This article was inspired by Shraddha Nair who asked me if I had planned to write or talk about young professionals looking to transition into the energy sector.
“Do you happen to have a talk planned on career transitioning into the energy sector for young professionals? If not, then please do so whenever convenient. I am sure many of the young professionals in your network would love to get some career advice and how to go about it.”
I have had the privilege of training many young professionals within our industry and have see them flourish into senior roles within our industry. Training has always been very high on my personal agenda and today it is a ‘Core Value’ of my company, B2B Energy Ltd.
Recently we have employed two young professionals who came to us from very different backgrounds.
I have been in this industry for many years and although it has inspired me everyday, it has not been until these later years that I have seen many young professionals showing an interest in joining this industry whereas previously it has always been led by older “established” men.
If you are a young professional and looking for a new challenge and wanting to make a difference to our world, this is the industry to explore. Over the last 8 months the world actually closed down and overnight I witnessed so much change within the world.
I even coined a phrase that the world was “healing”. I don’t feel that we have to do much to make a difference, therefore the next generation will have the task to follow what has already been done but with far more drive and enthusiasm.
For me to provide this advice to you and for you to take steps into our industry would be a good choice and possibly life changing. For me to help with this, I have taken a step back into “young shoes” (but with the background knowledge that I now possess) and have imagined what you would want to do.
In addition you always need to have clear passion as to what sector you wish to follow.
In my opinion there are three sectors that provide the differences and they are:
- Renewable Energy Supply
- Energy Management
These for me are the growing sectors and the areas that will see the most growth over the coming years. I am not a tree hugger, or in any way an extremist but I do believe that these areas provide benefits to our future plights. When organisations embrace these sectors they will make significant savings to their bottom lines and also impact on the planet so it is a “win win” position.
So where should we start in our learning?
Whether you are technical or academic the stages will be the same.
Firstly, there is a good future for you all. My background is technical and although I have now become an academic, I still see myself in the world of technical. This approach is a ‘broad stroke’ approach but provides a great foundation to use as a starting point to review yourself from. Often you may find that when you travel along this journey you will find that other opportunities present themselves that may take you off of your original course plan.
For example, I’m a people’s person and I found that selling and sales were a big part of my career
(I like to actually call it ‘Business development and not sales).
When we focus on the learning it is critical to move away from the text books and embrace actual experience. What you see in the text books is correct but you can’t beat actual work experience. In the UK we have governing bodies and although I have strong experience with some, I do not have an opinion on all. I’m personally connected to three leading bodies which are the Chartered Institute of Building Services (CIBSE), The Energy Institute and The Energy Managers Association. Each group provides excellent training and they also provide career paths for young professionals, not to mention support and guidance.
It doesn’t stop there though.
I have been speaking about ‘Mentoring’ over the last couple of months because there are not enough experts currently within our industry, therefore aligning yourself with an expert will help us see more experts within the industry.
I have seen many individuals ‘transition’ into our industry without embracing the correct training and without the guidance of a governing body or a mentoring program and I really can’t see how this has happened.
I will be honest, I have directly embraced the governing body roots in the later years as I have always been aligned with the likes of CIBSE and EI through my corporate relationships with Trend and Satchwell. I was able to personally transition into these bodies based on my experience. Trust me though, when I say two intensive training courses, a written continued profession development paper of (4000 Words), a panelled interview and 20 Hours of CPD every year it is still a tough process. I am very proud though to be a member of these governing bodies.
My 40 years experience within this industry has been amazing. I have met some truly intellectual experts, I have witnessed some significant changes within our industry with regards to legislation and technology of building management systems, LED lighting and solar and I don’t see this innovation ever stopping.
My son of 18 is just starting out in our industry, he loves numbers and calculations and has his heart set on finance. I feel as long as he keeps one eye on this industry he will go a long way. I always say to him, embrace training everyday and make everyday a school day because it will make you a better person. I would also share that advice with the young professionals reading this today. I’m 56 and I’m still learning and the more I learn the more I can teach.
If you have been inspired in any way after reading this article then please come along to a workshop. I will arrange to meet with young professionals who wish to join this amazing industry, one where you can make an impact on the world’s economy and make the world a better place for everyone.