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Working lives

Dave Goddard, 39, is the Daventry laboratory manager with Weeks Laboratories.

Route to the job It was August 1981 and I had become disillusioned with Grammar School. I had just completed O levels and went to the local job centre in Maidstone where I applied for the post of junior laboratory technician with Weeks.

Borrowing my dad's clothes, I was interviewed by the company's founder, Dr Alan Weeks. I was offered the job and can honestly say I have not looked back since.

The team I joined 20 years ago was small with only five full timers.

As junior technician I was involved in all activities including concrete, soils and aggregate laboratory testing as well as site work. I actively searched out new challenges and this was quickly recognised and I progressed to senior technician.

I was looking for a fresh challenge when I was approached to join the Daventry team. That was 11 years ago and in that time the scope of service at Daventry has increased along with the laboratory facilities. The team has grown from 10 to more than 45.

Throughout this time most of my training has been on the job but I have also completed my ONC and HNC in civil engineering in addition to external management training.

I did not make a conscious decision to choose this particular career path. Having started on the technical route I have worked my way up into management. I now have four section managers who look after the technical duties, leaving me more time to focus on business development.

Expectations I expect my job to capture my imagination. I work hard and I need the constant buzz of new challenges. If this job had not provided that I would have moved on. In the future I anticipate my role becoming still more commercial. I anticipate that we will diversify into new markets, giving managers the opportunity to broaden their experience.

Reality I have had a fantastic amount of support from senior management and I am surrounded by a fantastic core team. This is essential when you are spending a long working day together. Their commitment motivates me.

Advice This industry is tough and not for the faint hearted. Higher education is not always necessary although today I would always recommend it.

Remember, if you want something badly enough, you can achieve it.

You have control of your future.

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