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Why it’s never too late to make a career change

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Making a career change can be a daunting and intimidating decision, but it is never too late to make that change. At LotusWorks we are committed to the professional development of all employees and understand that many skills from various industries can be applied successfully to new roles.

LotusWorker, Fergal spent 18 years working as a panel beater in the automotive industry before making the decision to change his career path. For over a year now, Fergal has been working as a Mechanical Commissioning Technician on a global semiconductor chip manufacturing site as part of the LotusWorks team.

Fergal discusses how he took learnings from the automotive industry and applied them to something very different. Fergal says it is the best decision he has ever made despite the unknown and talks about LotusWorks’ focus on knowledge sharing and career progression.

Why did you decide to leave your role as a panel beater?

I started my apprenticeship at 18 and it was all I knew. I spent 18 years working as a panel beater and for 12 years I worked for the same company. It got to the point where I didn’t feel challenged, every day was repetitive, and I felt stuck in a rut. I thought about changing industry a lot, but I always thought I would have to go back to college for a company like LotusWorks to even consider looking at my CV. I couldn’t financially afford to go back to college but then one day I thought “enough is enough” I want a challenge I need to make a change.

Fergal

Why did you decide to apply for a role with LotusWorks?

My next-door neighbour worked for LotusWorks and he told me to do up my CV and he will give it to the Talent Acquisition Team to see if there were any roles suitable to my experience. I was quite apprehensive because I did a little research and found out that LotusWorks work with global clients across different industries, and I thought a company like that would never even look at my CV but if I take the chance then I would still be in that same role.  

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What does your current role at LotusWorks involve?

I am a Mechanical Commissioning Technician and I work on a semiconductor chip manufacturing facility in Leixlip. Just like my previous role it is very much a hands-on approach, as part of the commissioning team we are responsible for ensuring that the functionality of all mechanical equipment works as it should before the manufacturing facility goes into the production stage.

Were you surprised at the number of skills that were transferable from your previous role

I am a Mechanical Commissioning Technician and I work on a semiconductor chip manufacturing facility in Leixlip. Just like my previous role it is very much a hands-on approach, as part of the commissioning team we are responsible for ensuring that the functionality of all mechanical equipment works as it should before the manufacturing facility goes into the production stage.

Was the role what you expected?

I wasn’t really sure what to expect. As with every new job there is always the unknown. I had never really heard of commissioning before, but I made sure to watch some YouTube videos but no amount of videos can prepare you for the scale and size of the equipment that you will be working on. I did get thrown into the deep end but that is the only way to do it and you learn on the job and learn your way from your buddies on-site. There is no manual or course that can prepare you for commissioning on a global client site like this one. It is not until you see a big chiller that contains water which is essential for production of the chips, and you think right I have to start this up. Your responsibility is really amplified, and I got a real sense of purpose with that.

What advice would you give to someone working as a mechanic or in the automotive industry?

Don’t rule out experience, take the chance and make the plunge you won’t regret it. I went from working in a small garage in Meath to working on a commissioning project for one of the biggest chip manufacturers in the world. Never did I think this time two years ago I would be in this position. Starting from scratch is daunting but so rewarding and the opportunities at LotusWorks are endless.

What do you enjoy about LotusWorks?

I love the fact that every day is different it’s like a school day so much to take in. The systems that we are working on have never been used before on any of this client’s sites across the world so we get to sit down with the client and come up with the solution together. This solution is then rolled out to all their other sites globally, so you really feel like you’re making a difference. I couldn’t ask for a better team, as a newbie sometimes you are reluctant to ask questions you don’t want to be annoying, but the LotusWorks team went out of their way to make sure that I understood everything, your opinion is really valued here.

It is never too late to make a career change. To learn more about LotusWorks, click here

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