Following on from our Part 1 in which we discussed the positives and consideration factors around joining a Consultancy post (link here) Part 2 covers Contractors and Contracting businesses, a huge part of the Built Environment.

As with and probably even more so than Consultancy, this part of the industry has plenty of variance in terms of the different packages, types of company (Main vs Sub) and size of company, we have tried to summarise the key points that you should think about.


The Pros

  • You are “in the thick of it” – if you are the kind of person that loves to be fully involved in a project, changing from your suit into your PPE and hard hat and dealing with people all levels then Contracting absolutely offers this, you can first hand see the progress and feel the fulfilment of a job well done when complete.
  • Ownership – We are all well aware that Construction projects come with plenty of challenges, some that even the best planner/architect/consultant couldn’t predict, working for the contractor you are more able to take control of an issue and manage it through to resolution rather than relying on others.
  • Niche Expertise – due to the large range of disciplines and packages you can specialise in a part of the sector you are passionate about, be it Mechanical, fit out, dry lining or even demolition, there are specialist companies leading the way in theat field that you could work for.
  • The Buck stops with you! – Ultimately you are the most responsible for the delivery of a project on time and on budget, this can lead to a real team bond and a test of what you are made of under often pretty strict deadlines.
  • SIZE AND SCALE – especially in Infrastructure, contractors are involved in some of the largest, most innovative and most exciting projects in the world from concept to delivery you can be involved in shaping our countries roads, airports, skylines and the environment in which we all live and work.
  • Progression – within the contractor space it is not uncommon for someone to move up the ranks quickly initially by delivering and getting stuff done.


  • As we mentioned, the buck stops with you, deadlines are set and delays often lead to penalties so you can need to be flexible in your approach to working hours in order to get the job done.  That said many companies are now using technology such as remote desktop, virtual servers and Skype/Facetime to allow flexible working practices so don’t expect to be sleeping in the office!
  • Margins – it has been widely reported in the news and government commissioned reports such as the Farmer Review   that margins in the Contractor space can be low and need to be addressed, this comes with an element of risk and can make this part of the job market volatile at times. In some extreme cases (such as Carillions recent troubles) this could be a contributor to job cuts and even company liquidation.
  • Senior roles? – much as the initial climb can happen quicker than most sectors, progression can become a bit more challenging and more competitive when you get up towards Commercial Director/senior level as there tends to be strong competititon for each opportunity.
  • All Weathers! – Whilst clearly for some being out on site and in the thick of it is a huge benefit and breaks up the day, some prefer a toasty office and good coffee than being on site during the latest British weather change!
  • Professional Development – whilst some companies really prioritise this, it Is less common than in Consultancy, due to the nature of the deadlines, things like your MRICS/APC can take a back seat and may need you to be more proactive seeking out the courses and funding your own development.


Let us know your thoughts on the above and if you agree or not, if you want to talk specifically around your options then we would love to jump on a call or grab a coffee (in a warm office or out on site, we don’t mind!!)