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#005 Building transferable skills 🤹

Updated: Oct 17, 2021

Hello friends 👋

There are many skills you need as a quantity surveyor, not all of which are QS specific. The best QS’s I know share the following traits:

  1. Highly Organised

  2. Excellent communicators

  3. Comfortable with numbers/arithmetic/geometry

  4. Great team-players

The skills above are generally transferable and can be applied across any industry i.e. finance, general business and consultancy. But for QS’s, there is one skill/characteristic that sets the best QS’s apart – excellent construction technology skills.

This is a skill that can’t be taught quickly and it requires time and experience to build a solid base. There are things that you can do to speed up the process of being more competent e.g.:

  1. Continuously studying construction tech from textbooks/videos;

  2. Getting practical experience on-site across a variety of projects ;

  3. Being taught by those who have experience of complex construction sequences.

Although construction technology is an important skill, there are other skills that I think need to be developed more amongst the up and coming generation of QS’s.

Coding – I feel like software and automation can be used more to usurp the mundane tasks of the QS. This is not a novel thought I know, but I just don’t see the industry focussing on this (please let me know if I am not looking in the right place). I for one wish I started learning how to code at an earlier age. Thankfully it's not that difficult to start and there are a plethora of free (and paid) resources available to get you started. Obviously, coding isn’t just relevant to construction, but it’s a useful skill to have if you want to start your own website or if you have lofty aspirations of building your own software programme …

Here are some resources to get you started:

HTML & CSS: If you are serious about learning to code my advice is to start with the absolute basics. HTML and CSS are the foundation to website design and are relatively easy to learn. Watch the following videos and use the website link to build your own off-line website. It’s important to understand the structure, syntax and methodology behind different coding languages – but this is a very simple place to start.

Business Development – This is a bit of a weird one as generally these skills are sort of nurtured in senior staff who are looking to earn a piece of the pie. This skill is about being able to go out into the world and bring some food back to the table. I think this should be drilled into junior staff from day one as they are indeed the future of the business. The question is how do we develop fruitful business relationships? There is an organic route whereby you work for an existing client organisation and get recommended through internal channels. The tricky bit is obtaining new business …

Interesting Links 📌

  1. 🔉 Podcast of the week: I listened to Disruptive Entrepreneur podcast this week starring Yiannimize (Yianni Charalambous). Yianni is well-known car customiser. I’ve been following him and his business ever since I was a kid at school. The podcast provides a great insight to his business, how it started and his approach to social media marketing.

  2. 📚👂 Currently Reading/Listening: It’s been a slow burn for me on the book front this week. I am still reading/listening to 50 cent’s book (Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter). But as we were just speaking about the Disruptive Entrepreneur, I would suggest looking at the podcast host’s book – Money. That book really changed my perception of business and financial freedom. It’s a book that has actionable steps and is not one of those obnoxious self-help books full of abstract concepts.

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