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From an Assistant Engineer to Consultant - My Journey

14 May 2019 by Chris Laing

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The world of engineering can often be a challenging and competitive, yet very rewarding environment. In order to progress your career, you must be resilient, willing to get your hands dirty and open to exploring new opportunities.

Here at Add Energy, Chris Laing has recently gone through a transition from being a Graduate Engineer to a Junior Consultant over a period of 4 years.

In this interview, Chris shares his experience and provides helpful tips for graduate engineers looking to progress and fast track their career. Read more below:

What made you want to get into the energy industry?

“What drew me to engineering was solving problems.

You’re given a brief or scenario, with an insight into what the result needs to look like and as an engineer you are required to find a solution to this.

Can you tell us about your journey at Add Energy?

“I started my career at Add Energy as a Technical Assistant but quickly moved to a graduate engineer position.

During this time I gained invaluable experience in maintenance engineering and materials management which led me to my current role as a Junior Consultant. I really enjoy the consultancy side of the business in that its slightly different to engineering. Engineering is very focused on the technical delivery, whilst consultancy is a lot more centered around problem solving and delivering those solutions to meet the client’s needs, which I find challenging and thoroughly enjoy. 

Do you have any tips for graduate engineers looking to progress and fast track their career?

  1. “Gain as much experience in different roles before deciding where you really want to progress. You will quickly understand what you enjoy, and what you don't enjoy, which will guide you down the best path for YOU
  2. “Have resilience – It’s true that you will fail more than you succeed. You don’t get answers right first time. This is true in both personal and professional settings.It’s the ability to push through those small setbacks and remain focused, that is really important for an engineer to have because you are going to get things wrong, especially if dealing with complicated tasks.
  3. “Question things more - If someone has given you a task, ask them questions about what they want you to do. Make sure you are fully onboard with what the task is because every problem is different. The more information you can collect the better picture you can build of what is expected of you.
  4. “In order to be a good lead, and get everyone onboard and engaged you need to garner trust from your team. Build a team that has a common goal but is made up of different types of people. You don’t want everybody to be the same because you’re not going to get the variety of ideas that you can get from a group with different personalities, different experiences, who will approach problems differently.”

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