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Insights Transferable skills you didn't know you could use for a construction career

I graduated with a degree in Psychology from Cardiff University but wasn't clear on my next steps. So, I took a temporary job working for a Process Engineering Contractor in the Water Industry. I had a broad role managing their office and acting as an executive assistant. An opportunity came up with Welsh Water as a Communications representative, and I jumped at the chance.

Photo of Clare smiling towards the camera

Communications: engaging and managing people

The Communication role involved many responsibilities, including Community Engagement, Stakeholder Management and internal communications. During this time, I started my family and had the first of my two children, taking six months out before returning to work full time.

It was clear that I had a flair for communications and soon found myself taking a lead role within the team. I then started working directly for Welsh Water as the Internal Communications Manager. I enjoyed the job but missed the client interface, so I took the opportunity to move on.

Corporate affairs: connecting with stakeholders

I then joined Centrica as a Corporate Affairs Officer, responsible for Stakeholder Engagement and organizing political and stakeholder visits to critical assets. I quickly decided this role wasn't for me and left within the year moving back to work for the contractor.

Bids: Understanding budgets and proposals

I was then working as a Bid Manager, bidding for multiple framework opportunities with Water Companies across the UK. Sadly, the company went into administration. I reached out to my network, and a friend knew of a job going at AtkinsRéalis, so I applied. Despite a lack of direct experience as a Project Manager, I felt I had transferrable skills.

Valuable knowledge of markets

When I joined AtkinsRéalis, I was recruited as an Assistant Project Manager in the Water Market. I quickly progressed to the role of Project Manager and expanded my portfolio to include projects with a number of other water companies. I was ready to take on greater leadership responsibility, and a project came up in the Defence market working for BAE Systems. I now work across multiple markets and have a great network across the infrastructure business. I have been promoted to Associate Director and taken on significant line management responsibilities.

Just put your hand up for every opportunity that interests you.

Within AtkinsRéalis, I have found that being open to opportunities and stepping outside of your comfort zone can lead to some fantastic roles. Today, I am the Practice Manager for a team of over 40 Project Managers and project controls staff, working out of three regional offices and leading the delivery of several exciting multi-disciplinary design projects. No two days are the same!

Join a practice where you'll be trusted with more responsibility faster and supported by everyone around you. Search live roles.