Tim Jackson joined calfordseaden in 2000 as a Graduate Building Surveyor. Now, as a Partner, he celebrates his 20th year at the Practice. We talk to him to reflect back on his career and gain some advice for surveyors just starting out in their careers.
- How did your career journey begin?
I graduated from Reading University with a degree in Building Surveying and joined calfordseaden a week later as a Graduate Building Surveyor. I have always had an analytical mind-set and I think that this is what inspired my degree and career choice, I love finding out how things work or equally when they don’t work and why. As my experience and skills have grown, this developed into a passion for quality, compliance and most especially fire safety.
- What have been some of your greatest career highlights?
I have been fortunate enough to be involved in some fantastic projects throughout my career at calfordseaden. Most notably was the 2012 Olympic Games Athletes Village conversion to East Village post Games as well as two landmark projects in Stonebridge – Faywood Children’s Centre and Hillside Hub. I started my career working on external repairs projects for a capital works programme for London Borough of Camden, which gave me a good grounding for looking at potential problems with existing buildings and how to rectify them.
The proudest moment of my career was when I became a chartered building surveyor in 2011. The process to become chartered inspired me to help others also qualify as chartered surveyors. This dedication to supporting others resulted in me being nominated for Mentor of the Year in the RICS Matrics Young Surveyor of the Year Awards 2019. An achievement I am also incredibly proud of.
As well as supporting colleagues in their career growth, I am also very keen to promote, and help others consider a career in our industry. I have been a mentor for the University of Reading Thrive Mentoring Scheme for 4 years and have also attended several career events at universities and schools.
- What advice would you give for aspiring surveyors?
When I got my graduate surveyor job, it was as straightforward as opening up the RICS directory, contacting surveying practices and sending a hard copy of my CV – email was not the main form of correspondence back then! I appreciate that it is not as easy as that now and that there is a lot more competition, this is why I think it is so important for candidates to try and stand out on their CV. One way you can do this is by showing how you have gone above and beyond in both education and previous positions, as well as any extracurricular activities and interests. The key attributes that I look for when hiring are dedication, motivation and the ability to take initiative and think ahead.
I always encourage surveyors who are trying to become chartered to focus on the APC and the journey that they will go through to achieve it, as this will make them better surveyors in the long term. The RICS Chartership should be viewed as a continual process of expanding your skills and expertise rather than a tickbox stage of your career. Whilst it is of course an excellent achievement for surveyors to aspire to, the learning shouldn’t stop there as it is also a platform to really launch your career journey.
- How has the company progressed since you first joined?
calfordseaden has grown significantly since I joined in 2000, and I think we have done really well to hold onto our values of looking after staff and providing a really high level of service to clients. Despite the growing size of the practice, we still have a real community feel and our people are truly valued.
When I started there was not a Mechanical and Electrical team or a Civil and Structural team. Our Birmingham office opened within a month after I started and a small team assisted the office with surveying schools in Birmingham in their first year. In the past 5 years, our Site Inspection Service group has grown significantly, and I am proud to now be the Group Leader. The industry has also increased its commitment to focusing on quality and compliance, resulting from the Grenfell tragedy and current reforms underway. I take comfort in knowing that calfordseaden is well equipped and well placed to support our clients in this changing landscape.
- What’s next for your career?
I am extremely passionate about training and supporting colleagues in their career progression and I have been active in my role as a mentor. I am proud to be our Co-APC mentoring programme lead and keen to carry this on to ensure we continue with our excellent pass rate. I hope to continue to support my peers in whichever way I can. I have provided various training and seminars in Quality and Fire Safety, which I will continue to develop and provide.
Last year I was proud to be accepted as an Associate Member of The Institution of Fire Engineers, an accreditation which has and will continue to enhance our fire safety service offering.
I think we each have a responsibility to keep pushing the industry forward through staying informed so I am constantly learning, and I try to impart my knowledge effectively wherever I can.
The past 20 years have flown by, I’ve met some great people doing the job that I love and I look forward to what the future at calfordseaden will bring!