I wake up with an ambitious alarm each morning. My goal is to start going to the gym before work again, but back to bed again for today.
Take two and I’m up and off to work. I walk to the station and get a train each morning which gives me a chance to think about nothing and get some reading done.
This is my favourite time of the day to make the first of many coffees. The amount of coffee that I drink is not a reflection of stress but having a machine and beans as good as you’ll get in any café will have you putting away more than you would care to admit.
Before catching up with my line manager, I’ll complete any pending tasks which I’ve planned the previous afternoon.
Some days, I’ll start by attending a stakeholder consultation meeting or the regular client and progress meetings at our sites. Now, however, as we bid for more work, I spend most of my time looking at the staging and methodology of the upcoming job. I update the staging diagrams (showing what we plan to do and when) to be submitted later with the bid this month with comments received in a recent review session.
Time for a catch-up with the bid team. Outside of my manager and I, who account for the planning discipline, we have team members with expertise in construction delivery, commercial, design management, environmental management, estimating and procurement. Our bid strategy is changing rapidly as we learn more about the work involved to deliver this job and the client’s expectations. Plenty of actions for me out of the meeting!
I jump out of the office for lunch and walk to a nearby park to meet a friend working in the same area.
Back to the office a less hungry and more clearheaded version of myself.
I’ll typically hit my pace in the afternoon, like an extended “hour of power”; phone calls to subcontractors to confirm methodology details, challenging the design to fit the project constraints, updates to the staging and methodology, coding the project schedule to fit the client’s format.
Honestly, these activities won’t really hold through the year to come, and that’s a lot of the benefit to being in Downer’s Graduate Program. Later this year, I will be handling the project’s shutdown planning and processes (demonstrating we can get in to do work and back out again to let services run at the end of a weekend possession), engaging and managing subcontractors and updating the project schedule so that the project can submit payment claims to the client. Only a year ago, I was responsible for a completely different set of tasks, ranging from stormwater design for power substations in Victoria and earthworks quantities for a solar farm bid in Queensland.
Times moving fine, it’s getting towards the end of the day and variety in my work keeps me interested. Little bits of information come in here and there to amount to minor adjustments in what I’m doing.
Suddenly, I get a call from another manager that I used to work for. They’re in a tight spot on another bid and need me to update work which I handed over before joining my current project. I have a little time up my sleeve and it’s a problem-solving exercise which I enjoy each time I get a chance to help with, so I’ll get it done quickly before pushing on.
All done for the day. I send off a confirmation to the team that what’s needed for tomorrow is ready, write down some tasks which I hope to get out of the way early next morning and say my goodbyes.
Some days I’m playing sport or meeting friends straight after work, but today I’m headed home.
First thing on my mind as I walk in the door at home is always dinner.
I’m very good at taking twice as long as I should to cook something. To avoid getting home only to eat at midnight, I normally make a few large meals on the weekend to last through the week.
Time to pay for my laziness in the morning so I head off to the gym for a little bit. I enjoy staying fit as much as I can be bothered.
After a quick shower, I’m in bed and trying to read for a while. Same as in the morning, I like this for clearing my mind as I focus on something different to the rest of the day, with the bonus that I sleep like a rock afterwards.