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Career Progression

  • 1.  Career Progression

    Posted 12-09-2013 12:37
    Hi all,

    Great to see the YIPWEA forum up and running - and the amount of interest it is generating nation wide.

    Id like to use this forum as an opportunity to congratulate Anthony McMahon on his new appointment as General Manager at Boorowa Council.

    With this appointment it is clear that Anthony's hard work has payed off and that the industry is recognizing the work that us younger engineers can offer. Well done Anthony!

    Luka Kovacevic
    Engineering Services Manager
    Yass Valley Council


  • 2.  RE:Career Progression

    Posted 13-09-2013 10:45
    Thanks Luka, I am very fortunate to be given the opportunity. I do believe that my own progression in many ways is a reflection of the networks I have been able to form which has definitely accelerated my development. IPWEA is obviously a perfect example to me of where personal growth can flourish through networks.

    I would also encourage everyone else in the YIPWEA community to push your own boundaries and not be afraid to stand up and be counted when opportunities arise.

    Hard work certainly pays off but put the work in with a target outcome in mind, i.e. do the right hard work and place yourself in the right environments to create opportunities.

    Anthony McMahon
    General Manager
    Boorowa Council



  • 3.  RE:Career Progression

    Posted 13-09-2013 10:47
    I echo Luka's comments and also extend my heartiest congratulations to Anthony.

    I think we can all garner a bit of inspiration, motivation and learn a lesson from what he has achieved: GM (IIRC) before his 30th birthday.

    Well done Anthony.


    William Barton
    Deputy Engineer
    Junee Shire Council



  • 4.  RE:Career Progression

    Posted 14-09-2013 15:43
    Well done Anthony! Great to see that your dedication and hard work to your community has been recognised. It's fantastic to have such strong leaders like yourself who are not only dedicated to their own careers, but to the wider industry as well.

    All the best in the role!

    Kim Sedgwick
    Chair, Young IPWEA
    Operations Manager (Systems)
    ARRB Group
    Vermont South VIC



  • 5.  RE:Career Progression

    Posted 06-11-2013 06:36
    Hi All, 

    Just posting to see if any other young members have experienced a similar situation I'm currently facing as followed.

    As a young engineer, I am attempting to work as hard as I can to gain as much experience as I possible within my work place, however it is apparent that the perception of a 'younger person' is that they have little experience. As a result, the more senior members of an organisation may believe a young person may not be ready for a role due to their lack of experience.

    I agree with the above to a degree but also tend to think that if a person is best suited for a role then age shouldn't be a major factor.

    Has anyone encountered this issue before or been in a similar situation? 

    Personally, I do believe I need more experience before I could realistically obtain a higher level position but thought I'd through the idea out there.


    Christopher Wahbe
    Blacktown City Council



  • 6.  RE:Career Progression

    Posted 06-11-2013 18:08

    There is absolutely an emphasis on experience to which I partially agree with. I have also heard for many years talk about how we have a skills shortage and our more experienced engineers should assist with mentoring.

    I have come to the point where talk is cheap. I have personally approached an experienced member of the engineering community, asking to undertake a personalised one on one mentoring program.

    As much as the call is on our experienced members to teach, I am of the opinion that the younger generation have to step forward and show we are eager, willing and wanting to progress ourselves.

    It is the only first true step of an emerging future leader.

    I encourage others to take this step as well, I am sure you will find your approach will be welcomed with open arms and willingness to help as mine was.

    Robert Ladd
    Manager Engineering, Waste Operations and Contracts
    Pyrenees Shire Council


    Sent via IPWEA Mobile Application


  • 7.  RE:Career Progression

    Posted 13-11-2013 07:46

    I agree with your comments that there is often a perception that younger people are inexperienced and hence not ready for promotion or a step up.

    The first part is definitely true, i.e. we definitely have less experience than someone that has been in the industry for 30 years.

    The fallacy is that experience equals ability. Just because someone has been kicking around for 30 years it doesn't mean they can do a job better than someone that has been around for 5 years.

    Being successful in a role requires a combination of things and to me the most important is attitude and willingness to adapt or change.

    At the beginning of my career (which wasn't that long ago) I was lucky to be in an environment where I was not held back, in fact I was thrust into things I had previously had no idea about. I was very willing to ask questions, make mistakes and quickly adapt. I was also very keen to throw my had up at any hint of an opportunity to do something I hadn't done before.

    I think one of the biggest hurdles to being successful as a young engineer is to change our perceptions of ourselves (something I still struggle with), not to see ourselves as the juniors that need to be babied but too actually see ourselves as leaders. Just because you aren't a manager or director doesn't mean you cant be a leader and shape your organisation or industry.

    If I had one key piece of advice for anyone that wants to fast track their career it would be this:

    Yes focus on getting your experience but don't focus all your effort and attention on one thing, be as diverse as possible and seek out opportunities to do something new, try and get involved (and even lead) organisational improvement initiatives, ask questions from everyone else in the organisation and find out what they do, understand local government not just local government engineering.

    I guess that's about 6 pieces of key advice rolled into one.

    Anthony McMahon
    General Manager
    Boorowa Council



  • 8.  RE:Career Progression

    Posted 13-11-2013 19:32
    Thanks Robert and Anthony, I really appreciate both your insights and inputs. ------------------------------------------- Christopher Wahbe Blacktown City Council BLACKTOWN NSW -------------------------------------------

  • 9.  RE:Career Progression

    Posted 11-12-2013 23:18
    I am very sorry for not adding thoughts on this previously, but I thought I might add to the discussion.

    I don't want to repeat the points made by Anthony has made, I do agree.

    For development of young engineers, I believe the organisation needs to have a philosophy on how it mentors its younger staff. This is of course is dependent on the organisation (no. of staff, specialisation etc).

    My philosophy, and one that I share with team is that young trainees, cadets and interns are all exposed to large projects early. They may not necessarily manage the project, but they assist the senior staff who do to learn the intracies of engineering projects. The young engineers do not have a dedicated mentor, but work with multiple senior engineers to pick up on their good principals (and sometimes bad).

    I believe that all young engineers should have a mentor, and not necessarily within the organisation where they work. I have been fortunate to have had these types of mentors in my career which I am forever grateful.

    Young engineer development is two way. It depends on the senior engineers to be willing to mentor and foster experience, knowledge and philosophy to young engineers. Secondly it depends on the young engineers willingness to develop, demonstrate commitment and be involved.

    I don't know if this helps, but I hope it does.


    Matthew Christensen
    Manager Assets & Design
    Tumut Shire Council


    Sent via IPWEA Mobile Application


  • 10.  RE:Career Progression

    Posted 18-12-2013 19:25
    Well done Anthony.........More examples we have of such as of Anthony, more we will be inspired/motivated to get out from perception of YEARS of experience as a prerequisite..... There are many good points in the discussion and I would like to emphasize on local government business skills along with engineering skills.... and leadership along with communication (which might make a lot of difference as Engineers generally are expert in technical aspects but not so great demonstrating their non-technical skills). Having opportunity to stand out explicitly in the eye of your organisation and industry is often noted. It can be through participation in non-technical project/ other organisational initiatives...... You would have to not necessarily do just great design and innovation but also marketing your success stories, which are often not sexy and newsworthy for non-technical audience. There are limited career pathways (within LG or State Government) for specialized engineers compared to private engineering world. Higher you grow or intend to grow your managerial/ leadership skills are considered much more than engineering skill set. It also depends on the right opportunity at the right time and the right place to be grabbed rather than under estimating one's own caliber. ------------------------------------------- Ashish Shah Program Leader - Road Asset Management Logan City Council Logan Central QLD -------------------------------------------