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#015 A break from usual service 🥴

Updated: Oct 18, 2021

Hello friends! 👋

This experimental blogging thing hasn’t gone too well for me thus far. I had an intention to write a post a week from June 2020 … since then I’ve managed only 15 posts (including this one).

There are a few reasons why but I don’t think it’s worth making excuses publicly for the world to see – so I’ll just have to try and do better! The ironic thing is I wrote a whole blog post about keeping consistent 🤣

When I first started writing weekly posts my experience as a QS was mainly geared towards pre-contract services like cost planning. Since then I’ve been working full time on a post-contract project using NEC contracts. It’s been a very different (but positive experience).

I’ve been trying to focus on developing my APC experience, in particular, by the level 2’s for each of the technical + optional competencies. My work experience over the last 3.5 years or so have now covered both pre and post contract skills. The only gap I can see which needs to be filled prior to sitting the final assessment is procurement. From what I understand, procurement is always a difficult competency to gain experience in so I guess I’m not alone in this regard.

I don’t know about you guys but I definitely prefer working from home. I’ve heard all the arguments from senior leadership both within organisations and government about how ‘important’ it is for people to return to the office. I understand that not everyone has space to work from home, but I think to make a unilateral decision to force everyone back into the office is despicable. A balanced approach must be taken with dialogue with the workforce. The last year has shown that businesses can run from home. There were some teething issues sure, but overall I think working from home has worked quite well with my projects. Remote working has enabled many (including myself) to work on projects which are geographically distant. The benefits for me have been two fold:

(1) Money saved from no train fares; and

(2) Time saved from no commutes.

Without stating the obvious, it costs a hell of a lot of money to travel into London. 15-20% of your net pay is quite significant if you’re trying to do other things (i.e. save for a wedding, save for a property etc.). Another cost that is sometimes overlooked is lunch! Yes, I know many of you will say why don’t I prepare my own. The truth is 80% of the time I did! I was trying to eat healthier so I made lunches at home. There were occasions where I just could not be bothered and was happy to grab a sandwich from prets, or something a bit more exotic from the local food market. But trust me, it all adds up!

The commute is the worst thing about working in London. Can you believe there are people in the world who love sitting (most likely standing) on a cramped train every morning! To avoid the morning rush I used to wake up earlier and travel before the rush to get a comfortable journey in. I am luckier than most, in the sense that my commute is door to door no longer than an hour. One of my colleagues travels on the train for 2 hours each way, and they love it apparently.

Yes, I know this post was a bit of a rant, but a rant is sometimes what we need. Let me know your thoughts on the whole remote working thing – I for one want it to stay.

Interesting Links 📌

  1. 🔉 Podcast of the week: I listened to Joe Rogan and Elon Musk’s third conversation. Joe recently moved JRE over to Spotify – I don’t think the platform is optimised for podcast as large as Joe’s but what do I know 🤷🏽‍♂️. I think Elon’s work ethic and mindset is something we can all admire. The man does not stop innovating!

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