First job: Saturday girl in a local bakery at 13.
First car: A red VW Polo called Polly.
What did the start of your professional life look like: After leaving uni, I started working as an Acquisition Surveyor in Edinburgh. It wasn’t a graduate scheme, and was a very steep learning curve, you had to hit the ground running, but sometimes that’s the best way to learn! It was a great experience, but I decided after a year or two that residential surveying was where I wanted to be, and I have been doing that ever since.
Best advice received: Do the right thing, even when no one is watching and show up fully to whatever you are doing…if a job is worth doing, it is worth doing properly! Also, my lovely, late Gran used to always tell me not to worry about things that might never happen. I am still working on that one, 41 years later……
What do you like most about your job: Quite simply, the people I have met along the way. Being in a male dominated industry, I never imagined I would meet people that I consider to be lifelong friends. Also, when clients come back to you, year after year, you feel you are doing something right!
What do you like least about your job: Maybe it’s just me, but, keeping up with Lenders’ Guidance Notes. I will just leave that there…..
Biggest professional achievement: Passing my APC first time.
Biggest personal achievement: Seeing my two children, Shay (11) and Phoebe (6) become good people, with positive attitudes towards life.
The repair most worth doing to your property: Anything that needs repaired, should be repaired! However, keep an eye on your rainwater goods, as if neglected they can be at the root of all sorts of problems, and I do think they are often overlooked.
How do you see the current crisis panning out for your sector: I remain hopeful and positive about the rural residential property market. I think the lockdown period has given many people the opportunity to rethink how and where they live, and there seems to be an increased appetite for rural living now people realise that remote working is a possibility in many sectors. I am hoping that areas like Caithness, Sutherland and Orkney will finally be appreciated for the positives they have to offer, rather than discounted for what they lack. (Which may be things that we have now all realised we can live without, after all!) In terms of changes to the working environment, I have worked from home for many years, so it is not a new concept for me, but with the right approach, it can be a very effective way of working.
How do you switch off: As a busy working mum of two, I don’t think I ever do! I always have houses, values and floor areas buzzing round my head, but to relax, I enjoy adventures with my kids, seeing friends, yoga, growing veggies and experimenting in the kitchen.
What do you listen to in the car: In my own car, it’s usually my kids bickering. In my work car, either Radio 2, classics like the The Rolling Stones, or 90’s indie music to relive my youth!
Which social media sites do you like: Facebook for keeping in touch with family and friends, Instagram for a bit of feel-good escapism, and LinkedIn for business.
If you weren’t in your current job, what would you be doing: Probably something to do with literature/language, which was my original plan, but I was told on a journalism work experience placement that I wasn’t nosy/pushy enough to be a journalist, and I knew I wouldn’t make a very good teacher, so I changed route. I also feel there’s still time to be James Martin’s Sous Chef at some point!
Favourite holiday destination: My husband and I went to Canada 15 years ago for a whistle-stop five day trip, and I hope to take my kids back there to explore a bit more. Other than that, absolutely anywhere we can have some down-time together.
What makes you happy: The simple things; seeing those around me happy. A catch up with my best friends and family, especially if it involves me feeding them and filling their glasses! Knowing my kids are content and safe and making sure they have every opportunity to be the best they can be. I think people are generally as happy as they make up their minds to be, and a positive outlook to whatever you face, can make all the difference