For our next ‘Thriving Through Lockdown’ article, we catch up with Abi Peters who joined calfordseaden in March 2020 as a Senior Building Surveyor. Abi’s unique career journey has seen her go from salon to site, starting out as a hairdresser and then advancing her career in construction.
To the surprise of many of my colleagues, I started out my career as a hairdresser. Whilst I loved the social aspect of the job, I felt that it was not the right career path for me. So, at the age of 30, I decided to change careers. I was not sure what route to go down, but I really enjoyed studying Design and Realisation at GCSE level, which included woodwork, metalwork and electronics. After some research, and completing the National Careers Service quiz online, I decided to try and start a career in construction. I completed a Level 2 and Level 3 BTEC in Construction, whilst working part time as a Building Control Surveyor. Then, at 35 years old, I completed an Undergraduate Degree Building Surveying from Kingston University. Changing career path, and graduating at the age of 35, was a defining moment in both my career and life. I am proud of myself for taking the leap of faith and pursuing a new career path, proving that you can be any age and at any stage of your life.
After graduating, I joined a small consultancy where I worked as a Building Surveyor for 5 years. I gained a broad range of skills as an Employer’s Agent, Contract Administrator and a general Building Surveyor carrying out professional services. During this time, my team won the LABC Regional Awards which is an achievement that I will always value. Whilst this role gave me a lot of experience and improved my skills, I felt that it was time to spread my wings and seek a new opportunity. I started my search, looking for a larger consultancy with a wide knowledge base where I could work as part of a wider team and focus on larger projects. When I attended my interview at calfordseaden, I was impressed by the professional yet friendly nature of the Practice.
I joined calfordseaden just before the announcement of the first lockdown. As you can imagine, it was a challenging time to start a new role. However, everyone has been extremely supportive over the past year. As a team, we have been having regular weekly catch ups and I feel so reassured by how approachable and encouraging everyone is. My experience working as a hairdresser has given me many transferable skills that I apply daily in my role, particularly attention to detail and the ability to build relationships and rapport with clients to truly understand their requirements and exceed their expectations.
I really look forward to growing my career here at calfordseaden. The next step is to gain my Chartership, and I have no doubt that the wealth of knowledge from my calfordseaden colleagues will support me with this.