Seeds of change

A career in land agency is multifaceted enough to attract people from a wide spectrum of other jobs and Galbraith, with its wide range of rural management clients across Scotland, is an obvious choice for those looking for a career change.

Increasingly, the direction and span of a working life is changing.  

Where people used to take an apprenticeship and enter a career that would see them from teenage years through to retirement, it is now more normal for people to change career direction a number of times over the course of their working life.  

Anna Newman, travelled the world as a botanical research manager for the Liz Earle Cosmetics skincare range before joining Galbraith in 2017 as a trainee land agent. 

I had a wonderful job researching ingredients and working with growers and suppliers to source them ethically and had just established a supply chain of shea butter from Uganda when I made the difficult decision to leave my job to raise my young family. 

I knew that I particularly enjoyed working with farmers and growers to source ingredients, so estate management seemed like a career that would enable me to continue down this route. 

In 2015 I began working at Elderslie Estates in Renfrewshire and my interest in understanding how the estate functioned led to completing a RICS accredited masters degree in Land Economy at Aberdeen University while working at the estate. 

I am now working towards my Assessment of Professional Competencies with a view to becoming a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. 

It has been a challenging few years but fascinating to learn the theory behind the running of an estate and having the opportunity to put it into practice.

There are so many aspects to managing an estate that means no two days are ever the same. My advice to others would be to always follow a career path that you are interested in. 

Since joining Galbraith, Anna has met many colleagues with interesting backgrounds but notably two have struck a chord, possibly because they have both achieved what she is striving for: changing careers in their middle years while raising a family. 

After 16 years in the Scots Guards, Willy Inglis, above, chose to apply the management training and administrative experience he gained in the Army to land management. It very quickly became apparent that a professional qualification was essential to be able to operate in this sector, so Willy enrolled on a post-graduate distance learning course in surveying at Reading University. 

Six years later he had finished his postgraduate degree and qualified as a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. After eight and a half years running Islay Estates, Willy currently manages Strathmore Estates at Glamis. 

Christian Wroe, below, retrained at Harper Adams University following his previous career managing a polo facility in Abu Dhabi for the ruling Al Nahyan family and training racehorses in Dubai. A young family and the desire to raise them in a rural community brought them to Scotland. He followed the Rural Estate and Land Management postgraduate diploma course at Harper Adams and is now a rural surveyor working for Galbraith

 

Edinburgh Rugby Tackles Career Change Challenge 

Edinburgh rugby and the Scottish Rugby Union have recently launched their ‘rugby for life’ programme which is primarily focused on supporting players in their inevitable transition out of rugby. 

It’s not just for retiring players, it’s also for those who have come up through an academy and may have discovered at the age of 20 they will not after all have the career they dreamed of. 

This “rugby for life” programme is being rolled out nationally. As a sponsor of the team, Galbraith sees this is as a great opportunity to support and assist those players who are looking for a career change and may wish to join the firm, not just the rural team. 

Galbraith aims to work with Edinburgh rugby to introduce the players to the large spectrum of roles that are available in a company like ours from marketing or accounting to commercial management and estate sales. 

Alasdair Dickinson and Tom Galbraith recently joined Anneka Fraser and Gareth Taylor in our Edinburgh office for work experience in our energy division. They spent a day learning about the role of a surveyor in land referencing, negotiating access agreements, site acquisitions, planning applications, compensation claims, valuations... the list goes on. And by the end of the day they were still smiling! 

Many skills are easily transferable such as problem solving, strategic thinking, written and oral communication, people management and negotiation.  When changing careers into a new field such as land agency it is important to familiarise yourself with your chosen career and immerse yourself in it. A good starting place for a career as a land agent is the RICS website and industry specific publications and events to gain an insight into the business.