Cooper Fitch Dubai

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July18, 2016

Quantity Surveyors: How to Plan your Career

The UAE and GCC is a buoyant market for Quantity Surveyors looking to move up the career ladder. With the Dubai Expo 2020 and the Qatar World Cup in 2022 there are numerous large-scale infrastructure and commercial projects from which a young Quantity Surveying professional can choose from.

Careers in construction
Cooper Fitch Dubai
Cooper Fitch Dubai
Cooper Fitch Dubai
Cooper Fitch Dubai

The UAE and GCC is a buoyant market for Quantity Surveyors looking to move up the career ladder. With the Dubai Expo 2020 and the Qatar World Cup in 2022 there are numerous large-scale infrastructure and commercial projects from which a young Quantity Surveying professional can choose from.

Whether you want to ply your trade, working on Lusail City and the iconic Lusail City Stadium that will host the 2022 World Cup final in Qatar to working on the 2,000km long rail project that is due to link all 6 GCC states by 2018 or working on the emerging Dubai South 145 square km city which will ultimately be home to one million people and home to the now-operational Al Maktoum International Airport - the largest airport in the world when complete - and the World Expo 2020 site, the options are endless.

It’s clear that the UAE and GCC are great places to develop your career and it can certainly provide the projects and experience needed on your CV to establish yourself in a top commercial management role, so what are the things you should be considering when thinking about your future career development?

Contractor, Consultancy or Developer?

One of the key considerations when thinking about your future career is choosing what sort of construction organisation you want to work for. These can be broadly summarised into the 3 categories of contractors, consultancies and developers. It’s important to understand the benefits of working for each.

Contactors

Contracting is big business in the GCC and all the major international players are well established in the region. You will gain excellent project specific experience by working for a contractor – this usually consists of a site based role working on a large project. Some of the advantages of this are gaining first-hand experience of the skills necessary in managing large scale projects and working within a large team, allowing you to develop the traits necessary to move in a management role.

Consultancies

Again there are a large number of specialist construction consultancies operating in the GCC market. Working for a construction consultancy will expose you to multiple aspects of Commercial Management/Quantity Surveying ranging from Claims/Dispute resolution to both pre and post contract Quantity Surveying services for main contractors. You will also be exposed to various types of projects; both civil and build – which should give you well-rounded experience allowing you move into a management role handling a diverse portfolio of projects.

Client

Working for a client-side organisation in the UAE or GCC can provide great long-term career prospects. With huge master developers such as Nakheel, Emaar and Dubai Properties in the region, there are plenty of job opportunities for young Quantity Surveying professionals wanting to develop a career with reputable companies. Working for a client organization you will generally be limited to a certain type of project which will allow you to develop a very specialised skill set helping make the transition into management roles that much easier.

Choosing the Right Project

If you’re wanting to progress up the ladder it’s important to understand what employers will look for in a CV when recruiting for a management role. One of the key factors in construction is your previous project experience. Employers will look for candidates with good project experience – this means large-scale/ high-value construction projects of which there are many in the GCC.
They will also be looking for someone who has shown the ability to work on a project from inception to completion, so when choosing your next job, be careful to consider the project scale and your ability to see the project through for the duration.

Loyalty

In order to land a top commercial management position, you need to show yourself as dependable and reliable. Fundamental to this is having a stable work history. You need to demonstrate steady progression with different companies but avoid job-hopping too much. 3+ years with one company is sufficient enough time to prove your loyalty and ability in completing a project, anything less than this can come across as job hopping and can seriously affect your ability to compete for senior management roles. Whilst moving jobs regularly for a pay increase can be particularly attractive in the GCC region, ultimately it can prove to be counterproductive in the long run.

Think Global

Ambitious career-focused professionals must be mobile, willing to relocate and be comfortable with travel. Overseas assignments are often necessary steps needed to move up the career ladder. The construction industry is a global market and the next step in your career towards management may well involve a move abroad. People in senior management roles often have a background in International projects with periods of overseas employment. So whether it’s a short project assignment or a long-term role, you should be thinking global to help achieve your long terms goals.

 

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