I joined the former IfA early in my career and have been meaning to upgrade for about 15 years. After graduating, I started working as a digger on large infrastructure projects and smaller digs. I discovered buildings archaeology while supervising an evaluation that also had a recording requirement for the adjacent building; I found I loved applying my archaeologist’s skills to understanding and recording buildings. I increased my skills and eventually became a buildings archaeology specialist. Apart from the benefit of sometimes having a roof over your head, you always find something!
I joined Addyman Archaeology as a buildings archaeologist in 2009 and upgrading my CIfA membership regularly appeared on my annual review. In the end it took a global crisis and being furloughed to finally make me apply. Having embarked on the process I was surprised at the positive experience.
Looking back over my career reminded me of the fantastic projects I have had the privilege to work on and the great people I worked with. From a professional perspective it was constructive to review the range of projects and buildings I have worked on. I am more aware of my skills and gaps I would like to fill. I encourage anyone thinking of upgrading to see it as a positive process, whatever your career stage. The key is to ensure you set aside enough time to get the most out of it.