“Know what you want, enjoy what you do, put a plan in place, work hard and trust your gut”

Published on 18th July 2017

Our latest Wish lister is Anna Keys an Employers Agent at calfordseaden LLP a multi-disciplinary construction consultancy. Anna works in Bromley, Kent.

Anna’s tip tips for success are –

Know what you want

Enjoy what you do

Put a plan in place

Work hard and trust your gut


1. If you weren’t in your current role what would you be doing? 

I really enjoy my role as Employers Agent and am not sure that I would want to be doing a different role in the industry. If I weren’t in my current role I actually think I would be doing something crafty and creative.


2. What was your first ever job? 

I was a butcher! Well, I was actually a ‘pie girl’ working in a butchers shop.  One Saturday afternoon when I was 15, my friend Katie and I walked the length and breadth of Maidstone town centre trying to find a Saturday job.  She found a job in a newsagents and I on the hot pastry counter of J.C Rook and Sons.  I worked there at weekends and school holidays until I was 19 and even progressed to the deli and fresh meat counters.


3. How did you end up working in the Housing/Construction?

I had completed 6th Form at Senacre Technology College and achieved ‘A’ level Mathematics and GNVQ in Science and thought it was about time that I looked for a career.  I went to the job centre thinking I wanted to work with science and maybe be a lab technician.  The consultant advised that as I didn’t drive at the time I might struggle getting to work as public transport links were not great.  He suggested I looked at a role with a local professional Quantity Surveying firm a short walk from my house.  Not knowing what a Quantity Surveyor was, I went home and started to do some research.  My father, an Architectural Technician by trade, whipped out some drawings for me to look at. The plans were familiar to me as I had seen my dad working on them and I had even had some work experience at his office.  I was able to read them with a little direction.

Little did I know that the family weekend trips to National Trust properties would actually land me a job. D R Nolans and Co. was working on Ightham Mote near Sevenoaks, a 14th-century moated manor house, and my interest in historical buildings made me the perfect candidate. I worked with D R Nolans for 3 years before joining calfordseaden for new build development experience.


4. What’s on your list of things still to achieve in your life/career?

I’m a leader, I hope to one day be in the management team at calfordseaden.

I don’t really have a bucket list. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have experienced many wonderful things in my life so far, although I would love to continue to travel and experience new things and generally continue my blessed life.


5. Which 3 people living or dead have influenced you most in your life? 

I would have to say my parents.  They have installed a good work ethic but impressed the importance of work hard but to enjoy the rewards.  I don’t really have a hero or someone that has really influenced me.


6. What’s the superpower you would most like to have? 

A selfish superpower, Make time stand still, life goes by so quickly and I would really like to stop and enjoy the simple things.


7. What are the qualities that you most admire in others?

Compassion and honesty.


8. What’s on your desk at the moment?

Erm.. a mess.  I work well with papers on my desk and my life around me.  I have snacks, a jug of water, a yellow Lego mug, herbal teas, a box of tissues and general supplies!


9. What would be your perfect day away from work?

I would have to say either a day in the sun enjoying the outdoors, or a spa day (my husband loves them too).


10. What’s the best thing about your job? 

It has to be the variety, every day is truly different and I really learn something new every day.


11. What was your worst mistake and what did you learn from it? 

I have made mistakes but have limited regrets. I guess the biggest thing I have learned is to trust your gut, if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.


12. What single thing would make your life easier?

A cleaner (my husband disagrees).


13. Which 3 Celebrities/Politicians would you not want to be stuck in a lift with and why? 

I am quite tolerant of people generally and don’t actually get too involved in current affairs but the three people that spring to mind are:

  • President Trump – we do not share the same political views, and I would be afraid that he might behave inappropriately!
  • Anyone generally offensive
  • Or anyone eating mashed potato, it makes me want to gag


14. What tips do you have for being successful?

Know what you want, enjoy what you do, put a plan in place, work hard and trust your gut

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.