Sustaining Job Satisfaction

The Birmingham Post (England), October 23, 2007 | Go to article overview

Sustaining Job Satisfaction


Byline: By Marion Elliott

Life is definitely a journey and seldom do we end up in the job we always believed we'd do, yet the path we take can often prepare us for the career we ultimately enjoy the most.

For Jennifer Price, development executive with MCD Developments, landing her ideal job in the property industry was more of an expedition than a journey.

The route she took provided the perfect tools and skills to enable her to excel in the role she plays today - working from cradle to grave on major regeneration projects.

Graduating from Cambridge University with a masters in maths, like many naturally gifted people with a more than adequate head for figures she decided to become a chartered accountant.

It turned out not to be the chosen career for her, however, and she headed for a job with IBM.

"IBM was to be my training ground for the rigours of project management," says Jennifer.

"I spent nine years learning the trade, including working with the BBC rolling out its Digital radio network."

IBM also brought about a stint in Finland and the change of climate and a part-time course studying environmental sciences brought about a change of consciousness and continent for Jennifer.

She jumped on a plane and headed for a bio-diversity project in Tanzania.

Jennifer says that, despite a keen interest in conservation, after four months in the field she knew being a scientist was also one to be ticked off the career list and a maj or rethink was required.

"I've always had a big interest in the environment," she explains. "I was keen to look at how we could improve the quality of people's lives and regeneration encompasses all of this - the built environment having a direct result on sustainability.

"Urban regeneration seemed a more worthwhile vocation than IT or even just plain property developing."

So she joined construction consultants Cyril Sweet as project manager and, through the contacts made there, landed the role at MCD.

Luckily for Jennifer, MCD is, as she puts it, one of the few companies that operates a true meritocracy.

Not having a background in the construction industry has never been a stumbling block for the company. If people can cut it - they get on and fast.

And luckily for Jennifer, MCD takes sustainability and the environmental impact of a scheme very seriously.

"Sustainability is all part and parcel of regeneration," she says. "We've been doing it as a company for many years now, but some developers are new to regeneration and sustainability is still only a buzzword.

"MCD has always created schemes that people want to live in and have longevity, but now we're looking at more sustainable construction methods too. …

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