I work with basic research in construction industry. I also take part in construction associations’ joint ventures, and we do trainings, guides and interview studies for companies. I write tests and analyse data, for example interviews, or then I collect the data myself and analyse it. We also have ideation sessions together with companies about how to take projects forward. The work also includes print layout design, publishing guides, and organising workshops and seminars.
If I’m visiting a construction site to do research, I need to be there at 7am, since they start their day then. If I work at the office as I usually do, we have flexible working times, and I usually start around 8-9. In the morning I respond to emails, and might be writing some guide. If I’m doing an interview study, I might analyse that. I could also discuss with my colleagues in case they are experiencing some challenges. We also might have meetings about some on-going projects.
The day naturally includes a lunch break, and in addition to that we usually have a coffee break with colleagues to have a chat together. The day also involves communication by email with the clients, or arrangements related to upcoming interviews or construction site visits. When it comes to guides, I don’t solely write texts, but working with some guides also entails print layout design, which I really like. That means thinking about how to layout the text and images on page, and searching for suitable images. I usually leave work around 17.
I really like the position I’m working in, I act as a kind of middle hand - if we’re conducting a research for management, I get to see how the work is actually performed, and I get to tell and write about that. I get to see it in a concrete way like “oh this is how it works”, and then I gather the information and present it forwards - I really like it. And when I gather data and process it, I like that I’m able to summarise a large data set in a compact, understandable form. It might someday help someone, and that way others don’t have to chew an enormous mass of data. It’s also great that our company is very small, everything is more flexible. The work is also very versatile, and I personally like ideating things with other people.
I prefer to have many different kinds of tasks. If I’m only working with one certain research, that becomes routine quite easily. I need variation, and that way work goes a lot smoother. Sometimes if there’s a really big project, you have only time to focus on that. Also, since we are a small company, sometimes you need to work by yourself, that’s both a good and a bad thing. Sometimes it’s great to be able to work independently, but every now and then it’s nice to ask other people’s views and opinions.
If you are curious and interested, it’s possible to learn anything. We have employees with many kinds of backgrounds. We all share a common way of thinking, like “oh, I have a problem, how do we solve it?” and then we figure out how to proceed. I think attitude matters more than your education, however if you want to become a researcher and do some world-class research, it’s better to get a PhD. But anyhow, the attitude matters the most, all our employees are so different.
There’s a lot more variety in my job than I expected. I’ve also gotten familiar with very unexpected things, for example I’ve written about cold weather concreting. You learn loads all the time - I didn’t expect the work to be so versatile.