Jake Soden

Jake is a Team Leader in the Building Surveying Team at Kier and is based in Lincoln.

About me:

I’m mid 30’s and reside in Lincolnshire I graduated from a Business Studies degree in 2005, thinking I wanted to go into the automotive world. Not an easy industry to get in to, so I ended up working for a regional builders’ merchant as a ‘Management Trainee’, working through the various departments. Loving the industry but not so much the job (as I felt it didn’t challenge me enough) I decided to look around at what was out there and found Building Surveying took my interest as a career to see me through. If I was to do something until retirement, then I at least wanted to enjoy it and I feel an affinity with buildings and the industry. I went back to being a student in 2008 just before the ‘credit crunch’ and graduated a Building Surveying degree in 2011. Working in/around Local Authority since, I am now the Lead Building Surveyor for Kier Property, in Lincoln.

My biggest inspiration:

My mum. She is the strongest person I know and has always supported and guided me. And frustratingly, is almost always right.

What did I want to be growing up?

I think this varied from day to day but towards the latter part of college time, I wanted to be an Architect. I’d always enjoyed drawing growing up, but it just wasn’t to be. This then moved focus to following in my dad’s footsteps and looking at joining the RAF. Unfortunately for me, an eye condition meant no military career prospects and despite the fact I can do nothing about my eye, it’s something I will always regret.

Current work/day to day:

I manage a small but growing team of Building Surveyors, also undertaking project work myself. We provide typical Building Surveying services to our, mainly Local Authority, clients. I enjoy my job greatly, supporting my team in their needs as well as those of our clients. Every day brings its own challenges and I relish any opportunity to develop my skillset. As typical of a Building Surveyor, I can be in the office undertaking drawing work or out on site, meeting with clients to develop their brief or undertaking a survey. I do actually really love this industry and Building Surveying in particular, I think its fantastic, can be so varied and with amazing people and I would love to be able to contribute more. Now being a manager, I’m constantly learning what that means and the best way to manage my team and I’m currently on a course to assist this development.

Career progress:

I am currently undergoing the RICS APC and have my Final Assessment very soon. It’s something I’ve wanted to achieve since deciding on Building Surveying as a career. I’ve had some stalled moments but hopefully on track now and I hope to be able to help others along their journey once qualified as it’s not easy and I believe we all need to help each other. For those just starting out on their journey – Don’t rush it, find support where you can and just make sure you understand the requirements.

Favourite Project:

So far, ‘Amber Hill’. I’ve actually used it for my APC case study as its one of the larger and most varied projects I’ve been involved in. It’s been a great test of my abilities and being able to deliver a project on time, to budget and with a happy client is something of an achievement for any Surveyor. The photo of a rotten floor just highlights one of the many interesting elements I had to deal with.

Passions outside of work:

My family. I have a 2-year-old daughter and an amazing wife who supports me so very well and I hope I do the same. My other passion is motorcycles. Getting on a bike and going around the first corner can be such a stress reliever. Plus, the people you meet and places you go are part of a great experience. I’m also a Freemason, having joined in 2017, its helped my self-confidence and I’ve met some great people.

Favourite quote/saying:

Actually, something I heard quite recently and something of a Kier mantra – ‘Nothing is so important, that it cannot be done safely’. At the end of the day, we all want to earn our wage and go home safely, why risk it unnecessarily?

Twitter – @jakesoden

LinkedIn – Jake Soden