Amy Hill, newly appointed Technical Project Surveyor at Coastline Housing (and busy mum of twins!), speaks about her career to date in an industry that is still heavily dominated by men.
I started work at Coastline Housing as an admin assistant on the reception desk. After studying admin at college, it seemed a logical next step and a reasonably interesting job.
For four years, I worked as a Customer Service Advisor, learning about the company’s functions from the grass roots and gaining a breadth of knowledge about what each department did.
When an opportunity arose for a Junior Surveyor in the Technical Services department, I jumped at the chance. I was the first female to join the team in such a role, but I found it absolutely fascinating. I studied the Chartered Institute of Housing maintenance courses levels 2, 3 and 4, as well as the ILM Project Management course to back up what I was learning from colleagues on the ground at work.
Now, a recent promotion has seen me take on the role of Technical Project Surveyor, working on both our responsive repair and planned maintenance programmes which, while extremely busy, is also extremely enjoyable.
I work in a team of male surveyors who have been incredibly supportive of me from the start as I began to learn the ropes. As a team, we’ve discovered that there are some situations where a female surveyor can make more progress with certain vulnerable customers. Particularly customers who may be suffering with anxiety problems, or those who have been victims of domestic abuse in the past. These customers are much more comfortable inviting a woman into their home to undertake surveys and kitchen or bathroom plans than they would be a male, and that's completely understandable. As a busy mum of twins, I can relate to other busy mums too!
If you had asked me 10 years ago whether my career would end up here, I would probably have looked at you in confusion. The housing industry and the many careers it can offer up is rarely one that’s talked about at schools or colleges yet it can offer a multitude of rewarding and innovative career paths for many.
There is always going to be a need for affordable housing and that need is continuing to grow. Being a part of a company that provides first class homes to customers and continually pushing to go that extra mile in giving customers more choice and flexibility makes for a busy surveying department.
Life is certainly never dull, and I’m extra lucky being based in Cornwall – it’s a beautiful part of the world to be out and about visiting customers or undertaking property blitz days.
I’m now fortunate enough to do some work with a few of our inspiring futures work placements, who come to Coastline for an 8 week period to get a taste of the sort of careers we can offer. Many of these placements are customers of ours looking to get back into the workplace, or enter the workplace for the first time. It’s incredibly rewarding to work with them and see the transformation as they realise just what goes on within the housing industry and what a hive of activity it can be.
It’s madness sometimes, but it’s all good fun and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Coastline Housing Ltd, on Thursday 12 January, 2017. For more information subscribe and follow http://www.pressat.co.uk/