Career Progression & Working away from Home | Seabrook Technology Group

Career Progression & Working away from Home

By July 24, 2014 Blog No Comments

Seabrook Technology Group are delighted to share the third in a series of blog posts from our own Junior MES Consultant, James Lucey.


James is an MES Engineer – in this final post in the series James will share his experiences learning and working in the software implementation world. To read the other posts in the series check out: MES Project Deadlines: A New Consultant’s Perspective and A Graduates Road to the World of MES.

Are you on the right career path? Are you growing and being challenged in your current role? This is a question everybody should be asking themselves on a regular basis. Having recently started a new project for a pharmaceutical company abroad, this is a path that I believe will gain me the relevant experience to achieve my future goal.

The company I currently work for believes strongly in developing their employees through quarterly training goals. My goal is to become a certified project manager in three to five years’ time.

What do I need to do to become qualified for future roles? Do you have similar goals?

So I ask myself what are my specific developmental opportunities in the year ahead? As a contractor it can be difficult to plan in advance due to project timelines that can be flexible given resource constraints. I am always on the lookout for new opportunities and looking to network with people whenever possible. I have learned that you need to keep yourself informed about new roles across numerous industries if you wish to land the contact that is right for you and your company.

I have to frequently ask myself, are my goals reasonable? Then share your three to five year career aspirations with your manager asking him or her if your goals seem realistic. Ask if they believe your company is able to provide a career path that aligns with your plans.

In attaining a certain goal I will need to know what skills, experiences and relationships are required in order to reach my target. I will constantly need to discuss the gap between my current profile, and the profile that I will need to do the job I am aiming for.

Growth is a critical part of employee engagement and necessary for me to advance in my career. I need to be proactive and get reviews on projects that I work on in order to better myself, so I may learn from my mistakes and see what I can improve on.

What experiences and relationships have you developed to attain your career goals?

Working away from home can also create some difficulties; from a business perspective having to operate in a different country and culture, and having to deal with a different language has some barriers, as certain communication can be misinterpreted.
I believe that working in different cultures will also give me the exposure to different ways of thinking and process techniques that I would not learn at home in Ireland.. (With the manufacturing industry on the rise in Ireland after a downfall years ago, I have gained confidence I am able to apply in my experiences abroad as well as any future role I may hold back home. )

Being away from home can have an effect on your personal relationships, but you must try and contain this, from my own experiences it may affect your productivity.. Being on site lets me work longer days as I do not have the same day to day personal responsibilities that I would have if I was permanently at home.

Have you had to travel and put yourself outside you comfort zone to gain experience?

I currently act as a consultant to a large multinational pharmaceutical company. This provides challenges as a consultant since I am presented with tasks on a daily basis, some of which I am learning to perform. I have learned to manage my time effectively and train myself to achieve tasks that I am not one hundred percent trained to do.

I will spend extra time outside of my normal working day or during my lunch break to keep myself up to date with learning new aspects of my current role whatever it may be. I know that this is a good way of staying relevant to the tasks that are specified for me to complete.

How do you manage continuous professional development to stay relevant?

When I started out in my career in Manufacturing Execution Systems in the UK, I could not have realised what path it would take me, and that new opportunities will arise from time to time, some that will help me along the way and enhance my experience. Choosing the right projects will establish what knowledge and skills I am able to attain, so these decisions are critical to achieving my goals.

The questions I have asked in the previous paragraphs are questions I have to keep asking myself all the time, to stay engaged so one day I will achieve my goal. This is a target I cannot be assured I will accomplish, but in trying to do this it will better me not only personally but professionally so I may achieve a quality career in whatever industry that I will consult in. I hope to achieve this as I know I have the qualities to be successful in my own career goal as a Project Manager.

The blog series can be found on the Manufacturing Geek, a website dedicated to delivering opinions and analysis of Manufacturing news and trends.