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Day in the life – Josh Donnelly, Director of Lodestone Projects

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Tell us about your career journey:

I began my career as a quantity surveyor where I managed costs on projects for clients like the University of Huddersfield. I did my degree on a day release basis whilst working, before moving into project management and becoming a chartered surveyor. I then made the move from working for clients managing contractors to being one myself! It’s an unusual route to follow in our industry but one I feel has given me a great range of experience and understanding of a client’s requirements.

Describe a typical day at work:

COVID has changed the way I work a lot, so I make sure I have breakfast with my wife and daughter every day before I head out. I’ll generally go to a different project each day to see the team and make sure everyone is ok and have what they need. I’ll do a check of progress, speak to the client and make sure they are happy and then head back to the office to do my paperwork (the least favourite part of my day) and price any new work. I always try and get home for tea with the girls then will do a bit more in the evening if I need to.

What keeps you motivated at work?

Making Lodestone the best in our class. I’m not interested in being the biggest, I just want us to be the best at what we do.

The most exciting thing about your job?

Probably the pressure of completing on time. Every project has a very clear deadline for completing and we can be penalised financially if we fail on this, so there is always pressure, but I do enjoy that!

The most challenging?

Without doubt financial. The majority of projects are now awarded on lowest cost which doesn’t create an environment for delivering excellence in and is the industry’s major downfall. It’s therefore been really nice to work on the project at the 3M BIC which was awarded on technical ability.

Time of the day you are most creative or inspired?

Very first thing in a morning. I’m rubbish in the afternoon!

Proudest career moment?

Probably being asked to join the board here at Lodestone. I was very grateful to Richard (our MD) for giving me the opportunity at a relatively young age and have loved every minute of it since.

Best piece of advice you’ve been given?

When I was 17 a very experienced older head told me; Trust is gained. Respect is earned. Honesty is appreciated. Loyalty is returned. It has always stuck with me and I think it’s very true.

What innovations should we look out for in your industry?

Right now, I think those who can understand the risk of COVID and manage this safely will be the innovators in our industry. Ultimately, we are often working in and around your businesses so there is a big emphasis on us demonstrating how we can achieve this safely and those who can do that will thrive.

What kind of things do you do away from the office/leisure time activities?

It used to be football and socialising but nowadays it’s Baby Ballet and Postman Pat! I also have a bucket list thing of writing a book so I’m part way through writing a novel, but my daughter seems intent on stopping me from completing it!

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