Along with my colleagues I look after all the technical standards for all the Engineer Surveyors in the field, making sure they’ve got the latest up to date information.
My job involves preparing technical documentation, risk assessments, safe systems of work, carrying out Engineer Surveyor audits and answering calls from Engineer Surveyors, colleagues in other parts of Zurich surveyors and clients. When the telephone rings it could be about anything, from an Engineer Surveyor surveyor calling for some technical advice, to a Zurich colleague calling up with a question about rating a particular item of plant or from a client with a query about an examination we have carried out or a complaint.
These calls may require a lot of research. For example, if an Engineer Surveyor surveyor needs to know something about a new piece of equipment, I might have to speak to the manufacturers. One telephone call could lead to half a day’s work.
The job has really helped me develop my presentation skills. I have to give training presentations to Engineer Surveyor surveyors, as well as talking to external institutions like the Health and Safety Executive, and I’ve found that presenting is something I really enjoy doing.
I also represent Zurich and SAFed (our trade body) on a number of British Standard and HSE committees, developing new standards and guidance.
This is a job that would really appeal to someone who likes variety. One day you’re working on technical databases, the next you’re performing a risk assessment with another colleague surveyor. I travel all over the country, seeing a wide range of industries and getting to understand how they work.
Managing your own time
Good interpersonal skills are crucial in this job. Sometimes you’ve got to give clients unpalatable messages, perhaps condemning a plant for example. People react in different ways, and you have to be able to be diplomatic. Another key part of the job is learning to manage your own time. It’s anything but 9 to 5!