"I made the move" Interview 5 - Anonymous
Job title: Project Manager, Scotland
Years of exp: 30+
Location: Currently based from home but working across the UK
Sectors I have experience in: MOD, O&G, Nuclear Power Generation, Conventional Power Generation
1. Can you tell me more about your experience in Oil and Gas and then Nuclear?
I started in Nuclear Generation as a graduate then moved to MoD as a freelance contractor, oscillating back to Nuclear as major projects arose that needed my effort. I touched O&G initially during Y2K (Y2K bug) consultancy delivery in the late 90s, conducting offshore audits and training in the UK, Southern Ireland, France and Argentina. Soon after that, I returned to Nuclear Generation to work on large investment delivery projects.
2. What differences have you noted from each energy sector you have worked in?
The level of internal & governance and external regulatory oversight is greatest in nuclear generation as is, in my opinion, the degree of formal professionalism. I find O&G - and most recently Gas Transmission - to be a far more relaxed environment. The safety culture is more prevalent and thorough in nuclear than elsewhere, with more investment in technology based systems that support excellence in both operational and non-operational roles.
I currently work in Asset Management for Gas Transmission and can see a significant difference between where I am now and where I have come from in that Nuclear has a far more mature, robust and fully integrated asset management process.
3. What is your most desirable industry to work in?
I used to say Nuclear Generation but these days, I actually have no preference.
4. What is the most difficult energy sector to try and find a job in (in your experience) currently?
Oil & Gas.
5. What would be your one piece of advice to professionals looking to move to a different energy sector?
Be prepared to embrace different levels of engagement, oversight and professionalism - adopt a 'horses for courses' mentality BUT recognise that you may be bringing a more advanced/developed knowledge from your sector into the new one. Recognise that this is a significant opportunity for you to deliver major benefit to your new sector as you may be in possession of "what good looks like" whilst your new sector may be on that journey.
6. What was the reasoning behind you working in numerous energy sectors?
As a Freelance Contractor, I need to work and so respond to market demands - and lows - to maintain continuous engagement. However, I'm also very keen to broaden my knowledge and experience in new sectors rather than become 'type cast' in only one. Being able to move between sectors gives you more opportunities to maintain your career when one particular sector goes into recession or experiences tough times.
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