Updated: Oct 17, 2021
Hello friends! 👋
I started in the construction field with no previous construction experience/knowledge. I was therefore referred to as a “non-cognate” graduate i.e. someone with a background that is mostly unrelated to the proposed field (I was a law graduate going into the construction sector).
When you first start your job as a (non-cognate) QS, everything is a mystery – at least it was for me anyway. What attracted me to my graduate scheme was that the firm offered to sponsor a conversion course – a MSc in quantity surveying, whilst you are working. There are variations to this, for example some companies offer a day-release system where you are given a day off a week to dedicate to your studies.
For graduates at my firm, we worked 5 days a week (full-time), and completed the MSc in our own time (evenings/weekends). When you first start work you really do have to learn on the job and hope you are put in a team who are supportive, and who are willing to teach you the skills required for the job.
Although your conversion course will help with developing some of the skills, what you will find is that workflows do vary in reality. I think it’s the same in most work environments, there’s the textbook way of doing things, and there’s how it’s done in real life.
In the first few months, some concepts are actually quite difficult to grasp. I always found it difficult to picture and visualise construction processes – to some extent I still do. Understanding construction technology is arguably the most important skill you can have as a quantity surveyor.
Think about it.
How can you put a price on something – if you don’t know what that ‘something’ is?
I realised this quite early, but I found it really difficult to locate resources to help me develop my understanding of construction.
It has been nearly three years since I started this job and I now have a selection of ‘go-to’ resources that I use:
Barry’s Introduction to Construction of Buildings – Stephen Emmitt
Barry’s Advanced Construction of Buildings – Stephen Emmitt
Building Construction Handbook – Roger Greeno & Roy Chudley
The three books above are excellent for new entrants into the industry and are worth picking up if you have an interest in construction!
Please check my resources page out for other books and tools that I use!
That’s all for now internet, any queries or thoughts please give me a shout! 👍
Interesting Links 📌
📚 Currently Reading: Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter This book is written by Curtis Jackson … more commonly known as 50 Cent. I thought this book would be ghostwritten but you can really hear/feel 50’s influence in the book. He is probably one of the most interesting figures in our time who many would class as an ‘overachiever’. He’s found success in music, business, tv/film and the book provides an insight into his mindset.
🔉 Podcast of the week: Joe Gebbia — Co-Founder of Airbnb (#301) If you are familiar with the Tim Ferris show then you will enjoy this one. A powerful insight into the mind of someone who was pivotal to the creating of market disruptor Airbnb. I learnt a great deal from this podcast including the importance of perseverance and just getting on with s*it. I made an Instagram post about it – follow me @farhantanvirqs.
3. 🧠 Article of the week: Habits of Successful People: Start Before You Feel Ready This is an article by James Clear who really advocates the importance of just getting out there, presenting and sharing your work even if you don’t think it’s the finished article. I really struggle with this, I hate handing in work if I don’t think it’s perfect. It’s one of the reasons why I started this blog – I need to get better at sharing my thoughts on a public platform even though the output is not completely polished. Hopefully, I will get better with time (and practice).