10 questions with Richard Farrey

10 questions with Richard Farrey

What was your first job (and how much did it pay)?

My first proper surveying role was for a practice in Newcastle. I graduated in 1997 during a recession so getting any job as a grad was a tough gig. In the end, I was lucky I got a job but less lucky on the salary. £8,500 for the first year if I recall. I still do work for the same firm albeit they are now one of our clients. 

What is the best advice or support you’ve been given in business?

Be kind to people. Only expect 90% from someone who doesn’t own the firm.

What are the main changes you’ve seen in your business/sector and what are the challenges you’re facing?

There is a well reported skills gap in construction. This is a big problem that will only get worse and it could be avoided or bettered if only younger people were enlightened to the opportunities that are out there for the taking.

What would your dream job be?

Honestly, I live the dream but the alternative would be to skipper someone else’s yacht in a hot place – thus avoiding the bills that come with boats. 

What advice would you give to someone starting out a career in your sector?

Work hard always, ask as many questions as you can, make good contacts, be friendly and be fair to other people.

What makes the North East a good place to do business?

It’s got to be the people. Everyone we meet and work with is so positive, upbeat and friendly.

How important is it for business to play a role in society?

Business has always shaped society and society shapes businesses. In more recent years, business is taking wellbeing and inclusion much more seriously and any decent firm is doing more than paying lip service, particularly when this applies to their employees. This makes the employment of the team a much more evenly balanced equation. The business looks after the people and, in turn, they look after the business.

Outside of work what are you really good at?

I like a bit of DIY and I seem to be good at being a ‘dad taxi’.  

Who would play you in a film about your life?

Jude Law. Top fella.

Which three people would you invite to a dinner party and why?

Ant & Dec and Hugh Grant. Imagine how much you’d laugh.

10 questions with Richard Farrey

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