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Career change advice - leaving construction

  • #1
    Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,397 CBear1993


    I Did quantity surveying because all men on both sides of the family worked in construction, I spent my summers off school on sites.
    Mix of parental influence and I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do leaving school at 18 - so I wandered into that course.

    Even in my final year I absolutely detested it and questioned why I was doing it. I’m glad I have a degree now of some sort, but I honestly wouldn’t advise any young person to go into the construction industry, extremely toxic and thankless.

    I’m approaching 27 soon and still trying to find my calling/passion. Going to take a leap of faith and do a postgrad in September to get the hell out of this crap I’m in. It pays well and that is literally the only reason I’m in it. I’m above what I’m worth salary wise and have jumped the ladder quicker than people my age. I know I am bright and I would excel in another industry if someone took a chance on me as I’ve loads of hunger and drive, but unfortunately that doesn’t get you in the door no matter how much tailoring of my CV and cover letter I do. QS’ing literally sent me on a Downward spiral of depression and going between numerous jobs in a short space of time, it got to the stage I couldn’t get myself out of bed in the morning to face the day for work.

    I searched the “top 20 in demand career professions in Ireland” earlier and saw a few articles on what’s in demand from now to 2025.

    I’ll pick one of those to do a 1 year postgrad in and see where it takes me. I don’t think going back to college for any longer than that I would stick at it at this stage.
    If I could tell people at school pre college - Don’t go to college and do what your parents advise you to do EVER or do something because it seems like the most logical progression as you know nothing else. Take some online personality tests, do 1 and 2 week work experiences in loads of different local firms in the summer.

    Does anyone have any family / friends or people they knew who left QS in particular and moved into something else?

    I’m eyeing up the pharma / med device sector, but like everything I can’t afford to take too big of a salary drop. I have a mortgage but no children.


Comments



  • Know many who have gone into accounting from QS'ing




  • Have a look at Springboard courses. Many of them are accepting applications at the moment.




  • mickey15ie wrote: »
    Know many who have gone into accounting from QS'ing

    As much as I hate QS, after doing accounting for my A level I maybe despised it just as much :D:D

    No I’m joking, I know in today’s game there are lots of different types of accounting




  • CBear1993 wrote: »
    I Did quantity surveying because all men on both sides of the family worked in construction, I spent my summers off school on sites.
    Mix of parental influence and I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do leaving school at 18 - so I wandered into that course.

    Even in my final year I absolutely detested it and questioned why I was doing it. I’m glad I have a degree now of some sort, but I honestly wouldn’t advise any young person to go into the construction industry, extremely toxic and thankless.

    I’m approaching 27 soon and still trying to find my calling/passion. Going to take a leap of faith and do a postgrad in September to get the hell out of this crap I’m in. It pays well and that is literally the only reason I’m in it. I’m above what I’m worth salary wise and have jumped the ladder quicker than people my age. I know I am bright and I would excel in another industry if someone took a chance on me as I’ve loads of hunger and drive, but unfortunately that doesn’t get you in the door no matter how much tailoring of my CV and cover letter I do. QS’ing literally sent me on a Downward spiral of depression and going between numerous jobs in a short space of time, it got to the stage I couldn’t get myself out of bed in the morning to face the day for work.

    I searched the “top 20 in demand career professions in Ireland” earlier and saw a few articles on what’s in demand from now to 2025.

    I’ll pick one of those to do a 1 year postgrad in and see where it takes me. I don’t think going back to college for any longer than that I would stick at it at this stage.
    If I could tell people at school pre college - Don’t go to college and do what your parents advise you to do EVER or do something because it seems like the most logical progression as you know nothing else. Take some online personality tests, do 1 and 2 week work experiences in loads of different local firms in the summer.

    Does anyone have any family / friends or people they knew who left QS in particular and moved into something else?

    I’m eyeing up the pharma / med device sector, but like everything I can’t afford to take too big of a salary drop. I have a mortgage but no children.

    I don’t know if you seen that recent program on rte on different students at college but, there was a guy on it who might be of interest to you. He was in the construction industry and was in his 40s and after 20 years of working in it he left it. He also had the same financial commitments like mortgage etc and he returned to education and after a few years he is now doing a Masters in psychology. So the moral of the story is that anything is possible and it might be even worth seeing a careers advisor to help find out exactly what is your passion. Obviously money is an important factor but don’t get bogged down on it too much but, obviously have it in mind at the same time also.

    Anyway best of luck and hope things work out for you.




  • You could consider going into management consultancy or project management, which would utilise a lot of the skills/expertise you've gained in your career while offering new employers, work environments and opportunities without the need for retraining. Also look at your existing skillset - would a move into supply chain (from a business or a logistics perspective) suit you? There are roles available across all sectors in this area.

    You mention medtech and pharma, both of these areas are searching for scarce talent and the opportunities are fantastic. You might have to relocate somewhere rural (lots of large pharmas plants located outside of cities). Look up some of the recruitment firms that specialise (e.g. Collins McNicholas) and arrange a phone call with a recruiter. They have loads of contacts across industry and could find something for you. The commercial property consultancy CBRE offer a grad programme that pays for a masters, so look at that as a step out of construction into a related but different field. You might not qualify as a grad candidate but a conversation with their hiring team might lead somewhere and lots of employers will pay for further training.

    I agree that no amount of CV tailoring can present you as a top candidate in an unrelated field, but it's worth looking at your core skillset and emphasizing your transversal skills. You are clearly numerate and have a strong analytical focus. The key is to do quality research into your prospective career to fully understand it and try and talk to professionals in the field (not just anything off a 'top 20' list be rewarding or fulfilling). Do a search on LinkedIn to find alumni from your university working in these areas and shoot them a message to ask for advice or a zoom meeting.


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  • Hey, sorry to hear you are struggling with the current job. Funnily enough I was thinking of converting from quantitative modelling into quantitative surveying or engineering.

    If I may ask a question, what specifically have you found to be off putting in this profession? Any info woukd be great help.




  • There’s many QSs on boards but what’s off putting?
    Ridiculous hours 12 hour days common, and the knock on effect on family life
    Lately relentless and unrealistic deadlines from clients
    Estimating material costs that are changing daily, and clients wanting to hold you to those prices
    Pressure is just unreal in general
    Good help is impossible to find
    Variations and conciliation a necessary pain in the butt to get a job to make money, basically you price low to win work and fight tooth and nail the whole way to make it break even
    The never ending tendering process, and a low win rate can really affect your morale, especially when the whole company is looking to you to put work in front of them
    Burnout a big issue- by 40 most QSs have had enough

    I could go on. It’s big money but if you work out the hours you work for what you’re paid, I’m telling you a labourer has as good a rate per hour. It’s not a job I’d recommend at all TBH.




  • screamer wrote: »
    There’s many QSs on boards but what’s off putting?
    Ridiculous hours 12 hour days common, and the knock on effect on family life
    Lately relentless and unrealistic deadlines from clients
    Estimating material costs that are changing daily, and clients wanting to hold you to those prices
    Pressure is just unreal in general
    Good help is impossible to find
    Variations and conciliation a necessary pain in the butt to get a job to make money, basically you price low to win work and fight tooth and nail the whole way to make it break even
    The never ending tendering process, and a low win rate can really affect your morale, especially when the whole company is looking to you to put work in front of them
    Burnout a big issue- by 40 most QSs have had enough

    I could go on. It’s big money but if you work out the hours you work for what you’re paid, I’m telling you a labourer has as good a rate per hour. It’s not a job I’d recommend at all TBH.

    Thanks for the response!

    Ha and I was thinking it might be handy enough work. Sounds like the negotiations are the killer there. I hadn't realised there was that pressure. I have to do a bit if negotiating in my own job but I'm not great at it, i just say yeah that's grand then walk out realising how much I'm screwed. So probably not the one for me.

    Are you still working in that line yourself?


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