
During that time, I was passed over several times for interview. One recruiter even said I was ‘simply too old’ to be breaking into the profession. And, that’s not to mention I have several health conditions; I am openly gay; have childcare requirements; and, have had a previous career which had nothing to do with surveying. To say I felt beaten, was an understatement!
A year ago, I took a leap, and the net appeared. I started a consultancy and became self-employed, quickly gaining a position with a new planning agency. This opened many doors for me, one of which was the opportunity to join GLM, where I now feel supported and valued. They are providing me with the flexibility I need for my life beyond work, and are equipping me with the tools to grow my self-confidence and self-belief. They have put me on the path to my APC, providing me with some prestigious projects, the likes of which many Chartered Surveyors never see. To say I am grateful does not do it justice!
In a sense, this is a note of appreciation for those who have given me a chance; for seeing my potential and for providing opportunities that are inclusive of my needs and working requirements. And, to the recruiter who said those awful things: I have swapped treating people for treating buildings and, I am thriving because of how my circumstances force me to think differently, in creative ways.
So, thank you Tommy Cochrane for taking a chance on me, breaking me into the profession and thank you to GLM for the past 6 months and the future. Also, to Aythan Lewes for the brief but insightful time I spent with you and, Jon Stinson for giving me direction and not letting me give up during the Covid period.