I was studying at university and hadn’t really considered a job in consulting; after spending three years writing reports AND a dissertation after a stint on the tools, I couldn’t bear the thought of a desk job.
After many chastising conversations, however, my tutor eventually twisted my arm, and I started phoning around various companies registering my interest in the kinds of work that consultants do. Prior to this, I had no idea what a consultant even did, but it wasn’t long until a recruiter found me and put me in contact with my now colleague, Matt Middle.
After a long conversation about Arbtech’s culture and working environment, and the opportunities for personal and professional growth, it seemed like a no-brainer – a perfect leg up into the world of consulting for a fresh-faced graduate. I knew exactly where I wanted to go.
Almost two years on, and I wouldn’t change a thing.
One word – culture.
I love my colleagues. They are without a doubt some of the best people I have ever met. There is a very strong camaraderie that runs through Arbtech, meaning you are working with people you would genuinely go and have a pint (or several) with.
Similarly, the working environment is unlike anything I have ever experienced. It’s like the best parts of being employed, with the best parts of being self-employed.
There are no timesheets or ‘hours’ that I must work, and I am free to organise my own workload and timescales, which means I have more freedom to do the things I enjoy.
None of this would be possible without the culture, and more specifically the trust that the senior management team puts in me as an employee to get the work done to a high standard – a two-way street that works fantastically.
Most of my free time is spent with my dog, Pasty, walking around various parks and forests in the countryside, or watching Netflix when it’s raining. Sometimes we go camping as well, either in a tent or unleashing our inner Ray Mears and sleeping in a ditch somewhere under the stars.
I also dabble in a bit of weightlifting, which I will do most days.
When I’m not wandering about the countryside on the weekends, I’m belting through it on my motorbike with my biker crew, sampling various cafes and diners along the way.
Various people have said it in various guises over the years: “ain’t nothing to it but to do it”, the “1% better every day”, and even my great grandad used to say: “another day tomorrow – hasn’t even been touched yet”.
The overarching theme to all of these (to my understanding) is to put your head down, keep going and, occasionally, when you do stop to look around, you realise how far you’ve come.
So, that’s my tip – point yourself in a direction and aim to be the best that you can be at it, and whatever you do, KEEP MOVING.
Everything else will fall into place.
Without a doubt, the fully funded trip to Austria.
In January 2023, a large portion of my colleagues and I went on an all-expenses-paid trip to Wagrain in Austria to take part in the globetrotters’ jiu-jitsu camp.
Whilst over there, we partook in various winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding, a little bit of mountain walking, and of course, Brazilian jiu-jitsu. The very intense days were washed down with a healthy amount of beer and good food, and it has given me some incredible memories.
As a close second to that, when I first started, we had a social down in some log cabins in Norfolk. Very chilled with good food and some awesome activities like canoeing, wine tasting and drinking in a hot tub.
I grew up in a very rural part of Devonshire, just off the Cornish border. Due to that, and the subsequent ‘bumpkin’ upbringing, I haven’t travelled that far (or wide). In fact, going to university at 20 in Preston was the furthest north I had ever been in my life!
So, to that end, the answer is the cop-out option of ‘anywhere’!
I am fascinated by various cultures throughout the world, relating mostly to the countryside of other countries: the Rocky Mountains and Yellowstone Park in the states, the wilds of Alaska, the mountains in Scotland; as I said, anywhere!
I hope to tour some of these places on my bike, or at least I will when I finally get sensible and stop riding a sport bike.
I honestly don’t know.
I enjoy pretty much every aspect of my work and would like to be the best I can be at my job, even if it is to earn enough money to have a bigger garage with more bikes and more dogs.
That being said, I have recently taken on more ecology-based surveys, and so continuing to work and get better at those is a big drive.
I would also like to carry on weightlifting, and hopefully, in five years, I will have some good lifting numbers under my belt.
It is an aspiration of mine to take a few more trips on my bike. I’ve always wanted to do the NC500, SW660 and the Trans Euro Trail (TET). Pretty sure I can do the first two on my current bike, but the TET is mostly green lanes, and unfortunately, I lack the fortitude to take a sport bike down a green lane – which clearly means I need to buy another, right?
My goals for the future are fairly simple and straightforward, mainly because I like to have a bit of flexibility in my goals so I can chop and change as and when I need to.
Mostly though, my long-term goal looks something like this:
I would like to live (mostly) off the grid on a smallholding, big enough where I can keep some livestock. Nothing major – just a couple of chickens and goats maybe. In this smallholding, I would also like to have a kitted-out garage where I can tinker with some old barn finds and store some more bikes.
Aside from that, a decent chair to sit in with a coffee in the morning to watch the sun come up also wouldn’t go amiss…
Charlie joined Arbtech in May 2021.
Meet the other members of our leading ecology and arboriculture team.