Baringa Blogs

Developing a career in Smart Grids

In our previous blog in this series we discussed attracting and retaining Smart Grid talent. The evolving demand for Smart Grid talent is becoming a strategic priority and challenge within the Energy industry.  As industry responds, one lesson has already been learnt, that the methods used to attract, develop and retain talent used previously are not sustainable. In this blog, I discuss the importance of developing talent, articulated through a few personal examples.

Baringa shares this industry challenge of making ourselves the employer of choice for the highest calibre of Smart Grid candidates. Our client requirements have evolved in tandem with the development of Smart Grids, and we have seen the importance in not only attracting new talent, but investing in our existing pool of energy networks expertise.  In doing so, we have chosen to embrace the uncertainty of a Smart Grid future. With the necessary leadership support, we believe that companies can, as we have, use this uncertainty as a development opportunity for those with the interest and passion to further their careers.

From a personal perspective I spent a number of years consulting across the full spectrum of business functions within Energy Networks businesses.  The expertise I’d developed in how technology underpins the processes and decision making within a utility, provided me with a detailed understanding of how information moves through the business, from analogue telemetry in the field, to the data used to support asset investment decisions.  As the pace and scale of innovation progressed, I was increasingly involved in impact assessment workshops and water cooler conversations about the scale of change Smart Grids would one day bring. 

I found this whole area fascinating so took every opportunity to read, listen and discuss this emerging agenda of change, so an environment where I can be challenged by peer conversation and supported in my interest to learn more and develop my skills, has been a key criteria for me. Organisations need to empower individuals to adopt an entrepreneurial approach to development, as standard industry training courses, and training collateral are in short supply. I’ve personally found engaging with global solution providers an excellent source of learning material, as they provide case studies from other countries that are further along the smart grid journey.

I asked one of my colleagues, Chris Collins, to provide some insight into his Smart Grid career development:
“I decided to specialise in Smart Grids soon after joining Baringa. With the rapid deployment of flexible energy resources on the low voltage network, the industry is undergoing a fairly fundamental change. I have worked with a number of clients on innovation projects seeking to understand this evolving landscape. Leveraging my energy market expertise, this collaboration with clients has provided an excellent opportunity for me to further develop my smart grid knowledge at the same time as providing consulting services. However, we are starting to move beyond the theory, and I am excited to be in the perfect position to be part of that."

As an industry, we’re working together to plan for the future. We are working to uncover and mitigate risk, explore new industry roles, revenue streams and efficiency opportunities, and all of us involved are learning every day. A company that can support me through training, mentoring and a commitment to let me work in the industry areas and in the projects related to the Smart Grid journey, is the company I will choose. Most importantly to me, and to the benefit of our clients, Baringa has recognised that the uncertain future of the Energy industry means that time to think outside the box and generate ideas without criticism is critical to the success of our work, the work of our clients and the industry as a whole.

Back to June 2016

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