At Halsall, we can appreciate the challenges professionals face in the construction industry and so we want to inspire those that might not have previously considered a career in construction before.
Phill Edwards is a Contracts Manager for Halsall. 37, born in Malaysia and also half Scottish, Phill has worked on some of our highest value construction projects to date.
Phill Edwards joined Halsall in 2014 as a site manager and with the investment of various management training courses and mentoring from the business, he has worked his way up to contracts manager within 4-5 years of being with the company. Halsall invests in it’s people, and since joining, the company has supported Phill’s career and professional growth right from the very first day.
Here, Phill gives us the low down on what it’s like to work a day in the life of a contracts manager and discusses his journey into the industry.
First, let’s get to know you on a professional level:
I started off my career with going to university and getting a ‘Building Surveying Degree’. After I graduated, I then worked as a labourer for 2 years in Taunton and Bristol. From there, I was given an opportunity to become an Assistant Site Manager and I enjoyed this role for 6-7 years.
I found Halsall in 2014 and since joining, I was given great investment from the company and was able to go from site manager to project manager to contracts manager in 4-5 years.
With Halsall I was able to take on many great opportunities including studying for the Henley Business School leadership programme. I was also enrolled into Halsall’s very own senior management training, and I currently have a mentoring and coaching sessions. All courses were designed to help me succeed as a manager and give me a better understanding.
I am passionate about construction and the added value it gives. Working outside on different projects day to day with a great team and all working towards the same end goal is really rewarding. A career in construction has a path lined out and with the right company, progression can be made.
A typical day for me is being predominantly site based. I am accountable for my projects and need to ensure that they are performing in line with all KPI expectations. If not, then I need to look at the challenge and find a solution so that we can action and rectify it.
As part of my management training courses, I had to really understand the difference of going from managing a team of sub-contractors, to then managing a team that manages the sub-contractors. This was a challenge for me day to day but my mentoring and coaching has helped me overcome this.
I enjoy the satisfaction of strategizing a complicated process into a result that everyone is happy with. I also enjoy meeting lots of new people, building relationships with them and also look forward to my mentoring sessions. I come away from these feeling way more refreshed and motivated.
Every day as a Contracts Manager is completely different but day to day, my priorities are aligned to ensure that everyone is carrying out the most important actions to achieve the ‘big picture’ outcome. This involves referencing current and actual performance vs predicted.
I would say the key strengths that really help me in a contracts manager role are: Having direct communication and being personable so that you can form strong, professional relationships with others. Learning something new every day. There are many challenges to tackle, but I enjoy the challenge.
The biggest challenges I have faced since being with Halsall are:
My first ever project was a £1m block of flats. At the time I was a site manager and I felt like the project was extremely successful and in my element. Once this project finished, I then moved onto a much larger project which was a £8m care home. I also moved up from site manager to project manager very quickly.
Although the promotion was positive it was quite honestly the biggest leap I have made to date – in my career and personally. However, after coaching and support from Halsall as well as having a great team to work with, the project was very successful and I felt I had really progressed as a person.
7 years ago, I could run a site with a top 10 contractor which is very limited from a development perspective. However, since joining Halsall, I now know what construction is from concept to aftercare.
I am passionate about developing and progressing and I was given the tools and from Halsall to achieve this, which I would have not received from previous employers. From the various training courses, I have been able to go on, I have learnt more than I could ever imagine and I am very grateful for their support and investment in me.
My overall ambition is to be happy and satisfied in a role where the key focus is strategizing and helping others to grow and develop, whilst also achieving our end goal.
My advice would be to not hold back from taken on a challenge. Take on every opportunity when it comes your way. Be passionate about what you do and you will get a lot of satisfaction from it. Always take learnings on board and look for a company that will invest in you as a person and your future.
The key is taking what you have been given and transforming it into something more valuable on the other side. A career in construction and a role as a contracts manager does just this.
Now let’s know more about you:
Anyone who is the best at what they do.
Trying to stop my children destroying things or each other – or me
I don’t eat breakfast, I fast for 18hrs and eat during the other 8hrs. It’s the way I’ve always been
You will never hear me sing it as I am terrible
For the majority, I enjoy spending my spare time with my family. I also like to play golf and go biking when I can
My family; relaxing and other people being happy
Back to News