Life at CPC

We work in a friendly, professional and supportive environment, and are driven to deliver projects that are making a difference to the way people live and work.

But, don’t just take it from us – our staff give you a flavour of what life is like at CPC:

Lisa – Project Manager

Describe your typical day….

Starts at 06:45 when my alarm goes off.  I hit snooze a few too many times and get up around 7am, get ready and then take a bus/tube combo to my office on Chancery Lane by 09:00.  I catch up on emails over a coffee and plan my day.  I am responsible for the delivery of new build residential developments (mostly flats) in London for local authority clients who are building homes for the first time in many decades.  We have all heard of the national housing crisis and in London it is one of the most politically contentious and challenging issues.  As a client side project manager I get involved in every aspect of delivering the project; from the early stages of working with the client to define the problem and the options to resolve them, through to overseeing the design and then the construction.  Whilst I think most project managers will agree they like I like to look to the horizon and be proactive in reality we spend a lot of our time reacting to issues.  Building residential developments is challenging wherever you build but it is particularly so in London where you tend to build in high density areas, on brownfield sites, with very limited space, narrow streets for moving materials and where you affect a lot of different people, especially those living in/around or nearby to the site.

Typically my day involves meeting with clients, architects, engineers, surveyors, builders, utility companies and more.  Some days I have back to back meetings and others I have none which means I can catch up on my work.  I write/review project schedules, risk registers, chair meetings, conduct site inspections and also devote some of my time to looking for new ways in which my team can help other clients.  This can be through talking to existing contacts or attending industry events to meet new people.

How did you get started?

I always had an interest in geography, the environment, architecture, urban development and often wondered what makes some cities more popular and successful than others.  I started started my career in Australia, working as a town planner, master planning new suburbs and proposals for new developments. Upon moving to London I found myself working in transport planning and then, after realising I spent a lot of my free time reading/researching the residential property markets and the relationships of rail station proximity on price values, thought I would like to work in a job that would help me in the future if I wanted to venture in the property market myself.  And so I moved into the project management in the construction industry, specifically the rail and residential sectors.

What do you love about your job?

I love the variety of work that I get to be involved in.  They say project managers are the jack of all trades, masters of none and I think that’s not a bad way to sum up the profession.  I get to work with visionary clients, amazing designers who come up with such creative solutions, commercial managers with brilliant command of cost details, contractors and crafts people who turn a the design into something real and of course the people who live or use the spaces we leave behind.  It’s a pleasure to work with such talented people across a broad range of disciplines/trades.

What changes would you like to see in the next 5 years in property and construction?

I would love to see more tradeswomen on sites and women sitting on the board of construction companies (albeit contractors, client side or consultant firms).  I would also like to see greater collaboration between the client teams and contractors.  There is a lot of innovation in the supply chain that could be brought forward into the earliest stages of the project (even before design starts).  The industry is often described as one of the least progressive and I think harnessing the intelligence of the supply chain and main contractors can help modernise the industry.

What advice so you have for those who are thinking about a career in construction?

The industry is huge and incredibly varied so do as much research as you can to figure out what aspects of the industry interest you e.g. design or construction, office based or site based, client side or contractor side, specialist or generalist, management or trades, etc.  Once you know this, go for it.  And try different jobs in different parts of the industry to whittle down what you like/dislike. Aim high.  If you want to run your own contracting business – go for it or if you want to be the next CEO of a multi-national – go for it.  But whatever you do, make sure you are passionate about it.

What do you do after work?

I leave around 17:30 and head home to work on my flat which I am refurbishing.  I am a sucker for home improvements and one day want to build an eco-home so I am trying to teach myself how to do DIY jobs.  So far I have done my own kitchen tiling, assisted with the installation of a new kitchen, laid a patio and have stripped and varnished the original floor boards.  I admire people who can make something out of nothing.  After DIY, dinner and a bit of Homeland or Grand Designs, its lights out around 23:30.

What is /would your alternative career be?

I would have loved to have been an architect or a rally car driver, the latter being borne our of a love of driving fast cars in intense, adventurous and full on conditions.

 

Richard – Project Manager

I’m a Project Manager at CPC delivering retail construction projects for a FTSE 100 company Client.

What is your favourite thing about working at CPC?

The people. We’re a diverse bunch with shared values.

What has been your proudest moment at CPC?

Winning employee of the quarter. I was grinning from ear to ear throughout the day it was announced, it was truly a proud moment.

What’s at the top of your list to accomplish this week?

Agree on a technical specification with a retailer.

What advice do you have for those who’ve recently joined CPC?

Make the most of the buddy scheme, ask as many questions as possible. If you’re someone – like me – who takes a while to get familiarised with new environments, then the buddy scheme is a fantastic opportunity to feel at ease with the new environment.

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us?

I’m partial to a good rom-com!

 

Charlotte – Project Manager

Describe your typical day…

Typically, my day starts at 7am when I review the shift reports from the night teams whilst drinking my first cup of tea of the day. I like to do this first thing to catch the night shift teams before they go to sleep and it often dictates how the rest of my day is going to look.  I then have a relatively short commute to Stratford where I work on London Undergrounds 4LM project. I tend to use my commute to write a to do list for the rest of the day.

I arrive at the office log in to a hot desk and see where my first meeting is. Generally, 50% of my day is spent in meetings so I have to be good with my time management and ensure my to do list is prioritised.   I often am the only female in the meetings I attend, I’m used to this demographic as it’s all I’ve known but I do wonder how the dynamic would change if there were more woman or even no woman in the meetings I attend…

My day finishes at around 6, I tend to use my commute home to read any of the important emails I’ve not got around to or call anyone I’ve missed during the day.

How did you get started?

I started on an engineering grad scheme and realised during my PMO placement I best suited project management.

What do you love about your job?

I like that every day is different & the skills you use vary with this.

What changes would you like to see in the next 5 years in property and construction?

Goes without saying more woman enter the industry. I’d also like to see the better use of technology for efficiency and environmental gains.

What advice so you have for those who are thinking about a career in construction?

Make sure you’re not precious about where you work, think porter cabins,  early starts, and being outside whatever the weather.

What do you do after work?

When you have work being delivered on site out of office hours it can be hard to switch off so I like to do activities that mean you can’t relax and detach from your phone. Like going to the gym or cinema, meeting up with friends.

What is /would your alternative career be?

I’d love to do something that meant I got paid to travel.

 

Our employee charter sets out our commitment to leveraging our people’s unique abilities, encouraging diversity and ensuring that all staff have equal opportunities to succeed.

 

Do you want to work in a stimulating environment with other talented, energetic, friendly people?

We offer an exciting range of career opportunities for skilled project managers and consultants nationwide. To see our current opportunities, please click here.

From our staff

“I enjoy the variety of work I can get involved in – from large complex projects to supporting on large CPC bids”
– Neil, Project Manager

“CPC has provided me with the opportunity to further my career in areas that are of genuine interest”
– Jon, Partner

“CPC’s values create a culture of which I am proud to be a part of”
– Sarah, PA

Download brochure

Learn more about us

Why join us?

Current Opportunities

Get in touch

If you would like to speak to us then we would be delighted to hear from you.

Life at CPC
Join our Team

Apply Now!

Simply fill in the form below and submit your CV